REM and King Crimson drummer Bill Rieflin dies aged 59

Drummer Bill Rieflin, who played with a host of bands including REM, Nine Inch Nails and King Crimson, has died aged 59.

Musicians and fans have paid tribute to a “wonderful artist” and “tremendous human being” on social media.

Bill Rieflin (1960-2020)

It is with heavy hearts we acknowledge the death of our dear friend and consummate drummer, Bill.

Read Michael’s eulogy:

— R.E.M. HQ (@remhq) March 25, 2020

Goodbye Bill Rieflin 1960 – 2020

After a long battle with cancer, Bill Rieflin died yesterday. There’s more about Bill here…

— KING CRIMSON (@DGMHQ) March 25, 2020

Rieflin died after a “long battle” with cancer, King Crimson, the band he joined in 2014, posted in a statement.

REM shared a tribute on their social media accounts describing the “legendary” drummer as the “solid backbone” of the band for many years.

Robert Fripp, from King Crimson, said his life was “immeasurably richer” for having known Rieflin. His wife, Toyah Wilcox, who performed with the drummer in The Humans, posted her own tribute, saying he would be “forever in our hearts”.

Our dear wonderful Bill Rieflin flew from this world today. Much loved HUMAN and member of King Crimson. Family by his side. Forever in our hearts.

— Toyah Willcox (@toyahofficial) March 24, 2020

Today we lost a wonderful artist, tremendous human being and an integral part of Ministry’s developments and success…

Safe travels my brother on the way to your next universal gig.

R.I.P Bill

— Ministry (@WeAreMinistry) March 24, 2020

So sorry to hear of Bill Rieflin passing away. A straight up person and excellent musician.

— Krist Novoselić (@KristNovoselic) March 24, 2020

Krist Novoselic, one of the founding members of Nirvana, also paid tribute to “a straight up person and excellent musician”.

Rieflin started his career in his hometown of Seattle and went on to play with an array of bands of different genres, including Swans, Ministry and the collective Pigface, as well as releasing his own solo material.

He started working with REM in the early 2000s, and appeared on albums including Around The Sun, Accelerate, and Collapse Into Now.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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