Former Scorpions and Kingdom Come drummer James Kottak has died at the age of 61.
No immediate cause of death is known, but Kottak’s death was confirmed by his daughter Tobi, who told TMZ that the drummer died on Tuesday morning in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.
Kottak was a member of Scorpions from 1996 to 2016. He was fired from the band after 20 years due to alcoholism and replaced by Motörhead‘s Mikkey Dee, who remains a current member of the German band.
Before joining Scorpions, Kottak was an original member of Kingdom Come in the 1980s and rejoined the group a few years after his dismissal from the Klaus Meine-fronted outfit. He was an active member of the band until his passing.
Kottak has also played with Warrant, Montrose, Bob Brickley Band, Nut House, Mister Charlie, Buster Brown, Wild Horses, The McAuley Schenker Group and Ashba.
After hearing of Kottak’s death, Great White guitarist Mark Kendall posted on social media: “I reached out to James Kottak a month ago offering support & help with his alcoholism but he wasn’t ready. I could have gotten him into rehab free through connections & I told him that. I’m so sad to hear of his passing. I feel bad for everyone who loved him & he had a grandchild. RIP.”
On January 9, Scorpions released the following statement via social media: “Very sad news… our dear friend & Drummer for 20yrs James Kottak has passed at the age of 61.
“James was a wonderful human being, a great musician & loving family man. He was our ‘Brother from another Mother’ & will be truly missed.