TYPE O NEGATIVE keyboardist Josh Silver has confirmed to BLABBERMOUTH.NET that the band's frontman, Peter Steele, passed away yesterday (Wednesday, April 14) at the age of 48. No official cause of death has yet been released, but it is believed that Steele died of heart failure.
According to unconfirmed reports, Steele had been ill for days leading up to his death.
Mistress Juliya (a.k.a. Juliya Chernetsky) of Fuse TV broke the news on her Twitter page last night, stating that she spoke to TYPE O NEGATIVE guitarist Kenny Hickey just before midnight New York time, and that Kenny confirmed that the rumors were true.
Back in 2005, many people were shocked when they logged on to the TYPE O NEGATIVE web site and saw a gravestone with the words "[P]eter Steele - 1962 - 2005 .... Free At Last" carved on it. According to Epinions.com, there were rumors at the time that Steele was sick (with anything from cancer to AIDS), was on his deathbed, attempted suicide ... and the list goes on. Needless to say, it turned out that Steele was very much alive and the gravestone was merely a joke, albeit one the wasn't viewed as being in particularly good taste.
Steele was born Petrus T. Ratajczyk on January 4, 1962 in Brooklyn, New York. He stood 6' 7" (201 cm) tall, and had a low, bass-heavy voice, which was one of the most recognizable features in TYPE O NEGATIVE's music.
Before forming TYPE O NEGATIVE, Steele played for the metal group FALLOUT and the thrash band CARNIVORE.