CONFIRMED: Type O Negative Frontman Pete Steele Has Died
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Reports have surfaced stating that Pete Steele, frontman for Brooklyn-based metal band Type O Negative, died on the evening of April 14, 2010 from heart failure.

Rumors of Steele’s death first arose late Wednesday night on Facebook from posts by friends of the musician’s family who had been notified. Just before midnight, Fused TV VJ Juliya Chernetsky, aka Mistress Juliya, posted to her Twitter account confirming that the 48-year-old musician had died. “He passed of heart failure today. Just spoke to Kenny,” Chernetsky wrote, presumably referring to Steele’s Type O bandmate guitarist Kenny Hickey.

As of 2AM EST, no other information has surfaced and no official statements released. We’ll update this story as soon as more details are available.

[UPDATE: The reports have now been confirmed. See below for full updates. Statement to come from family and the band later today.]

Steele was born Petrus T. Ratajczyk on January 4, 1962 in Brooklyn, NY. While working as a sanitation worker for the New York City Department of Sanitation in the 1980s — a job he always said he loved — Steele fronted thrash pioneers Carnivore, known for throwing raw meat into the crowd during their live shows. In 1990, Steele formed Type O Negative, which had a more gothic-metal look and sound. Steele played bass and was the lead vocalist for the band, as well as its main composer. The band eventually rose to fame and heightened popularity with their videos for ode to goth chicks “Black No. 1” and “Christian Woman,” and had continued to record and perform up until a few years ago.

During the band’s time in the spotlight, the musician appeared on the cover of Playgirl and posed fully nude for the magazine. Steele was known to suffer from depression and had had issues with substance abuse. In 2005, his Carnivore bandmate Keith Alexander was killed in a bike accident in Brooklyn.


The website for rock radio station KNAC.com is reporting that they have been able to confirm “according to a source from within the band” that Peter Steele has indeed passed away from heart failure at age 48. They add that the singer was apparently ill for a few days prior to his death.


Metal website Blabbermouth reports that Type O Negative keyboardist Josh Silver has confirmed to them that Pete Steele has passed away. No official cause of death has been released at this time. Blabbermouth is hosted by Roadrunner Records, which was the band’s record label through 2006.


CBS News has confirmed these reports as well.

In an email, Mike Renault, the band’s manager said, “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 official site has reopened its forums, with a message on the front page for fans “Please play nice and expect statements from the band and family later today. Thank you for your understanding and support.”


The Type O Negative official site has been updated with heartfelt sentiments from the band members, as well as Steele’s family. Official cause of death is still to come pending autopsy results. Funeral services will be private, but memorial services will be announced at a future date. It was noted that Steel had been sober for some time and had been in better health recently, and had planned to write and record new music.

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.


Here in the southern part of Brooklyn, Pete Steele is a household name. Everyone here knows someone who knows Pete Steele in less than six degrees. Half the people I know went to high school with him or worked with him or knew him in some way. I would see him in Home Depot and at the supermarket before and after he was famous. He was 6′ 7″ and built and had jet black long hair — a memorable figure as it is — and spoke, and sang, with an imposing baritone voice. It’s not surprising that I found out about his passing through my hometown friends on Facebook, and while I had hoped it was just a rumor — like the reports of his death in 2005 that turned out to be a publicity stunt — there were just too many people close to the family posting about his death.

While fans of Steele are left to mourn his passing, those of us here in Brooklyn are shocked and saddened by the news, as we have lost one of our own. He will be greatly missed, but never forgotten.

Pete Steele
January 4, 1962 — April 14, 2010


  1. I am soooo, sorry for the family and their lose. Blessings for healing in your time of great sorrow. : (

    Comment by Shawnean — April 15, 2010 @ 1:58 am

  2. This is a rough loss. Metalheads will mourn Peter as much as they mourned Dimebag IMO.

    Never to be forgotten

    Comment by cGt2099 — April 15, 2010 @ 2:01 am

  3. This cannot be real. This cannot be happening. how can he be dead?

    Comment by Nephilim Christ — April 15, 2010 @ 2:37 am

  4. Played a couple of gigs wi type o when was drummer for my dying bride and this bloke was one of the nicest blokes I ever met within the European music touring scene.sorry for the people who were close to him.they’ve lost a special human being.thanks for the memories pete

    Comment by Rick miah — April 15, 2010 @ 2:51 am

  5. It’s the 2nd blackest message in my life this year! After the death of my Father in February. I wil love Peter and TON forever!!! RIP, Peter! We will miss you, forever!

    Comment by Jaro "steele" — April 15, 2010 @ 3:57 am

  6. R.I.P. Pete

    Everything dies…

    He was my hero…damn i’m sad..

