Extreme metal fans worldwide were shocked and saddened by the death of Children of Bodom's Alexi Laiho when the unfortunate news emerged earlier this week. Now, the musician's widow, Kelli Wright-Laiho, has issued a note of thanks to fans for their condolences.

Laiho was only 41 years old when he died, but no official cause of death has so far been made public. However, the songwriter, guitarist and vocalist battled numerous long-term health issues late in his life.

Wright-Laiho was the musician's spouse for the past three years. As recently as December 2020, she shared photos of her and Laiho embracing and celebrating the holidays. On Tuesday (Jan. 5), however, she posted an image of a black square. Its caption contained a message for Children of Bodom fans.

"Thank you all so much for your beautiful energy and support," Wright-Laiho relayed. "I'm taking time out to grieve our enormous loss with our immediate Finnish and Australian family. Understandably, as you are, we're completely broken but wanted you to know, we love and appreciate you all so much."

Plenty of fellow rockers also mourned the loss of Laiho and his incredible talent over the last several days, including Megadeth's Dave Mustaine, Testament's Alex Skolnick, and Exodus and Slayer member Gary Holt.

Even Laiho's first wife, former Sinergy collaborator Kim Goss, remembered the Children of Bodom leader fondly. Upon word of his death, she called Laiho her "first true love, my bandmate and my best friend."

Children of Bodom brought Laiho to metal prominence, starting with their first album, Something Wild, released when the musician was just 18. Subsequent collections such as Hatebreeder, Follow the Reaper and Hate Crew Death Roll furthered Laiho's recognition for weaving neoclassical melodies and glam-metal pomp into the Finnish group's pounding assault of extremity.

Overall, Children of Bodom released ten LPs from 1997 to 2019, on which Laiho served as the primary writing force. After the band's breakup, Laiho formed the offshoot Bodom After Midnight and retained axeman Daniel Freyberg, who joined COB in 2016. A studio debut was expected this year.

Rockers We Lost in 2020

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