Type O Negative Frontman Peter Steele Dies

Gothic metal band Type O Negative vocalist and bassist Peter Steele has died from what is believed to be heart failure, the group’s manager Mike Renault said. In an email, Renault said Steele, whose real name is Petrus Ratajczyk, passed away on April 14. He was 48.

News of Steele’s death spread through social media networks yesterday, but it was only today that the band confirmed his death. Some fans refused to believe the news at first, as Steele had been the subject of several false death rumors in the past. However, the speculations ended when the band posted a message in its official Web site saying that band members and Steele’s family will make a statement regarding the singer’s death later today.

Steele was known for his booming, heavy baritone voice, which became one of the most recognizable characteristics of the band. He was also the band’s chief composer and recognized leader. Before joining Type O Negative, Steele was with the metal band Fallout and Carnivore.