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Paul O'Neill, of Trans-Siberian Orchestra fame, dead at 61

By
Karen Butler
Trans-Siberian Orchestra founder Paul O'Neill has died at the age of 61. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Trans-Siberian Orchestra founder Paul O'Neill has died at the age of 61. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

April 7 (UPI) -- Music composer and producer -- as well as Trans-Siberian Orchestra founder -- Paul O'Neill has died at the age of 61.

"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," the group said in a Facebook post Wednesday. "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."

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Rolling Stone said O'Neill is best known for co-writing with Jon Oliva "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24," which combined the holiday songs "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "Carol of the Bells."

O'Neill began his career as the personal assistant to manager David Krebs at Leber-Krebs, a management company that worked with Aerosmith and AC/DC, and, over the years, earned producing credits on albums by Aerosmith, Savatage, Badlands, Heaven and Metal Church, the magazine said.

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