Paul O’Neill, creator of the multi-platinum rock theater experience Trans-Siberian Orchestra, has passed away from chronic illness. He was 61 years old.
The news of O’Neill’s death was broken on TSO’s Facebook page. The statement added: “[Paul] was our friend and our leader — a truly creative spirit and an altruistic soul. This is a profound and indescribable loss for us all.”
TSO formed in 1996 out of the ashes of the Florida power metal band Savantage and started touring three years later, connecting with fans by releasing a series of rock operas, such as 1996’s “Christmas Eve And Other Stories”, 1998’s “The Christmas Attic” and 2004’s “The Lost Christmas Eve”. Over the past 20 years, it has become a critically acclaimed, multi-platinum, musical powerhouse. The progressive rock group’s record-setting “rock theater” tours sell out venues year after year and they have cemented their status as a must attend, multi-generational, holiday tradition.
2016 was another record-breaking year for TSO. Proving that it is more popular on the road than ever before, TSO’s winter tour 2016 sold the most tickets per show in the group’s history, with a total in excess of 927,000. The tour also set a record gross for TSO with a total of more than $56.9 million.
20 years since the band’s first album, and since its historic touring debut, TSO has played in excess of 1,800 shows for more than 14 million fans, with tour grosses of over $625 million, and sold in excess of 12 million albums and DVDs. Here is one of their biggest hits in video…..