A candlelight vigil was planned Sunday night for Chi Cheng, bassist for Grammy-winning rock band the Deftones, who died after struggling to recover from serious injuries suffered in a car crash more than four years ago.
Cheng, 42, was taken to an emergency room, where his heart stopped early Saturday, his mother, Jeanne Marie Cheng, wrote on the website, One Love for Chi, that had been set up to support him.
He and his band mates won a Best Metal Performance Grammy in 2001, was a “powerful bassist who was larger than life on stage,” the Recording Academy, the industry organization that presents the Grammys, said in a statement Sunday.
“Although the group’s early years were more heavy metal-based,” the statement read, “they were one of the first bands to incorporate a more alternative and ethereal sound into their thunderous and visceral music, blazing a trail that newer bands continue to follow today.”
Cheng played on five albums with the Sacramento-based band.
Cheng was traveling with Mae, his sister, when his car collided with another vehicle traveling 60 mph and rolled three times on Nov. 4, 2008, in Santa Clara.
Chi was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the car. Cheng never recovered full consciousness, and had been in and out of hospitals for different infections.
Despite spending years comatose, he had recently shown some signs of improvement, said Cheng’s hometown newspaper, The Sacramento Bee, which first reported his death.
He was also a practicing Buddhist, and maintained an interest in Taoism and Shamanism. Cheng was also a vegetarian. During college, he read No Denial!: A Handbook for Becoming a Socially, Environmentally, and Personally Responsible Citizen of the Planet by Neill S. Cohen and decided to make the switch.
The vigil was planned for Sunday evening at Sacramento’s Cesar Chavez Plaza.