image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionJordison also played with bands Vimic, Murderdolls andScar the Martyr

The former drummer of US heavy metal band Slipknot, Joey Jordison, has died at the age of 46.

In a statement, Jordison's family said he passed away peacefully in his sleep, without providing further detail.

In 1995, Jordison was one of Slipknot's founding members, along with percussionist Shawn Cruhan and bassist Paul Gray.

The band released a successful debut album four years later and have sold millions of albums globally.

"Joey's death has left us with empty hearts and feelings of indescribable sorrow," the Jordison family said in a statement to US media.

Jordison remained a part of Slipknot until 2013. In later years, he revealed he left after being diagnosed with transverse myelitis, a form of multiple sclerosis.

While still in the band, Slipknot became one of the most popular bands in the country, rising to number 1 on the Billboard 200 for the 2008 song "All Hope is Gone."

Aside from Slipknot, Jordison played guitar for the punk band Murderdolls, as well as drums for metal groups Scar the Martyr and Sinsaenum.

His death comes just over a decade after that of fellow founding member Paul Gray, who died of a drug overdose in 2010.

Fans and fellow musicians paid tribute on social media following news of Jordison's death.