Elton John’s bassist Bob Birch was found dead this morning at his home in Los Angeles.
Police believe that Birch, 56, was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. TMZ reports that authorities did not find a suicide note.
A message on Elton John’s website confirmed the news.
A statement on the website reads:
“We are very sad to report the sudden death today of Bob Birch, Elton’s bass player and backing vocalist, in Los Angeles. Bob had been a member of the Elton John band since 1992, the longest-serving bassist in Elton’s touring band. We send love and condolences to Michelle Birch, and to their son, Jonathan.”
Birch was Elton John’s bassist for over 20 years and performed on several of the recording legend’s albums. Billboard reports that Birch can be heard on 1995′s “Made in England” and 2008′s “The Red Piano.” He also recorded with Luciano Pavarotti, B.B. King, and Corinne Bailey Rae.
In addition to his studio work, Birch played live with a long list of musicians including Billy Joel, Sting, Eric Clapton, and Melissa Etheridge.
Here’s a video of Bob Birch, Elton John, and Leon Russell performing on David Letterman.