We are sad to report thatTrans-Siberian Orchestra founder and guitarist Paul O’Neill has passed away at age 61 due to chronic illness. Besides forming the successful Progressive Rock band in 1996, O’Neill was also best known for working with management company Leber-Krebs Inc. which helped launch the careers of Aerosmith, AC/DC, Def Leppard, Tedd Nugent and Joan Jett to name a few and went on to make a name for himself as a successful producer. Paul O’Neill made headlines in 1986 and 1987 with Aerosmith’s Classics Live I and Classics Live II before going on to become Savatage’s principal producer and co-writer through 10 albums. O’Neill also produced albums for Metal Church and Badlands and later pursued his own project with TSO. Since forming in 1996, TSO has released six full length albums with production overseen by O’Neill, five of which had gone platinum, multi-platinum or gold.
Fans were delivered the news of O’Neill’s passing via the band’s official Facebook page and a report from TMZ states, ““Paul was found dead in a Tampa hotel room. There are no signs of foul play, but police don’t know yet how long he was deceased before they responded to a 911 call. We’re told the Medical Examiner has his body now.” In 2016 Trans-Siberian Orchestra made close to 1 million ticket, about 57 million dollars in sales, with 1,800 concerts under their belts, 14 million fans, and $625 million in ticket sales throughout their career.