30 Musicians Who Left Us Too Soon

Music plays a key part in many people’s lives, and there is always sadness when a beloved musician passes away suddenly or of old age. When a name you recognize from your favorite albums is listed among famous people who died today, it can be deeply upsetting. Even if some musicians deaths in the last few years were the unsurprising result of old age or long-term health issues, other singer deaths came as a shock. 

#30. Chester Bennington

Chester Bennington, singer and leader of the nü-metal band, Linkin Park, died at the age of 41 years old on July 20th, 2017. The Linkin Park frontman died of suicide by hanging. The report contains a section by the police officer who found the singer’s body. A dresser in the room contained a prescription for generic Ambien with one pill broken in half; the section that says who the prescription was made out to was blacked out prior to publication.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

Now, almost two years after Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington took his own life, it’s clear to his widow, Talinda Bennington that in the days before he died, there were warning signs. “I am now more educated about those signs, but they were definitely there: the hopelessness, the change of behavior, isolation”. “I don’t suffer from depression”, she said. “I never have. Watching my husband go through it, I had no idea. I could not relate”.

#29. Paul Gray

Paul Gray, also known as #2, was one of the original members of the band Slipknot. Born in 1972, he founded the band Slipknot in 1999 and was the main bass player. On May 24th, 2010, he was found dead in a hotel room in Urbandale from an overdose of prescription drugs. An autopsy later determined he died from a morphine overdose and had major heart issues. Dr. Baldi comes into play as he was treating Gray both for pain and addiction, though he had not prescribed any of the medication that the bassist had died from.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

In 2012, the band released a collective statement regarding Gray’s death and his connection with Dr. Baldi

As the loss of our brother Paul Gray is still very fresh for us in the Slipknot family, this new development has us all in a state of anger and sadness. The fact that this person took advantage of our brother’s illness while he was in a position to help others has outraged everyone in our family“.

#28. Cliff Burton

Clifford Lee Burton was an American musician and songwriter, best known as the bass guitarist and co-founder of the American thrash metal band Metallica from December 1982 until his death in September 1986. On September 27, 1986, Burton died in a bus accident in Kronoberg County, a rural area of southern Sweden, as the band was touring in support of the Master of Puppets album.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

On the night of Sept. 26, 1986, Metallica was traveling between tour dates when Burton and guitarist Kirk Hammett drew cards to decide who would get to choose a bunk. The bassist drew the Ace of Spades and chose the bunk Hammett had been occupying. In the early morning hours of Sept. 27, 1986, shortly before 7 AM, the band members were awakened abruptly when the bus began to careen from side to side. The bus left the road and flipped over on its side, and Burton was thrown through the window. As the bus came down, it landed on top of the 24-year-old musician.

#27. Jim Morrison

Jim Morrison was a beloved rocker and the lead singer of The Doors. He was also sadly a member of the 27 Club. Although the official cause of death was listed as congestive heart failure, many questions still remain about the mysterious circumstances surrounding Jim Morrison’s death. Morrison’s downfall began at a 1969 concert in Florida. There, he was accused of exposing his genitals in front of the audience. Afterward, he was convicted of indecent exposure and profanity, leading many promoters to cancel shows for the band.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

Congestive heart failure was pronounced as the official cause of death, but since no autopsy of Morrison’s body followed, space has been left for people to speculate if there was something more to the story. The most widely accepted account of Jim Morrison’s death is that he and Courson had spent the night together listening to records, which ended up on Morrison having a bad reaction to drugs. He was brought to the bathroom for a bath of warm water, which is said to help revive people suffering from heroin overdoses. However, it failed to help Morrison.

#26. Sid Vicious

To the New York City Police Department and Medical Examiner’s Office, he was John Simon Ritchie, a 22-year-old Englishman under indictment for murder but now dead of a heroin overdose in a Greenwich Village apartment. Sid Vicious, as he was commonly known, was the last member to join the Sex Pistols, taking over for fired bassist Glen Matlock in early 1977. Seven months into his tenure as a Sex Pistol, Sid Vicious was introduced to a troubled American girl on the London punk scene named Nancy Spungen.

Photo: Courtesy of Redferno

Almost immediately, they began a relationship that led to both of their deaths. By all reports, they were very much in love, but their shared heroin addiction led to repeated instances of violence between them. Sid’s addiction may have hastened the dissolution of the Sex Pistols midway through their first U.S. tour in January 1978, and it certainly contributed to the still mysterious events surrounding Nancy’s death by stabbing on October 12 of that same year in the Chelsea Hotel room she shared with Vicious in New York City.

#25. Bob Marley

In 1976 Bob Marley survived an assassination attempt by three gunmen at his home in Hope Road in Jamaica; just five years later he was taken down by a malignant melanoma originating in his toe. As with many music star deaths, Marley’s passing has been shrouded in mystery, unanswered questions and conspiracy theories, but what actually happened?

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

Marley died from an acral lentiginous melanoma, a form of skin cancer which had been diagnosed in 1977, spreading from his toe. Having collapsed while jogging in Central Park during his final tour, Marley played his last ever gig in Pittsburgh in September 1980 before canceling all remaining live dates and flying to Germany for a controversial diet-based treatment under Josef Issels. After eight months the treatment proved unsuccessful, and Marley boarded a plane home to Jamaica. On the flight, his condition worsened and he was rushed to hospital on arrival in Miami, where he died on May 11, 1981.

#24. Dimebag Darrell

A young fan obsessed with heavy metal shot and killed former Pantera guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott and three other people during a show by Damageplan, Abbott’s latest band. The tragedy took place on the evening of December 8th, 2004 at the Alrosa Villa nightclub in Columbus, Ohio. The shooter, Nathan Gale, 25, was killed by a Columbus police officer minutes after the violence erupted.

