Paul O'Neill, who was best known as the creator and leader of holiday-themed progressive-classical rock band Trans-Siberian Orchestra, has died. The news was shared via TSO's Facebook, citing a "chronic illness." He was 61.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra grew out of Savatage, a band with whom O'Neill produced and co-wrote songs. He also wrote songs for Metal Church, and worked with Aerosmith, Humble Pie, AC/DC, Joan Jett, and Scorpions, and other acts over the years. It was Trans-Siberian Orchestra's over-the-top concert spectaculars, with tours usually in winter months, that made them extremely popular -- they were #25 on Billboard's Top Tour Acts of the '00s list.

Rest in peace, Paul.

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