Paul O'Neill, the producer/composer/lyricist who founded the progressive metal band Trans-Siberian Orchestra, has died at 61.
University of South Florida police spokeswoman Renna Reddick told The Associated Press that O'Neill was found dead in his room by hotel staff at a Tampa Embassy Suites late Wednesday afternoon.
Reddick said there were no obvious signs of foul play, and a medical examiner is working to determine an official cause.
The band said in a statement on Facebook that O'Neill died from a "chronic illness." The band described itself as devastated by his death.
"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."