Bob Wayne Birch, Elton John’s longtime bass player has died from an apparent gunshot wound to the head. He was 56, and no suicide note was found. Birch had been part of Elton John’s band since 1992. Elton John himself once attempted suicide which was broken up by a then girlfriend when he was a young man. Elton John had attempted to poison himself with a gas oven.

American born Birch, was best known as a prolific session musician who worked for a wide range of artists as diverse as Iron Butterfly, Billy Joel, Tina Turner, Kiki Dee, Donna Summer, Randy Newman, Joss Stone, Gary Wright, The Spice Girls, Lionel Richie, Sting and Tim Rice, among many others.

It is highly unusual to see a musician who has achieved this much success take his own life.