Anthony Jude Pero was on tour with the band Adrenaline Mob when members of the band were unable to rouse him on Friday morning. He was taken to a hospital in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where he was declared dead.
The band posted an official statement on the Twisted Sister Facebook page. "The members of Twisted Sister are profoundly saddened to announce the untimely passing of our brother, AJ Pero," read the statement. "The band, crew and most importantly the family of AJ Pero thank you for your thoughts and prayers at this time."
"His drive was the heart and soul of the band's sound, the engine that drove us," said guitarist Jay Jay French. "We lost a friend and a legend."
Frontman Dee Snider called Pero "the final piece in a band that would become an international sensation and one of the greatest live rock acts to ever hit the stage."
"His sledgehammer assault on the drums helped drive Twisted Sister and I to greatness, and inspired me to rock every single show," Snider said. "My heart breaks knowing I will never feel the power of his beat behind me, or turn to see his face smiling broadly from the sheer joy he got from doing what he loved."
Pero joined Twisted Sister in 1982 but left in 1986. He returned in 1997 and performed on every album except "Love Is for Suckers."