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Charles Michael «Chuck» Schuldiner (May 13, 1967, Long Island, New York, USA-December 13, 2001) was an American musician known for being the singer, guitarist and composer of the band Death. He is considered one of the most influential personalities in the history of death metal, and heavy metal in general, as well as one of the greatest guitarists in the history of the genre itself. Schuldiner died from the complications caused by a brainstem glioma (cancer) on December 13, 2001.
He was born on May 13, 1967 in Long Island, New York, in a family of Jewish origin. He had two older brothers, Frank and Bethann. The family moved to Florida in 1968.
When his brother Frank died in an accident at age 16, Chuck’s parents bought him an acoustic guitar at age 9 to help him cope with the loss. He took classical guitar lessons but did not like them and abandoned them in less than a year. Then, his parents bought him an electric guitar and Chuck from that moment did not stop practicing, day and night, in his room or in the garage, limited only by school activities.
His first influences were Kiss and Billy Idol, as well as others. Then he became interested in the movement of the «New Wave Of British Heavy Metal» (NWOBHM) with bands like Iron Maiden, Venom, Diamond Head, etc. His last influences that marked his final style were thrash metal groups from the “Bay Area” scene such as Slayer and Possessed. His mother said that Chuck liked all kinds of music except country and rap. In addition, he was a fan of Jazz, progressive rock and classical music, styles that he would later implement in Death.
Apparently Chuck did well in school, but it bored him and he preferred to leave, something he regretted in the future.
Chuck was known to be openly opposed to hard drugs. This was reflected in several interviews and some of his songs (as in “Living Monstrosity”, which is about an addicted child born to a cocaine-addicted mother).
Death in Mexico (1989), leftist Terry Butler, Paul Masvidal, manager Eric Greif, Bill Andrews and Chuck Schuldiner .
Mille Petrozza, leader of Kreator, participated in the VoodooCult project, together with Schuldiner and Dave Lombardo de Slayer.