Avenged Sevenfold drummer found dead

Article Tab : "Avenged Sevenfold" pose backstage stage during MTV"s "Total Request Live" at the MTV Times Square Studios Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2006 in New York. Left to right are guitarist Zacky Vengeance, lead guitarist Synyster Gates, lead singer M. Shadows, bassist Johny Christ, and drummer The Reverend. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)


HUNTINGTON BEACH James Owen Sullivan, a drummer and backup vocalist for the Southern California band Avenged Sevenfold, was found dead at his home on Monday, authorities have confirmed.

Sullivan, who went by the stage name The Rev, appears to have died of natural causes, Huntington Beach police Lt. John Domingo said. Police were notified by firefighters who had responded to Sullivan's home about 1 p.m.

Sullivan was 28. The Orange County Coroner's Office is investigating the death.

Avenged Sevenfold formed in Huntington Beach in 1999. Sullivan was a member from the beginning.

Since then, the five-man group has put out four albums and won Best New Artist at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2006. The group's self-titled fourth album hit No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart in 2007. According to a message posted by Zacky Vengeance on the band's MySpace page, the group was hard a work on a fifth album.

By Monday evening, whispers about Sullivan's death had spread to the band's fan sites on the Internet, which quickly filled with messages of condolence.

Band statement
It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we tell you of the passing today of Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan. 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.
We love you.

M Shadows, Synyster Gates, Zacky Vengeance and Johnny Christ

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