Joey Jordison, who was well known as Slipknot's ex-drummer and founding member, has tragically died aged forty-six.

A spokesperson for the musician's family has since issued a statement via Rolling Stone, confirming their heartbreaking loss:

"Joey's death has left us with empty hearts and feelings of indescribable sorrow. 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 of Joey have asked that friends, fans, and media understandably respect our need for privacy and peace at this incredibly difficult time."

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While no cause of death has yet been released, according to reports, Joey died peacefully in his sleep. The drummer had been suffering from transverse myelitis, which is a form of multiple sclerosis. The condition is caused by the inflammation of the spinal cord and symptoms include weakness in the arms and legs and numbness and tingling.

As a result of the condition, Joey lost the ability to move his legs, which he cited as one of the reasons he was fired from Slipknot back in 2013.

People have taken to social media to share their tributes to the star...

One fan wrote: "Gutted. Absolute legend. Met him in Birmingham a few years back. What a drummer. Remember when they toured vol 3 and he'd have his rig turn upside down. Jay has been killing it though, in recent years, he's got a huge legacy to follow."

While another commented: "Such a major loss to the metal community. He was an incredible drummer and performer. I'm so glad I was able to see him live back in the day. R.I.P Joey and thanks for all the great tunes. You are gone but will never be forgotten."

"This sucks to hear… I remember watching Slipknot in a bar in NW Iowa during the winter of 1998. Never even heard of them before and a friend of mine was managing the bar. I asked him who the hell these guys were and he said it was some band he hired out of Des Moines called Slipknot. Besides how crazy they were the thing I remember the most is there were only about 50 people in the place that night. Rip," a third wrote.

Slipknot was formed back in 1994, under the original name Meld, which was thought up by Joey Jordison, Shawn Crahan, and Paul Gray.

Slipknot came into being just a year later after Joey made the suggestion to change the name. They then recruited guitarists Donnie Steele and Josh Brainard and singer Anders Colsefni, and eventually there were 9 members in the band.

In 1999 their fanbase grew exponentially after their performance at Ozzfest, and just a year later, Slipknot went platinum.

Joey left the band back in 2013 and in 2016, he opened up to the crowd at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards, saying: "I got really, really sick with a horrible disease called transverse myelitis, I lost my legs.

"I couldn't play anymore. It was a form of multiple sclerosis, which I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. I got myself back up, and I got myself in the gym and I got myself back in f**king therapy, to f**king beat this s**t."

Rest in Peace, Joey Jordison. Our deepest thoughts and condolences go out to his family during this difficult time.