Robert Wayne Birch, a veteran musician who has been playing alongside Elton John for 20 years, was found dead this morning of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 56.
Law enforcement officials tell TMZ that Birch's body was discovered - with a single shot to the head - around the corner from his house. No suicide note was found and there were no signs of drug use or foul play.
Birch had been played bass guitar for John since 1992 and contributed in 1997 to "Candle in the Wind," the biggest selling single of all-time.
He has also collaborated with Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, John Mayer, Cher, Sting, The Backstreet Boys and The Spice Girls.
Our thoughts go out to Birch's loved ones.