Children of Bodom founder Alexi Laiho has died.
The former member of the Finnish death metal group - who was also known as Wildchild - has sadly passed away at the age of 41.
Supergroup Bodom After Midnight, which the influential guitarist formed with former bandmate Daniel Freyberg last year, after Children of Bodom dissolved in 2019, confirmed Alexi's death in a statement issued via Napalm Records.
The record label tweeted the following statement by the band - also comprising Mitja Toivonen and Walter Väyrynen - which reads: "It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we have to announce the passing of Alexi Laiho. We are absolutely devastated and heartbroken for the sudden loss of our dear friend and band member.
"Daniel, Mitja & Waltteri (sic)"
According to reports, Alexi died at home in Helsinki last week after reportedly suffering from “long term health issues”.
The musician's cause of death is unknown at the time of writing.
His wife, Kelli Laiho-Wright, said: "Alexi was the most loving and magnificent husband and father. Our hearts are eternally broken.”
Alexi founded Children of Bodom in 1993 with drummer Jaska Raatikainen, initially under the name Inearthed.
They released a total of 10 studio albums until the group's demise in 2019.
In spring 2009, Children of Bodom were forced to cancel the rest of their North American 'No Fear Energy Tour' when Alexi broke his wrist after falling out of his bunk, when their tor bus took a sharp turn after their show at the Palladium Ballroom in Dallas, Texas.
He had hoped to continue the run, but was forced to ax the last six dates as he was still in a great deal of pain.
In July 2012, the group canceled two European shows because Alexi had been taken to the hospital with "extreme stomach pain".
Days later they announced that Alexi was suffering from a "serious infection".
A further statement read: “This is not an easy letter for us to write. Alexi is suffering from a serious infection. He is still in hospital in Oslo under supervision of the doctors and we don’t know yet when they will release him. We have no choice other than canceling Ruisrock in Turku on Saturday as well. This is a very bitter pill for us to swallow. We had decided to do only two festivals in our homeland this summer to make it real special, and now this. We hope that we will be able to make up for this very soon. To all our fans who had been looking forward to rock with us at Ruisrock this weekend, take our apologies and enjoy the festival. In our spirits, we will be there, too.”
Children of Bodom played their last show at the Icehall in Helsinki, dubbed 'A Chapter Called Children of Bodom', in December 2019.
Last March, Alexi and Daniel unveiled Bodom After Midnight, named after the song of the same name on their album 'Follow the Reaper’.
The band made their live debut on October 23, 2020 in Seinäjoki, Finland.
This article originally ran on celebretainment.com.