Today is the birthday of the late Slipknot bassist Paul Gray. He would have been 50 years old. To honor his life and legacy, we wanted to share video footage of a powerful tribute the band paid to Gray back in 2011.
Paul Gray was one of the founding members of Slipknot and helped shape the band into the remarkable force it is today. Before his passing in 2010, Paul Gray took part in the first four Slipknot albums. At the time of his death, Paul Gray was 38. He was found by a hotel employee at the Town Plaza hotel in Urbandale, a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa.
Roughly a year later after Gray’s passing, during a performance at the legendary metal festival Download – Slipknot would pay an emotional and powerful tribute to their brother.
A large banner that hangs behind their performance features the number 2 on it, representing Gray’s number associated with the band. The Slipknot song “Til We Die” plays, which is a song off the band’s last studio album to feature Paul Gray (2008’s All Hope Is Gone). The band then bring out a stand that displays one of Gray’s jumpsuits he used to wear while performing, as well as his bass. Eventually, the band comes together to hug and take a photo in front of Gray’s suit, bass, and the Download fest crowd.
The footage is already emotional given the great sadness felt in losing Paul Gray, but it is even more heartbreaking when you think about what is to come for the band in the future. While Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison would exit the band in 2013, and percussionist Chris Fehn would end up leaving Slipknot in 2019, Jordison would pass away in 2021. During the tribute to the late Slipknot bassist, there is a heavy and emotional moment where Jordison comes up to the stand that has Gray’s suit on it and hugs it.
We hope that Paul and Joey are at peace together and that they know they are remembered everyday by millions around the world.
You can find the video footage of the beautiful Paul Gray tribute below:
Words by: Michael Pementel