Elton John’s bass player has been found dead in Los Angeles.
The body of Robert Wayne Birch was found in the early hours of Wednesday morning (15 August) in the San Fernando Valley.
It is thought that the bass player and saxophonist died from a gunshot wound to the head, reported the BBC.
LA County Assistant Coroner Chief Ed Winter said that the case was ‘being investigated as a possible suicide.’
Birch recorded a number of hits with the gay superstar singer, working on four of his albums, and toured with his band from 1992.
Writing on his Facebook page, Sir Elton said: ‘I am devastated and shocked at the loss of my friend and fellow musician, Bob Birch. My heart goes out to Bob’s wife Michele, his son Jonathan and his family.’
He has spent the majority of his time over the past 20 years on tour with Sir Elton, but has also worked with a number of other high profile artists including Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder and Eric Clapton.
He was a keen saxophonist as well as being a widely respected bassist.
Sir Elton is due to perform three sell-out shows in Canada from 7 September.
‘To me Bob was family,’ added the Rocket Man singer.
‘He had been a member of my band for 20 years; we played over 1,400 concerts together. He was one of the greatest musicians I have ever worked with, and in all our years on the road he never played or sang a bad note.
‘I cannot find the words to describe this tragic death, and how much I loved him. May he rest in peace.’