Trans-Siberian Orchestra Leader Paul O'Neill Dead At 61

Trans Siberian Orchestra

Trans-Siberian Orchestra co-founder and mastermind Paul O'Neill died from a chronic illness this week at the age of 61, according to a statement issued by the group.

The band issued the following, "The entire Trans-Siberian Orchestra family, past and present, is heartbroken to share the devastating news that Paul O'Neill has passed away from chronic illness.

"He was our friend and our leader -- a truly creative spirit and an altruistic soul. This is a profound and indescribable loss for us all. We ask that you respect Paul's family's privacy now. We will make additional announcements shortly."

Chris Caffery, who worked with O'Neill in Savatage as well as the Trans-Siberian Orchestra shared this tribute via his Facebook page, "I remember walking into the offices of Contemporary Communications for the first time. All of a sudden I see that guy from the club! It was Mr. Paul Oneill. Paul managed and produced Heaven and my very first professional paycheck came from him when I was a 17-year-old kid.

"33 years later I look back on my career and think of how lucky I am. How lucky I was to live just about every single dream I ever had as a kid about being a rock 'n' roll musician and a rockstar. The man who created that magic has passed away from us and the emptiness that I'm feeling cannot be described in words.

"They always say they are moments in your life in which from that moment on things will never be the same. Meeting Paul was one of those moments and losing Paul is definitely one of those moments as well.

"There are 1 million different things that I want to say right now. I can't really put them into words. I'm praying for his family, his daughter especially. Im praying for all of us in the TSO and Savatage family we lost our big brother, a mentor...our hero...our leader.

"All Paul ever wanted to do was change the world through his music he did that and so much more. Rest In Peace Paul. It's time to catch up on that sleep you have been missing for the past 20 years... I love you and I'm gonna miss u. Chris".

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