Slipknot bassist Paul Gray dies at 38

Paul Gray, #2 in Slipknot, was found dead this morning
Paul Gray, #2 in Slipknot, was found dead this morning (Image credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Corbis)

Slipknot bassist Paul Gray - one of the group's founding members - was found dead in an Iowa hotel room early Monday morning (24 May), according to reports. He was 38 years old.

According to The Des Moines Register, police were called to the TownePlace Suites hotel in Urbandale, Iowa, shortly before 11am after an employee reported discovering Gray's body in a room. There was no evidence of foul play, but an investigation is ongoing. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday. Toxicology tests will also be conducted.

Gray, better known as #2 or "The Pig" because of the mask he wore while performing, helped to form Slipknot in 1995 along with Shawn "Clown" Crahan and Joey Jordinson.

The band broke into the mainstream with a platinum-selling self-titled debut in 1999. Two follow-ups, 2002's Iowa and 2005's Vol. 3 (The Subliminal Verses) also went platinum. The band has been nominated for seven Grammy awards, winning in 2006 for Best Metal Performance. Their most recent release was 2008's All Hope Is Gone.

In 2003, Gray was arrested on drug-possession charges after he crashed his Porsche into another motorist. Police discovered small amounts of marijuana, cocaine and two syringes in Gray's vehicle. Charges were eventually dropped when Gray pleaded guilty to operating while under the influence of drugs, and was sentenced to one year of informal probation.

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.