KLAQ's friend and the creative genius behind Trans-Siberian Orchestra Paul O'Neil has sadly passed away.

Paul O'Neil is known for creating one of your favorite holiday traditions with their rock opera extravaganzas. The creator of multi-platinum Trans-Siberian Orchestra passed away this week at the age of 61. Trans Siberian Orchestra posted the news on their Facebook page:

The entire Trans-Siberian Orchestra family, past and present, is heartbroken to share the devastating news that Paul O’Neill has passed away from chronic illness.He was our friend and our leader -- a truly creative spirit and an altruistic soul. This is a profound and indescribable loss for us all. We ask that you respect Paul’s family’s privacy now. We will make additional announcements shortly.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra has been around since 1996 and they had their biggest year in 2016, with their winter tour selling the most tickets per show in their history. Over 927,000 tickets for sold in 2016 and grossed more than 56.9 million. Over 14 million people have enjoyed this holiday tradition and Billboard put Trans-Siberian Orchestra at #25 on their "Top Touring Artists of the Decade."

Paul O'Neil was also known for his philanthropy, donating a portion of ticket sales to local charities in the city they're playing. The KLAQ family would like to extend our condolences to Paul O'Neil's friends and family during this difficult time.