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Avenged Sevenfold's Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan Dead at 28

December 29, 2009 12:00 AM ET

Avenged Sevenfold drummer Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan was found dead at his home in Huntington Beach, California, yesterday. He was 28. Preliminary police reports indicate Sullivan died of natural causes, but the Orange County Coroner's Office is investigating his death, the OC Register reports. Sullivan helped found Avenged Sevenfold in 1999, and featured on all four of the band's studio albums.

Look back at Rolling Stone's collection of Avenged Sevenfold photos.

"It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we tell you of the passing today of Jimmy 'The Rev' Sullivan," Sullivan's Avenged Sevenfold bandmates wrote on their Website. "Jimmy was not only one of the world's best drummers, but more importantly he was our best friend and brother. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jimmy's family and we hope that you will respect their privacy during this difficult time. Jimmy you are forever in our hearts."

Remember more artists lost before their time.

After playing Ozzfest in 2006, Avenged Sevenfold memorably beat out Rihanna, Chris Brown, Panic! at the Disco, Angels and Airwaves and James Blunt for the title of Best New Artist at the MTV Video Music Awards, thanks in part to their Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas-inspired song "Bat Country." Avenged Sevenfold then reached Number Four on the Billboard Top 200 with their self-titled fourth album. The band spent the past two years on a co-headlining tour with Buckcherry. The band was reportedly in the process of recording their fifth album.

Related Stories:
Disorderly Conduct: Avenged Sevenfold
Album Review: Avenged Sevenfold's Avenged Sevenfold
Album Review: Avenged Sevenfold's City of Evil

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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