CHICAGO, July 16 -- Former Styx drummer John Panozzo, who helped propel the group to worldwide fame in the late 1970s and early 1980s, was found dead in his Chicago apartment Tuesday. Cook County officials said Panozzo, 47, died of a gastrointestinal hemorrhage and cirrhosis of the liver brought on by acute alcoholism. No foul play is suspected in Panozzo's death. Panozzo was not with Styx on its current 77-city tour due to what the group's publicist called 'health problems.' The band canceled Tuesday's scheduled show in Rochester, N.Y., because of Panozzo's death. John Panozzo and his twin brother Chuck, a bass player, were founding members of the one-time supergroup, which in its prime was among the elite circle of rockers able to fill giant arenas throughout the world. The Panozzo twins and Styx lead vocalist Dennis DeYoung grew up in the same Chicago South Side neighborhood. They were joined by guitarist James Young and later by vocalist Tommy Shaw. In the early 1970s they toured the Midwest and Canada heavily and became hometown favorites. Their first albums, released on a small, Chicago-based independent label, were not successful. But the breakthrough of the single 'Lady,' largely through the airplay given it by Chicago station WLS in 1975, pushed Styx out of the shadows and onto the charts. The group released its most successful album, 'The Grand Illusion,' in 1977. It eventually went triple-platinum and is now considered one of the seminal art-rock albums of the 1970s, it included such concert staples as 'Come Sail Away,' 'Fooling Yourself' and 'Miss America.'
They followed up with 'Pieces of Eight' and 'Cornerstone' in 1979, scoring their biggest single gold hit with 'Babe.' With the release of the album 'Paradise Theater' in 1981, Styx cemented their reputation as a thinking man's rock group that went beyond the familiar themes of teenage rebellion and sex. The group broke up in 1984, but reunited minus Shaw in 1990 and were doing well among the resurrected supergroups of the 1970s. Their more recent recordings included 'Show Me the Way,' which went to No. 3 on the pop charts. John Panozzo will be honored with a private service in Chicago on Friday. The remaining members of Styx said they will devote the rest of their current tour to his memory.