Billy Joel has paid tribute to bassist Bob Birch following his death this week (beg13Aug12), calling him a "brilliant musician" and a "wonderful man".
Birch's body was found at his Los Angeles home on Wednesday (15Aug12) and officials are investigating the possibility the 56 year old took his own life.
The bassist - born Robert Wayne Birch - spent more than 20 years playing with British superstar Sir Elton John, who revealed he is "devastated and shocked" at the loss of his friend.
Birch also worked with Billy Joel, who toured extensively with the Rocket Man, and the Uptown Girl hitmaker has now added his own tribute.
In a message posted on his official website, Joel writes, "I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of Bob Birch. He was a brilliant musician, a true professional and a wonderful man to work with. After 16 years on the road together I considered him to be a good friend. I and all the people in my touring organisation will miss him very much."