Drummer Joey Jordison of Vimic performs at The Fillmore Charlotte on June 30, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
CNN  — 

Joey Jordison, a founder of the heavy metal band Slipknot, has died, his family announced in a statement provided Tuesday to CNN.

He was 46.

“We are heartbroken to share the news that Joey Jordison, prolific drummer, musician and artist passed away peacefully in his sleep on July 26th, 2021,” the family said. “Joey’s death has left us with empty hearts and feelings of indescribable sorrow.”

Legendary band Metallica paid tribute to Jordison on their official Facebook page with a photo of him on stage and the caption “R.I.P. brother.”

Jordison served as a drummer for Slipknot, which he helped create in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1995.

The masked band burst onto the music scene with a self-titled album in 1999.

They enjoyed much success, including the selling of millions of records worldwide and the formation of the Knotfest music festival in 2012.

There were also controversies surrounding some of their violent lyrics. And founding bassist Paul Gray overdosed at the age of 38.

In 2013, it was announced that Jordison and the band would be parting ways.

Three years later the musician revealed to Metal Hammer that he had been diagnosed with a rare disease of the nervous system and said he was hurt after the band fired him via email.

“No band meeting? None,” Jordison told the publication. “Anything from management? No, nothing.”

He also said he was angered that some people thought his ailment may have been connected to substance abuse, but said he loved his bandmates and was open to rejoining them.

Jordison also launched other bands Scar the Martyr, Vimic and Sinsaenum.

In the family’s statement released Tuesday they wrote “To those that knew Joey, understood his quick wit, his gentle personality, giant heart and his love for all things family and music.”

The family will have a private funeral service.