Paul Gray (American musician)

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Paul Gray
Paul Gray performing with Slipknot in 2008.
Paul Gray performing with Slipknot in 2008.
Background information
Birth namePaul Dedrick Gray
Also known as
  • #2
  • The Pol
  • The Pig
  • The Ghost
  • Paulie
Born(1972-04-08)April 8, 1972
Los Angeles, California
DiedMay 24, 2010(2010-05-24) (aged 38)
Johnston, Iowa
  • Musician
  • songwriter
  • Bass
  • guitar
  • vocals
Years active1994–2010
Associated acts

Paul Dedrick Gray (April 8, 1972 – May 24, 2010) also known as the Pig or by his number #2, was an American musician best known as bassist, backing vocalist, songwriter and one of the founding members of the heavy metal band Slipknot.

Early life and career[edit]

Paul Dedrick Gray was born in Los Angeles, California. Later his family relocated to Des Moines, Iowa. He played guitar but switched to bass after he relocated to Iowa. In his youth, Gray performed in bands such as Anal Blast, Vexx, Body Pit, The Have Nots and Inveigh Catharsis.

At the time of his death, he was one of three original members of Slipknot remaining in the band, and the only one who had maintained his original role in the band due to Clown's switch from main drums to percussion during the early days. He was one of the two members not born in Iowa (the other is Jim Root, who was born in Las Vegas). In 2010, Slipknot released the Download 2009 performance on DVD in memory of Gray.

Besides Slipknot, Gray filled in as bassist for Unida during their 2003 tour, appeared on the album Worse Than a Fairy Tale by the band Drop Dead, Gorgeous, toured briefly with Reggie and the Full Effect and appeared on the Roadrunner United project, performing bass on "The Enemy" and "Baptized in the Redemption" from the project's album The All-Star Sessions.

An award was named after Paul titled "Paul Gray: Best Bassist of the Year", as a tribute to Paul. Slipknot presented the award to Nikki Sixx, of Mötley Crüe and Sixx A.M..


On May 24, 2010, The Des Moines Register reported that Gray had been found dead in room 431 at the TownePlace Suites Hotel in Johnston, Iowa at about 10:50 a.m. local time.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] In a 911-call, obtained by TMZ, one of the hotel's proprietors said that a hypodermic needle was found next to Gray's bed, as well as many pills that were apparently scattered across the room.[11] An initial autopsy determined that no foul play or trauma was involved, but could not establish the cause of death.[6][7][12] He is survived by his wife Brenna and their daughter October, who was born after his death.

On June 21, 2010, autopsy results were released that stated Gray had died of an overdose of morphine and fentanyl, and had also shown signs of "significant heart disease". Also found in the autopsy were traces of anti-anxiety pill Xanax, which Gray had a history of abusing.[13]


On the day after Gray's death, May 25, 2010, the band, without their usual masks, held a formal press conference in Des Moines, Iowa. They did not take any questions from the media. The band, as well as Gray's brother, Tony, and wife, Brenna, paid tribute to him.

He was kind of the person in the band that really wanted everybody in the band to always get along and just concentrate on the band. He was a really great friend and just a great person. He's going to be sadly missed, and the world is going to be a different place without him.

A private funeral was held on May 28, 2010. Paul Gray was buried at the Highland Memory Gardens Cemetery in Des Moines, Iowa. On November 8, 2010, items that decorated Gray's grave, including a Buddha statue and gargoyle statue, were stolen.[15] The band responded to this event with a post on their Myspace and Facebook page, asking the robbers to return the stolen items and appealing for information from the public.[16]

On July 30, Paul Gray was posthumously awarded the Kerrang! "Services to Metal" award, which was collected by his Slipknot bandmate Corey Taylor on his behalf.[17]

Slipknot's former guitarist Donnie Steele filled in on bass guitar for Gray on Slipknot's 2011 Summer tour. Slipknot shows during this time featured Paul's jumpsuit and Self-Titled era pig mask on a stand, along with a bass guitar standing next to it. Fans honored Gray with a two-minute silence during the band's headline set at Sonisphere Festival, Knebworth.[18]

Corey Taylor also got a tattoo of Gray and his number on the back of his left leg, which was documented in the television series NY Ink, during the second episode of season one.

