Jeff Hanneman, the guitarist for Slayer since 1981, died Thursday of liver failure. He was 49.
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"Slayer is devastated to inform that their bandmate and brother, Jeff Hanneman, passed away at about 11 a.m. this morning near his Southern California home," the band announced on its website.
Hanneman had been off the road since 2011 after he contracted necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease, from a spider bite that nearly cost him his arm. The disease is believed to have contributed to his death, a rep for the band told The Associated Press.
Hanneman was a founding member of Slayer, along with fellow guitarist Kerry King, and had played on all 10 of the band's studio releases.
He is survived by his wife Kathy, his sister Kathy, and his brothers Michael and Larry.