    The Netherlands/Holland

    Comment by frits — April 15, 2010 @ 4:14 am

  7. Feeling the shockwave here in New Zealand.
    Thoughts are with his family and friends.
    A great man who made his mark in metal.
    Now You Fly Peter Steele, thanks you for your music and words.

    Comment by The Axeman — April 15, 2010 @ 4:51 am

  8. :( Thank you for the music Pete :(

    Comment by scrotumbagmonkeyflicker — April 15, 2010 @ 5:58 am

  9. Non-station

    Comment by The Dude Dean — April 15, 2010 @ 6:24 am

  10. My god how do we pick up the peices of the shattered hearts of those that pumped Type O and Carnivore through the veins for nearly 20 years now. Long time Fan of both bands, and having seen them in concert several hundreds of times my reality is hitting me hard! A fellow kick ass musician and hometown hero is now an angel seems unfair! May his family be comforted through this tragedy but a part of me will never be the same now that hes in heaven.

    Comment by Melanie — April 15, 2010 @ 6:50 am

  11. This is tough being from the brooklyn metal scene – met Pete on many occasions and he was always accomodating especially with other brookyn based bands . Pete you will be missed

    Comment by EddieShortArms — April 15, 2010 @ 7:07 am

  12. Glad I got to see him one last time perform a few years ago.

    Comment by OBrien — April 15, 2010 @ 8:50 am

  13. Wow. That’s quite shocking, and has rumored to have happened many times before, but this time is true. I am incredibly saddened by this and may he RIP. My thoughts and sympathies to his family and bandmates.

    Comment by Brian — April 15, 2010 @ 9:16 am

  14. Wow…talk about a shocker….He’ll be missed for sure, Type O Negative certainly made some great and memorable music.

    R.I.P. Peter…

    Comment by Sinister Minister — April 15, 2010 @ 10:16 am

  15. I’m devastated and still hoping so badly that its all a joke. I feel like I have lost someone in my family, it hurts so badly..

    Comment by Star — April 15, 2010 @ 11:29 am

  16. Rest In Peace Big Man . Big Respect. Thank you for your music

    Comment by DOD1MCB1 — April 15, 2010 @ 12:12 pm

  17. The forums are locked. I won’t believe it until the announce when and where the wake and funeral are.
    He was fine in Nov.He had no heart issues……granted he abused the crap out of himself over the last 2 decades,but it would be just like him to do this to see who went to his funeral.
    And Josh and Kenny have *comfirmed his death* before….
    I won’t believe it until I see it officially on their home page.
    And who says “play nice” during a situation like this ?

    Comment by Missy — April 15, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

  18. I know where the wake will be, just don’t want to publicize it, as I think the family is trying to keep this a dignified affair. This is not a hoax, too many close friends have spoken out already. I was it was a joke, but it’s not.

    Comment by Empress Eve — April 15, 2010 @ 1:09 pm

  19. Rest, Green Man.

    Comment by DW — April 15, 2010 @ 1:57 pm

  20. A great composer has died….. thanx for the music and words Peter.
    They will forever be a part of my life!! RIP

    Comment by Herrie157 — April 15, 2010 @ 3:34 pm

  21. I was weaned on October Rust and World Coming Down.
    This Metal Vocalist was never topped by anyone, and he will be missed terribly.
    But, we still have the Art of his Music he made, and this makes him live on forever;)
    Peter Steele, the Greatest of All Time;)

    Comment by You Will Live Forever Peter — April 15, 2010 @ 5:27 pm

  22. where do i start no less of an artist as jimmy hendrix! iv seen type o 25 or so times ,saw them at my bachlor party, hell pete steele n the guys are painted on the side of my 57 chevy that was on there website for the longest time. the car had won multiple major awards w/ petes face airbrushed on the door of it. you can still check it out at http://www.joesulpy.com under featured cars. this man has left an impact on the music scene that wont be TRUELYappreciated for many years to come. godspeed

    Comment by joe sulpy — April 15, 2010 @ 9:28 pm

  23. Sad news, Type O made some great records. Saw them several times in Europe R.I.P Peter.

    The Netherlands

    Comment by vincent — April 16, 2010 @ 1:55 am

  24. Great memories to your music, words, character…
    Thanks for everything Peter,
    I’ll drink a whisky to you memory tonight.

    Comment by Marco van Wijk — April 16, 2010 @ 4:39 am

  25. I’ll have Jack Daniëls and Pizza once a year, to remember this man.


    Comment by Pual — April 16, 2010 @ 8:10 am

  26. Confirmed…damn..

    My inspirator, my fucking hero has died…

    I still can’t believe it. A lot of strenght for family and friends of Peter, my thoughts are with them…

    This is the end, my only friend.. the end

    Comment by Frits — April 16, 2010 @ 9:31 am

  27. I cannot believe it.
    None of us thought it was real until Mike Renault confirmed it.
    I cannot tell you how many times I saw this band,hung out with them,saw something I could blackmail them with….
    I hate to say it,but I took it for granted,that I could see them at least once a year ,if not more.
    The NY fans could do pages of “remember the show where he did this ?”

