The Following Article Is From MTV.com regarding this sensitive issue
Peter Steele of heavy metal band Type O Negative has died of heart failure at age 48. Steele (born Petrus Ratajczyk), the burly 6'7" bassist and lead vocalist of the Brooklyn goth-metal band, formed Type O in the early '90s after stints in several other groups, including the hardcore act Carnivore.
A spokesperson for Type O bandmates Kenny Hickey and Johnny Kelly confirmed the report to MTV News on Thursday (April 15). And according to CBS News, band manager Mike Renault sent an e-mail saying, "Peter passed away last night. As of now it appears to have been heart failure. That's all the details we have right now."
The band's most recent label, SPV/Steamhammer Records, issued an online statement about Steele's passing. "It's with great sadness that we give our condolences to the family and friends of Peter Steele," it read. "He died on April 14th, 2010. With his bands Carnivore and Type O Negative he achieved cult status and was loved by fans around the world. ... The world has lost a charismatic frontman and a very talented person. Our condolences go to Peter's family, friends and the members of his bands."
Fuse metal hostess Mistress Juliya (Juliya Chernetsky) tweeted about the news on Wednesday. "Today is a very sad day in metal ... end of an era ... Peter Steele passed today," she wrote. "I loved my friend ... our idol ... my heart is with his band and family."
Blabbermouth.com, a site run by the band's former label, Roadrunner Records, also reported that Type O keyboardist Josh Silver had confirmed that Steele died on Wednesday. The label's staff posted a lengthy remembrance of Steele on Thursday.
A rumor circulated that Steele had died in 2005, but that turned out to be a publicity stunt to promote their new record, making it difficult to assess the validity of this latest report. The earlier rumor sprung from an image of a tombstone with his name and the dates 1962-2005 that was briefly posted on the band's Web site but then removed. Steele reportedly suffered from clinical depression, reflected in the band's doom-laden lyrics, dark image and an often morbid sense of humor.
Type O released seven studio albums, with their most recent being 2007's Dead Again.
and now onto the statements made by the band and family straight from the official Type O Negative website
Official Statement about Peter Steele
It is with great sadness that we inform you that Type O Negative front man, bassist, and our band mate, Peter Steele passed away last night of what appears to be heart failure.
Ironically Peter had been enjoying a long period of sobriety and improved health and was imminently due to begin writing and recording new music for our follow up to "Dead Again" released in 2007.
The official cause of death has yet to be determined pending autopsy results. The funeral services will be private and memorial services will be announced at a future date. We’d like to share our thoughts and those of Peter’s family below.
We are truly saddened to lose our friend and appreciate the tremendous outpouring today from around the world.
Josh, Kenny and Johnny
Josh Silver: “Peter, My endless source of frustration, (as I'm yours) you have really done it this time. You have changed and touched countless lives through music, comedy and often brutal honesty. You've made life both interesting and irritating and I could not imagine not having known you for 37 years. It still isn't true in my mind but in time I will miss you and the creating that we all endured together. We certainly disagreed constantly and I believe (and hope) we all learned from each other. Should I call you my brother, friend or neighbor? I can only call you Peter (and usually after 2 PM). We laughed at ourselves more times then I can count. Knowing humans are preposterous creatures and I know we reveled in that fact. I will miss you in time, but at this moment your premature departure seems surreal and has pissed me off to no end. Though I never told you that I harbor a deep respect for you, I do. Goodbye my friend.”
Kenny Hickey: “Peter Steele was one of the most brilliant and funny personalities in music and it was all for real. Half the time people thought he was joking, but he was actually telling the truth. Part of me died with him.”
Johnny Kelly: “It’s impossible for me to put into a few sentences what I am feeling at the moment Peter. I’m not sure if I should eulogize or roast you. Both good and bad, we went on one hell of a ride together and sadly, the ride has come to an end. You truly were a unique person. Your music touched many people. Myself included.
Whether it was talking about The Beatles, power tools, how Pluto was no longer considered a planet or calling me at 3am asking me to drive to your house to have a fistfight with you, you always kept it interesting. It was a privilege to have been your bandmate. It’s something that I will always cherish.”
In a statement issued today by Steele`s family: “Legendary Goth/Heavy Metal musician Peter Steele died suddenly Wednesday, April 14, 2010, after a short illness at the age of 48. He wrote and orchestrated the music for the Brooklyn-based band Type O Negative, a groundbreaking group known for its dramatic lyrical emphasis on the themes of romance, depression, and death. Steele, renowned as much for his striking physical appearance as his musical talent, was the creative force behind the bands 20-year success writing most of the material for the their albums. Type O Negative and Steele have been lauded as a major influence by numerous alternative and metal bands. The band gained a worldwide following through touring and recording seven studio albums, two best-of compilations, concert DVDs and music videos. Their 1993 album “Bloody Kisses” went platinum, and the 1996 follow-up “October Rust” went gold.
The music world has lost a great talent, and music fans worldwide are mourning, but for our family we are mourning a beloved brother, uncle, cousin, friend and funny man. Peter Steele was a complex man, known for his brooding looks, his self-deprecating sense of humor, unique view of the world, and most of all his loyalty to his fans, friends and family. Survived by five sisters, the eldest living sister notes that he was more than our brother, he was our son. His untimely death is tragic – a great loss to us and to music. The official cause of death has yet to be determined pending autopsy results, and funeral plans at present remain unknown. The family thanks fans for their loyalty to Peter and band members, but request that fans and media respect their wishes for privacy.
In addition to his success in music, Peter Steele also tried his hand at acting, appearing in HBO`s Oz and the cult classic film Bad Acid. He also composed music for the film soundtracks “Freddy vs. Jason” and “Mortal Combat”, the television movie “Nosferatu: The First Vampire”, and the soon-to-be released “Living the American Nightmare.”
Statement from Sal Abruscato
There are not many words that can describe how you affected my life Peter. From the times of hanging in your basement as a kid, the first meetings we had about Type O Negative, to getting chased all over Europe by radical left wing groups with bomb threats and eventually creating one of the most influential albums of all time. You affected me and influenced me as an artist and as a person, you were one of the funniest and most generous friends I ever knew. It is an honor to have been there with you through the rough times we call the beginning and now the end. I am the musician I am today because of you and I thank you with all my heart my friend. I will miss you and I love you.
This is truly the end of an era.
Rest In Peace Petrus T. Ratajczyk (January 4, 1962 – April 14, 2010), better known by his stage name Peter Steele, was the lead singer, bassist, and composer for the gothic metal band Type O Negative. Before joining Type O Negative, he played for the metal group Fallout and the thrash band Carnivore.