Trial against physician[edit]

In September 2012, Gray's physician Daniel Baldi was charged with involuntary manslaughter relating to Gray's death, as well as the deaths of at least seven others. He was accused of continually writing high-dose prescription narcotics to Gray from December 27, 2005 until his death, despite knowing Gray's history of drug addiction and abuse. The doctor appeared in court on September 27, 2012 to face the charges, to which he pleaded not guilty.[19] On May 1, 2014, jurors found Daniel Baldi not guilty on all seven counts of involuntary manslaughter following two days of deliberation. Gray's wife Brenna had testified during the two-week-long trial that Baldi prescribed the anti-anxiety drug Xanax to her husband, despite knowing he was addicted to the prescription medicine.[20]

In January 2018 the family received an out of court settlement from a civil lawsuit they had filed against Dr. Daniel Baldi and his former employers.[21] Two months later the Iowa Board of Pharmacy permanently banned Baldi from being able to prescribe, administer or dispense controlled substances for the treatment of chronic pain.[22]


With Slipknot
Other appearances



  1. ^ Harris, Chris (October 12, 2009). "Anal Blast Frontman Don Decker Dies at 41". Noisecreep. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
  2. ^ "Breaking News: Slipknot bassist found dead". Archived from the original on 28 May 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  3. ^ Lawler, Joe. Hulsebus, Lars L. (May 24, 2010). "Slipknot bassist Paul Gray found dead at Urbandale hotel". The Des Moines Register. Retrieved 25 May 2010.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "WOI: Pills, syringe found next to Slipknot bassist Paul Gray's body". 25 May 2010.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Slipknot Bassist Paul Gray Found Dead in Hotel". Billboard. 24 May 2010. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  6. ^ a b Slipknot Bassist Paul Gray Found Dead Archived 2017-03-22 at the Wayback Machine FMQB, May 24, 2010
  7. ^ a b "Slipknot Band Member Found Dead At Hotel". KCCI-TV. 2010-05-24. Archived from the original on 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
  8. ^ "Slipknot's Paul Gray dies:". Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  9. ^ "Slipknot bassist Paul Gray dead –". Archived from the original on May 29, 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  10. ^ "Slipknot bassist Paul Gray found dead in hotel room". May 24, 2010. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  11. ^ "Paul Gray 911 call – 26/10/2010.wmv". YouTube. 2010-10-26. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
  12. ^ "Grey died from an overdose on morphine". USA Today. May 25, 2010. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
  13. ^ Crumb, Michael J. (June 21, 2010). "Slipknot bassist died of an overdose of morphine". MSNBC. Associated Press. Archived from the original on June 24, 2010. Retrieved June 21, 2010.
  14. ^ Montgomery, James (May 25, 2010). "Slipknot Call Bassist Paul Gray 'The Best Of Us'". MTV. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  15. ^ "Theft From SLIPKNOT Bassist's Grave" Archived 2010-11-13 at the Wayback Machine. 2010-11-08
  16. ^ Slipknot (2010-11-08). "Theft From Paul's Grave" Archived 2010-11-13 at the Wayback Machine. MySpace. Retrieved 2010-11-08
  17. ^ "And the winners are..." Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  18. ^ "Slipknot honour Paul Gray during Sonisphere headline set | News". 2011-07-10. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
  19. ^ "Paul Gray's doctor charged with involuntary manslaughter". Daily Star. September 6, 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-05-02. Retrieved 2014-05-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ "Slipknot bassist's family gets settlement in overdose lawsuit against doctor, hospital". January 22, 2018.
  22. ^ "Dr. Daniel Baldi permanently banned from prescribing narcotics". YouTube. March 23, 2018.

External links[edit]

Slipknot bassist
Succeeded by
Donnie Steele