    Trent Reznor posted this on his Twitter:
    “I’m smiling remembering a story involving Pete,a microphone,an all girl lipstick-lesbian band,and a can of tuna”.

    That was Pete…..and he was doing so well.This is was a crushing blow…..he will be sorely missed.

    Comment by Missy — April 16, 2010 @ 11:29 am

  28. One wonders if his size was a strain on his heart and no doubt complicated by alcohol and probably cocaine, neither of which ever helped anyone live longer or think clearly.

    An amazing voice, it floored me the first time I heard it, so unique, one of kind, huge talent. Never ever heard a voice heavier than Steele, he could have done so much more.

    I had no idea he was 48, it’s tough for a musician after you hit 40. You sort of don’t care in your 20s and you do all sorts of stupid things, all the excess is NOT worth it.

    Comment by darkhorse — April 16, 2010 @ 9:05 pm

  29. The metal scene has lost a genius, I have lost another hero. I loved his work and enjoyed the Type O – show at the last fields of rock in Holland.
    Leo from the Netherlands

    Comment by Lee O Negative — April 17, 2010 @ 7:16 pm

  30. An Interview with Peter Steele of Type O Negative
    By Charlie Steffens, aka Gnarly Charlie:


    “After my mother passed away last year and a couple of other things happened, I pretty much got back to my faith. I was born Roman Catholic. Believe it or not, I go tot church on Sunday and I do read the Bible. But I don’t read it as a how to live your life book. I read it as if I have a question I can open any page. If you’re open minded you will get the answer from a passage. And you will get a different answer if you read the same passage but it will still be just as worthy. “

    “I went to confession for the first time in 30 years. And the priest was very happy that I had come back to church and stuff. I didn’t go into each and every sin otherwise he would have to take two weeks vacation (laughs). I said ‘Father I did wrong and I want o apologize to God for my behavior and I’m going to try for it to not happen again.’ It’s better to pay in this life then in the afterlife. So he said “well, make a large donation to your favorite charity, which I did. I’m not going to tell you which charity it was or how much, because that really started me thinking about these so-called charitable people. Charity should be anonymous. If you’re going to get a pat on the back for doing…”Oh, you’re such a great guy. You gave five million dollars—even though you have 50 billion—to South Africa. You’re a great fuckin’ guy.” So I donated my money anonymously and when I had reformed Carnivore I had asked the guys to do just one thing for me. And that was to make a donation anonymously. ‘Don’t tell me, just please, that’s all I’m asking you to do.’ It’s never dome up again and I trust they have. You shouldn’t get a pat on the back for fuckin’ doing the right thing. You should always be doing that. In a great world people would treat each other the way they would like to be treated. My mother always told me if I really didn’t wan to do something, if I was really tired, but if I had helped someone and I really went out of my way for them but I asked nothing for it, that I should donate my energy to the souls in purgatory—meaning that to give my goodness to those who are trapped. This is purgatory/limbo. This is a very Catholic thing that very few people really understand. I just feel that if you always do the right thing in you’re heart, number one, you’re going to get fucked…there’s no doubt. But after death, I think there’s a better place.“


    “I’m not radically different, but I am different. I’ve made a lot of mistakes and some of the mistakes I’ve made involve other people. When I get the opportunity I do apologize to them. Sometimes it’s not an easy thing to do and sometimes they don’t accept my apology, which is very painful. I ask why. Sometimes they just don’t want to talk about it. I can accept that, but at least I went. There’s a difference between apologizing and saying you’re sorry. An apology means that you’ve thought about your actions and you think ‘Man, I was a real fuckin’ scumbag. I was an asshole. She didn’t deserve that. He didn’t deserve that. And I just really want to tell her that I’m sorry.’ And I also want to tell her how it’s not going to happen again. I believe that part of being a Christian is forgiveness. I’m not here to preach. I’m here to warn, more or less. Beautifully, once or twice, a couple of the people who did not accept my apology at first have contacted me and said they thought about my actions and they do accept my apology. I was very grateful, and all I can say to them is ‘The only way I can really make this up to you is by not repeating my behavior.’ I’m still human. I still fuck up. I still sometimes instinctively utilize this same shitty behavior. But a true sin is any action that hurts you, someone or something with forethought and malice. I’ve never really gone out of my way to fuck somebody over, to hurt them. There have been times that I was disrespectful and I was irresponsible. I was a dick. We all make mistakes but I’m very happy that I have the opportunity to apologize for mine. I feel that God will not forgive man until man forgives man.”


