Today (Jan. 31) would have been Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman's 50th birthday, and metalheads worldwide have been paying tribute to the fallen shredder. Slayer themselves added to the mass of memorials, paying their respects to Hanneman in a heartfelt post that every fan should read.

In 2011, Jeff Hanneman was stricken with a bizarre bout of necrotizing fasciitis, most likely from a spider bite to his right arm. Hanneman's recovery process forced the guitarist to miss a mass of Slayer's tour dates, with Exodus' Gary Holt filling in while Hanneman healed up. Sadly, Jeff Hanneman passed away from liver failure on May 2, 2013 after a battle with alcohol addiction.

Slayer chose to continue on after Hanneman's death, but they haven't forgotten about their late bandmate, as evidenced by this new Facebook post:

Today would have been Jeff Hanneman’s 50th birthday, presenting us with another reminder of how much we all miss him since he passed last May 2. The entire Slayer family appreciates the fans' tributes and recognition of the trails Jeff blazed in thrash metal and the songs he wrote that defined a genre. We - the fans, the press, the Slayer family - know what Jeff’s accomplishments were, we know the long-lasting effect his talent will continue to have on young musicians just starting their careers. Jeff Hammenan belongs to US, the rebels, the misfits, the mavericks, the ones who go left when everyone else goes right, the ones who push against the grain and introduce real change into the world - just like Jeff did.
Happy Birthday Jeff!

Unfortunately, during this year's Grammy Awards, Hanneman was controversially snubbed from the ceremony's 'In Memoriam' segment, which also did not pay tribute to Iron Maiden's Clive Burr, who also passed away in 2013. However, what really matters is that Slayer fans will never forget the name of Jeff Hanneman.