Kottonmouth Kings rapper Steven "Saint Dog" Thronson has died at age 44.
In a tribute to one of the founding members of the long-running Orange County, California, stoner rap collective, the group revealed that Thronson died on Wednesday (Oct. 14), though no cause of death was available at press time.
"We will miss you and your big heart. You were one of a kind and our hearts our broken," they wrote in a Facebook post. "But we promise to keep your legacy alive through your music. Everyone please take some time and say a few words or tell a story about our fallen brother below. He touched so many and we will keep his legacy thriving."
Born on Oct. 21, 1975, Thronson co-founded the group whose music often espoused their push for the legalization of marijuana along with Dustin "D-Loc" Miller and Johnny Richter in 1996. He appeared on four of their early releases, including their debut EP, 1998's Stoners Reeking Havoc, 1999's Stash Box, Royal Highness and 2001's Hidden Stash II: The Kream of the Krop, before going solo. After an 18-year hiatus he returned to the fold in 2018 to appear on their most recent release, Kingdom Come and released his most recent solo album, Bozo, in Aug. 2019.
Miller posted an Instagram memorial as well, writing, "Your memories will never fade to black and Your voice will always be with us. A true legend on the mic when he bust. My teacher when it came to this rapping.. He wrote the first songs. Bump and so high and I packed the bong. We took a trip to Hollywood and got a record deal. Beatboxing in the club flexing mad skills. Broke as a joke scraping resin no green. Big plans big dream’s just kids we started Kottonmouth King’s. Rest in peace and pay respect to the original the king of all kings. SAINT DOG."
According to a coroner's report, Thronson was found unresponsive early Wednesday morning at a friend's house in Victorville, California, after the friend found him struggling to breathe. First responders reportedly pronounced him dead at the scene, with no obvious signs of foul play; an autopsy is planned to determine the cause of death.
See the group's tributes below, as well as the KMK's classic video for "Dog's Life" and Saint Dog's "Bar Door Sign" lyric video.