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Guitarist Jeff Hanneman, founding member of Slayer, dies

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(CNN) — Guitarist Jeff Hanneman, a founding member of the heavy metal band Slayer, died Thursday of liver failure in Southern California, the band said in a statement posted on its Facebook page. He was 49.

“Slayer is devastated to inform that their bandmate and brother, Jeff Hanneman, passed away at about 11AM this morning near his Southern California home. Hanneman was in an area hospital when he suffered liver failure,” the statement said. “He is survived by his wife Kathy, his sister Kathy and his brothers Michael and Larry, and will be sorely missed.”

Slayer was started in 1981. It made its major label album debut in 1986 with “Reign In Blood,” which included two songs — “Angel of Death” and “Raining Blood” — co-written by Hanneman.

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