Slayer's guitarist Jeff Hanneman died this morning at an Inland Empire hospital of liver failure. Hanneman was 49 years old.
Hanneman and band member Kerry King co-founded Slayer in 1981 in Huntington Beach, motivated by a desire to meld heavy metal and punk. The resulting mix drew a wide and devoted fan following that spawned recording concert success.
The popularity of Slayer's first two albums "Show no mercy" in 1983 and 1985's "Hell Awaits" led to seven more studio albums and two live albums, along with a pair of EPs, according to Billboard magazine.
Hanneman remained with the band until 2011 when a debilitating disease known as necrotizing fascitis forced him to quit. It was believed he contracted the disease from a spider bite. It was not clear what role the disease played with Hanneman's liver failure.