Celebrity deaths in 2011

Slideshow posted in Photos | Monday, January 03, 2011

11 of 84: Cory Smoot, the lead guitarist for the costumed heavy metal group GWAR, who also went by the stage name Flattus Maximus, was found dead on the band's tour bus early on Nov. 3, 2011. He was 34.

His band members had discovered his body on the vehicle hours after they performed at the First Avenue club in Minneapolis. They tried to wake him up as the vehicle was approaching the border of Canada, where the group was set to perform as part of its 'Return of the World Maggo' North American tour.

'It is with a sense of profound loss and tragedy that the members of GWAR must announce the passing of their longtime guitarist and beloved friend Cory Smoot, also known to thousands of metal fans worldwide as Flattus Maximus,' band frontman Dave Brockie , whose nickname is Oderus Urungus, said in a statement.

'There is no word as to the cause of death and the members of GWAR are completely shocked and devastated that this has occurred,' he said.

During performances, Smoot had sported a red mask, shoulder pads resembling dinosaur heads and reptile-like shoes. He joined GWAR in 2002. He also performed as a solo artist as part of what he called The Cory Smoot Experiment.

(Pictured: Cory Smoot performs with GWAR on NBC's 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon' on Oct. 27, 2011.) (NBC)