An accidental, lethal overdose of prescription drugs has been revealed as the cause of death for Trans-Siberian Orchestra founder Paul O'Neill.
O'Neill died April 5 at the age of 61 in Tampa, Fla.; At the time the cause was announced as "chronic illness," but the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner has ruled O'Neill died from accidental intoxication from a lethal mixture of methadone, codeine, Valium and antihistamine. The report revealed O'Neill was suffering from heart disease, including some "moderate" hardening of his arteries, and hypertension. His body was found in his room at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Tampa.
TSO posted an announcement on its web site Tuesday (May 30) confirming that O'Neill's death was "accidental, resulting from an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications to treat his numerous chronic illnesses (including bone augmentation surgery, complications from spinal fusion surgery, heart disease, and hypertension)."
The statement also said that, "Paul's family has been inspired and thankful for the outpouring of support, well-wishes, and prayers, and we thank you for your ongoing respect for your personal privacy."
TSO is expected to carry on with its annual holiday tour in tribute to O'Neill, but no dates have yet been announced.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.