Jeff Hanneman died of liver failure on May 2, 2013. Credit: Micky Simawi/Photoshot/Getty Images

Iconic heavy metal guitarist Jeff Hanneman of legendary band Slayer died of liver failure on Thursday, May 2. He was 49.

"Slayer is devastated to inform that their bandmate and brother, Jeff Hanneman, passed away at about 11 a.m. this morning near his Southern California home. He was 49," a rep for the band told Us Weekly in a statement. "Hanneman was in an area hospital when he suffered liver failure. He is survived by his wife Kathy, his sister Kathy and his brothers Michael and Larry, and will be sorely missed."

Hanneman and fellow metal great Kerry King founded their band in 1981 and made waves in the music scene with hits like "Angel of Death" and "Raining Blood." Their third album, Reign in Blood, solidified their standing in the metal world as one of the genre's "Big 4," along with Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax.

Hanneman's death comes on the same day as Revolver magazine's Golden Gods Awards, a ceremony honoring outstanding hard rock and heavy metal bands, which Slayer has been a part of in the past.