Robert Wayne Birch Apparent Suicide: Elton John Bass Player Dead From Gunshot to Head

Robert Wayne Birch, a bass player for Elton John, has been found dead in an apparent suicide on Wednesday. He was 56 years old.

Birch died of a gunshot wound to the head, apparently self inflicted, and his body was found in the Los Angeles area, officials have confirmed.

LA County Assistant Coroner Chief Ed Winter has reported that Birch's body was found after 1 a.m. PT (4 a.m. ET) in San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles.

Winter has confirmed that the case is "being investigated as a possible suicide," according to Reuters.

Birch was a bass player in Elton John's band from the early 1990s. He went on to play with other famous musicians and bands such as Billy Joel, Keith Emerson, and The Replacements.

On February 14, 1992, Elton indirectly contacted Birch, which began what the Detroit born bassist calls "sideman heaven."

When asked about his new spot in Elton's group he always responded that he "couldn't ask for a better gig."

Birch continued to respond after being asked about his feelings on joining Elton's band by stating, "Not only is the music fantastic, but the bass lines are classic and Elton is a gem. He is like family; I love him dearly and truly value our personal and musical relationship with all of my heart."

Being Elton's touring and primary recording bassist opened up more avenues for Birch in his musical career. Birch has performed live or recorded with: Sir Elton John, Billy Joel, Tim Rice, Bernie Taupin, Brian Adams, Bruce Hornsby, Lionel Ritchie, George Michael, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Brian May (of Queen), Sting, Tina Turner, Cher, Julie Andrews among dozens of other top musicians and music stars.