Matt Roberts, Original 3 Doors Down Guitarist, Dead at 38

Matt Roberts, the longtime lead guitarist for rock band 3 Doors Down before he left the band in 2012, died early Saturday morning in a hotel outside Milwaukee. He was 38.

Roberts served as 3 Doors Down’s guitarist from their 1996 formation until 2012, when he left the group for health reasons. According to CNN, Roberts had been rehearsing for a Wisconsin fundraising concert for veterans when he and his father went back to the hotel. Hours later, police were called to the hotel for a man “either asleep or passed out in the hallway of his hotel.”

“I was wakened at 8:50 this morning by some detectives beating on my door. It’s always scary as a parent, they were in suits and that’s when they told me. They asked me if Matt Roberts was your son, I said yes, and they said ‘we have bad news to tell you, Matt deceased last night,'” Matt’s father Darrell Roberts told CNN.

An autopsy will be conducted to determine Roberts’ cause of death, but TMZ reports that a drug overdose is suspected. “I know he had prescription drug addiction. He suffered greatly from anxiety,” Darrell Roberts said. “I thought he had beaten it all.”

Roberts, along with singer Brad Arnold and bassist Todd Harrell, formed 3 Doors Down in 1996 in Escatawpa, Mississippi. Four years later, the band’s hit “Kryptonite,” co-written by Roberts, soared to Number Three on the Billboard Hot 100. The track, off 2000’s The Better Life, was the first in a string of Hot 100-reaching singles that were penned by Roberts and his band mates, including “Be Like That,” “Here Without You” and “When I’m Gone.”

Following 2002’s multiplatinum Away from the Sun, 3 Doors Down twice topped the Billboard 200 thanks to 2005’s Seventeen Days and 2008’s 3 Doors Down. 2011’s Time of My Life was the band’s final LP with original members Roberts and Harrell; the latter was fired from the group after the bassist was charged with vehicular manslaughter in 2013.

In May 2012, Roberts departed 3 Doors Down, telling fans in a statement that “performing nearly 300 dates each year” with the band had “exacerbated” the “health and circulation issues” he had been dealing with. 3 Doors Down will always have a special place in my heart and it saddens me to take this time off,” Roberts said at the time. “But my health has to be my first priority.”

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