Original DEVOURMENT vocalist Wayne Knupp passed away earlier today. His girlfriend Jessica Gant has released the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET:
"First of all, I want to say thank you to everybody who has sent kind words. They are very much appreciated and I told Wayne about everybody who sent him messages.
"Unfortunately the rumors you all heard are true and our dear friend Wayne Knupp has passed away today (September 15) at 2:15 p.m. Wayne spent 2 ½ weeks in the hospital with a lot of people fighting for him. His family and friends played a big role in supporting him during this difficult time.
"As you all know, Wayne was a major supporter and contributor to the death metal scene for most of his life. He remained loyal to his fans and always stayed brutal till the end. Just yesterday he was throwing up the horns! He never turned anybody away and would give the shirt off his back to help if he could.
"Just to let you all know, he did pass away very peacefully with his close family and friends around his bedside. I held his hand as he took his last breath, and the last thing he heard was that we were all there and he wasn't alone.
"For those of you that could not be there the last couple weeks, do not feel any remorse because he knew you all were thinking of him and that is what kept him fighting 'till the very end.
"For any of you, who have thought about starting a fund or having a benefit, please contact me before anything takes place. It is his family's request that nothing take place without their consent. I will keep you all posted about a memorial service for Wayne that will be held up by Chicago in the near future.
"Thank you all for your love and support. It's very comforting in a time like this."
Watch fan-filmed video footage of Wayne Knupp helping out on vocals during DEVOURMENT's performance at this year's Central Illinois Metalfest, which took place July 20-21 at the Canopy Club in Urbana, IL (Note: Wayne is on the left):