    “Let’s put it this way. I would find it very hard to believe that Adolph Hitler and Mother Teresa are going to the same place. I guess it’s comforting to believe in some sort of justice. My definition of God is attempting to put a face on physics, mathematics, and chemistry that we have yet to understand. That is my God. Something had to create everything. I lie in bed awake at night freaking myself out. Thinking about going somewhere forever, with the clouds, the harps, the angels, the wings. St. Peter had a secret, and.St. Peter one time questioned God. And he had no right to question God, but God allowed him. God said, ‘Alright. What’s the question?’ If you are so merciful…if you know everything, and you create your children that you know are going to wind up in Hell—why would you bother creating them? And the answer was ‘Because Hell does not last forever’. No one goes to Hell forever. It’s like a waiting room, a Godless place. And Peter goes ‘If you know about mans suffering on earth, why do so many horrible things happen to good people?’ And God said, ‘Because I love them so much that I pour pain upon them so that the transition from life to death will be more profound for them and they will appreciate my gift more than the others.’”


    “God does not like actors. It has to be heartfelt. I shouldn’t tell you this because it’s almost contradicting myself, but one of the examples of doing some sort of charity anonymously is on my block there are quite a few old people. When it snows I shovel their walk and they have no idea who shovels their walk. Now, I’m not looking for a pat on the back, I’m just trying to make an example. One day I’ll be 75 and maybe somebody will do that for me. That would make me cry.“


    “The closer I get back to God, the more temptation comes my way. As psychotic as this might sound, I have pretty much been told that I am the prophet of doom. I know the date of the end of the world. How do I know so? Because, I’ve been told so. Did I hear a voice? No, I did not. But…there are three others like me. We know of each other, but we do not know each other. I know it and I know what’s going to happen and I am to point out the signs. This is the Seventh Seal. At this point, if this last sign is not acknowledged, God will no longer forgive man and then there will be Hell on Earth. Earth is Heaven, already, without the bullshit, and at the very end, the good thing is, that God will even forgive Satan.”

    “Ever since I have come back to my faith, such incredibly strange things have been happening. Ten times a day if I ask God for a sign, through numbers and letters I will get it. I believe that God speaks to everyone in a way that only that person can understand, but I have been enlightened…you have to ask to be enlightened. I ask these questions and I get the answers. I don’t hear God’s voice. That satisfies me.”

    “When I said I have hit rock bottom, it’s not in a bad way–it’s in a good way. I’ve found piece on something solid and now I know what the meaning of life. I’ve always thought that the meaning of life was to try to find something to live for. Now I realize, all this time, it is finding something to die for. It’s been right there all the time I will die for my faith. I am going to. I know it.”

    “When I do interviews and I lie about everything, people think I’m so serious. When I tell the truth they think it’s hysterical. Who’s going to believe you with the things I have said? I believe myself. Print whatever you want. No one will believe it, I’m sure.”

    Comment by aga — April 18, 2010 @ 10:45 am

  31. I was really happy to hear Rich Keltner on Watchman Radio mention that Steele accepted Christ before he died.

    This is amazing. It does not matter what someone did in their life. If someone accepts God’s plan for the redemption of sinners (all of us), which is faith in Jesus Christ, that someone is fully redeemed and shall enter Heaven.

    Comment by Man from Modesto — April 19, 2010 @ 1:31 pm

  32. Well, I just read what Peter Steele said in his interview. I see he had some delusion and some wrong understanding.

    So what?

    There is ONE exoneration and ONE condemnation: Did you ACCEPT or REJECT God’s salvation plan: Jesus? God never said anything like, “You must understand every aspect of My nature, will and spirit to enter Heaven.” He never said anything like that. People will err, even after their spirit is sealed unto the day of Judgment.

    No person needs perfect understanding to enter Heaven. However, we should always stay focused on studying scripture and having personal communion very regularly- prayer “without ceasing”.

    Do not let any spirit of condemnation tell you that you are not saved, or some other person is not saved because they have incorrect understanding.

    Ephesians 4:30 “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

    Comment by Man from Modesto — April 19, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

  33. I am still numb over peter’s death…cannot believe that he is gone!! I look around where I live and all I can hear is Peter’s voice saying “Im The green man…..the greeeeeeen man”. he has touched my life in a real big way…..a lot of what he was saying in his music is what I thought and what I was going through in my life….he will always be thought of and in my heart always! I love this guy for his music and his brilliant mind….I LOVE YOU PETER! R.I.P. PETER AND I WILL SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE!

    Comment by Doro Doro — May 10, 2010 @ 2:05 am

  34. a bit likr hearing neil young died, but he always new that there was more 2 life than deth; d0nt we alll.. hes alive wit me

    Comment by dazlman — November 3, 2010 @ 9:47 am

  35. Never forgotten.

    Comment by Kim N Carl — September 20, 2017 @ 2:57 pm

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