EFENew York City, US

Joey Jordison, founding drummer of the American heavy metal band Slipknot, has died at the age of 46, his family said.

"We are heartbroken to share the news that Joey Jordison, prolific drummer, musician and artist passed away peacefully in his sleep on July 26th," his family in a statement.

"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."

Messages of tribute flooded social media, including from heavy metal group Trivium, which described him as "super gracious."