Stefan M. Prager/Redferns

Scorpions are paying tribute to their former drummer James Kottak, who passed away at the age of 61.

“Very sad news … our dear friend and Drummer for 20 years James Kottak has passed at the age of 61,” the band wrote on Facebook on Tuesday, January 9. “James was a wonderful human being , a great musician and loving family man.” Calling him their “brother from another mother,” the band said he “will be truly missed. … Rock‘n Roll Forever RIP James.”

Kottak joined the German hard rock band in 1996, replacing original drummer Herman Rarebell. Kottak was the group’s longest serving drummer, playing with the band until his firing in 2016.

Prior to joining Scorpions, Kottak was an original member of another German hard rock band, Kingdom Come. He was with the band from 1987 to 1989, and rejoined them in 2018.

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