Robert Wayne Birch discovered near his home
michael baggs
09:40 16th August 2012

Sir Elton John's bandmember Robert Wayne Birch has been found dead in what authorities believe to be a suicide.

The long-time bassist in Sir Elton's band was found dead by authorities near his home with a gunshot wound to the head, according to TMZ.

Authorities reportedly believe the gunshots wounds were self-inflicted and suggested that Birch took his own life, although no suicide note has been found.

It is not thought that drugs or alcohol were involved in Birch's death.

As well as playing in Elton John's band since 1992, Birch enjoyed a career as a musician for other stars such as Billy Joel, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton and others.

Birch was 56 years old. A fan-made tribute video of the musician can be viewed below: