Aaron Spears, a Grammy-nominated drummer who has played with Usher, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande and other major pop stars, has passed away at the age of 47.
His wife Jessica confirmed the news on the musician’s Instagram account on Monday (Oct. 30) in a statement, signed by herself and the couple’s son, August.
A cause of death is not known at press time.
The D.C. native was nominated for a Grammy in 2004 as a producer for Usher’s multi-platinum album Confessions.
Over the years, he would play with several major acts, including Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, Lil Wayne, Mary Mary, and countless others. Spears also served as the drummer and musical coordinator for season 3 of Fox’s The Masked Singer.
Several of Spears’ musical peers offered condolences following his death.
“I can’t wrap my head around this. We were all so incredibly lucky to know Aaron. The absolute brightest light of a human being. Always the kindest, always smiling,” said Ariana Grande with a photo of Spears on her IG Story. “I am so honored and thankful that our paths crossed and to have spent so much very special time together. Thank you for your utter brilliance, for our laughs, and for your kindness always. I will miss your hugs. You are so, so loved and will be so very missed.”
Justin Bieber also shared his thoughts on IG, sharing, “It’s been a painful season for all of us.” He added on his story: “We lost a beautiful man and inspiration to all of us drummers. @aspears prayers for your family and loved ones. You will be remembered and celebrated.”
Fellow drummer Questlove of The Roots shared a video of Spears with a heartfelt message.
“The world lost a legend today. Husband, father, producers music director, leader drumgod & just a Cotdamn BEAST in Aaron Spears. You’ve seen Aaron drum prolly 5-10 times in your life if you attend concerts & sometimes without knowing. That’s how much in demand his services were. … Condolences to his wife, family, community and all who loved him and were given joy through his musical contributions. This is devastating … rest in melody brother.”
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