Drummer Jon Wysocki, founding member of rock band Staind, dead at 53

Drummer Jon Wysocki, a founding member of the rock band Staind who played on the group’s biggest hits, including its 2001 top-five hit “It’s Been Awhile,” died Saturday. He was 53.

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Wysocki’s death was announced in an Instagram post by his current band, Lydia’s Castle. No cause of death was given.

“On 5/18/2024 at 8:02pm, @jonwysocki4 passed away surrounded by family and friends that loved him dearly,” the band wrote.

Born on Jan. 17, 1971 in Westfield, Massachusetts, Wysocki founded Staind in Springfield with singer-guitarist Aaron Lewis, lead guitarist Mike Mushok and bassist Johnny April, Billboard reported.

Wysocki played on seven of the band’s albums through 2011, according to Variety.

The band released its first album, “Tormented,” in 1997, followed by 1999′s “Dysfunction,” which featured the singles “Mudshovel” and “Home.”

Their third studio album, 2001′s “Break the Cycle” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and featured the group’s signature single, “It’s Been Awhile.” According to Billboard, the single spent 46 weeks on the Hot 100 chart and peaked at No. 5 on Oct. 20, 2001.

Wysocki left the group after their self-titled seventh album in 2011, reportedly due to friction with Lewis, Variety reported.

On Sunday, Staind released a statement about Wysocki’s death in an Instagram post.

“We first met Jon through mutual friends in 1994. We came together with Mike, Aaron and Johnny April in 1995 and founded Staind,” the post read. “The 17 years that followed were some of the best memories of our times together,” the statement read. “From practice in Ludlow, Mass to touring around the world, Jon was integral to who we were as a band. Our hearts go out to Jon’s family and fans around the world who loved him.”

Lewis also paid tribute to Wysocki in an Instagram post on Sunday.

“I’m so sad. I lost my friend. A friend I loved like a brother… fought with like a brother… cared for like a brother… worried about like a brother… cried over like a brother… because he was my brother in arms. My journey would’ve been different without him,” Lewis wrote. “The battles we fought together. The battles we fought against each other. The battles we fought side by side alone with our own demons. The battles we won and the battles we lost.

“He was my friend. He was our brother. My heart is broken. My world has changed.”

After leaving Staind, Wysocki briefly joined Chicago hard rock group Soil but he did not record with them, Billboard reported.

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