LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A longtime bassist and back-up vocalist for Elton John was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on Wednesday.

Robert Wayne Birch had been a member of the Elton John band since 1992 and had played with other pop music greats such as Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Sting and others. He was 56.

Birch was reportedly found dead near his home in Los Angeles, but no suicide note was found, according to TMZ.com.

Birch was heavily involved in the production of “Candle In The Wind”, one of John’s biggest hits and one of the bestselling records of all time.

John gave his “love and condolences to Michele Birch, and to their son, Jonathan” in a message on his official website on Wednesday..


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