The drummer for Twisted Sister has been found dead at age 55, a recent report from the BBC says. AJ Pero was taken to a hospital in New York where he was pronounced dead soon after his arrival. His death was announced some time after 11 a.m. The band have not yet commented on the cause of his death.
However, the Daily Mail says that AJ, whose real name is Anthony Jude, died of a supposed heart attack while touring with Adrenaline Mob. The report says that the band were unable to get a response from him on Friday morning. After not being able to get a reaction from the heavy metal drummer, the band called the ambulance.
An announcement was made on Twisted Sister’s official Facebook page earlier today.
“The members of Twisted Sister are profoundly saddened to announce the untimely passing of our brother, AJ Pero…The band, crew and most importantly the family of AJ Pero thank you for your thoughts and prayers at this time.”
Twisted Sister vocalist, Dee Snider, called Pero the “final missing piece in a band that would become an international sensation and one of the greatest live rock acts to ever hit the stage.” Guitarist Jay Jay French also expressed his grief at the loss of their drummer.
“His drive was the heart and soul of the band’s sound, the engine that drove us…We lost a friend and a legend.”
AJ Pero joined Twisted Sister in 1981. After five years, he left the band, but rejoined once more in 1997 after playing reunion shows with them.
Fans of the band have already begun flooding Twitter with messages of condolences merely hours after Pero’s death.
— Headless Horseman (@HeadHorseNZ) March 20, 2015
— Mima1 (@MimaonFire) March 20, 2015
— BLS Joey Warbeard (@j_starkiller_) March 20, 2015
As well as being the drummer for Twisted Sister, AJ also played in the Ozzy Osbourne cover band No More Tears.
Twisted Sister has played an integral role in American glam metal, forming in Oyster Bay, New York in 1972. When AJ Pero joined in the early eighties as the band’s drummer, he became an essential part of the group, helping to make a name for the band with such hits as “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock.”
[Image from Rob Kim/Getty Images]