Celebrity deaths in 2012 - In Memoriam

Slideshow posted in Photos | Friday, January 20, 2012

35 of 186: Elton John's bass player, Robert Wayne Birch, was found dead at age 56 of an apparent suicide on August 15, 2012.

Los Angeles County Assistant Coroner Chief Ed Winter told Reuters wire service that Birch's body was found near his home in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. He died of an apparent suicide resulting from a gunshot wound to the head.

Birch, who also played the saxophone, had been Elton John's bass player and backing vocalist since the early 1990s. He also performed with Billy Joel, Tina Turner, Cher, The Backstreet Boys, The Spice Girls, Keith Emerson and The Replacements.

(Pictured: Robert Birch appears in a photo posted on his official Facebook page on August 16, 2012.) (Facebook.com/EltonJohn)

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