Photo: Courtesy of Fuse

A stocky former Marine, Gale was reportedly upset that Pantera had broken up the year before and may have blamed Abbott for the band’s acrimonious split. The deaths came on the twenty-fourth anniversary of the murder of John Lennon. The other victims were 23-year-old fan Nathan Bray, Damageplan crew member Jeff “Mayhem” Thompson, 40, and club employee Erin A. Halk, 29.

#23. Elvis Presley

From his first appearance in 1956 on The Ed Sullivan Show, Elvis Presley embodied rock and roll. His career spawned hit after hit and elevated a simple country boy to the most popular musician on the planet. Presley sold millions of records and sold out concerts to screaming fans. Those fans were so taken with his sexuality that television censors had famously wanted the cameras on that first Ed Sullivan appearance to only film him from the waist up when he danced.

Photo: Courtesy of Fuse

By 1972, Presley’s marriage had fallen apart after a string of mutual infidelities. The following year, he suffered two overdoses, including one that put him in a brief coma. On August 16, 1977, Presley’s fiancée at the time, Ginger Alden, found him on the floor of his bathroom at his Graceland estate in Memphis. He was unresponsive. He was taken to a nearby hospital where doctors tried to revive him. They were unsuccessful. Elvis Presley was pronounced dead at 3:30 p.m.

#22. Amy Winehouse

When Amy Winehouse emerged in the mid-2000s, she offered something new by offering something old. With her beehive hairdos and vintage stage outfits, Winehouse looked like she had just time-traveled from the early 1960s. She also sounded amazing, dazzling crowds with her powerful, bluesy voice. The modern twist came from slick production by superstar knob-turner Mark Ronson as well as from Winehouse’s often dark, very personal lyrics.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

Amy Winehouse emerged as one of the most talented singers of the decade thanks to her 2006 album Back to Black. She racked up tons of industry praise and awards, becoming the first British woman to win five Grammys. But fame was not her friend. Amy’s short life was plagued by bouts of depression, self-harm, eating disorders, and drug and alcohol addiction. She was in a toxic, volatile relationship with husband Blake Fielder-Civil, which led to even deeper spirals of substance abuse and outrageous behavior that made her an increasingly easy target for the press and paparazzi.

#21. Jeff Buckley

Songwriter and guitarist, Jeff Buckley boasted a voice that was ethereal, sensual, and soulful to the point of painful, and it propelled his one and only studio album, Grace, to critical acclaim and multiple “best of the year” lists. Released in 1994, it didn’t really hit big until 1995 thanks to standout singles like “Grace” and “Last Goodbye,” and his definitive, devastating cover of Leonard Cohen’s new standard “Hallelujah”. In 1995, Rolling Stone and the MTV Video Music Awards singled out Buckley as one of the best new artists of the year.

Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

According to Memphis police, Buckley, 30, and an unnamed companion were sitting on a bank of the river listening to a radio. The singer waded into the river even though his friend called out to him and warned that it could be dangerous, police said. Buckley then floated on his back and began to sing. At that point, a boat came by creating large waves. Fearing the radio would get wet, the companion got up to move it and when he returned, Buckley had disappeared, according to the police.

#20. Avicii

Real name Tim Bergling, the Grammy-nominated EDM star was 28. The official cause of death is not currently known, but reports claim the star took his own life. His family has said: “He could not go on any longer”. While all his musical dreams came true, Avicii suffered from health problems offstage, including pancreatitis, which he attributed to excessive drinking. At age 24, he had his appendix and gall bladder removed, and soon after he stopped doing live gigs because they were too physically rigorous.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

According to a Rolling Stone report, Avicii worked with songwriter/producer Joe Janiak for several weeks at his LA home studio before leaving for Oman to visit royal friends in the country. Janiak says that Avicii “seemed pumped”, adding: “You could tell he had spent a long time figuring out the puzzle, and he was trying to take charge of his life… That’s the shocking thing. He didn’t seem like a guy at the end of his days.”

#19. XXXTentacuion

After releasing a slew of songs and albums on Soundcloud beginning in 2014, XXXTentacion dropped his first “official” single, “Look at Me,” in 2016, and it hit the upper level of the Billboard pop chart. His first two full-length, non-Soundcloud albums captured a huge audience. For as much success as he had in music, the rapper born Jahseh Onfroy had a troubled and disturbing personal life. In 2016, he assaulted a romantic partner and threatened to cut out her tongue.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

When that same woman told XXX she was pregnant, he allegedly beat her, threatened to kill her, and locked her in an apartment. She escaped after two days of captivity. XXX faced numerous charges, but the case was never resolved. Then on June 18, 2018, XXXTentacion was fatally gunned down in Florida.

#18. Ronnie Van Zant

The ’70s were a fruitful period for new kinds of rock. Exciting styles emerged, everything from punk to heavy metal to Southern rock. Most definitive of the Southern rock style, which is a little bit country and a whole lot rock ‘n’ roll, was Lynyrd Skynyrd. The band is best known for the genre’s unofficial theme song, “Sweet Home Alabama“, and one of the most epic rock songs ever, “Free Bird“.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

Many in the band’s circle believe Van Zant had a premonition of his fate. On numerous occasions, he proclaimed that he would never reach his 30th birthday. On October 20th, he was 87 days from his limit. “When I heard that there had been a plane crash, I just knew Ronnie was one of the ones that didn’t make it”, the singer’s widow Judy Van Zant Jenness told Team Rock in 2016.

#17. Mac Miller

Mac Miller, the 26-year-old rapper known for his canny wordplay and artistic reinvention, died Friday at his Los Angeles home. The apparent cause of death was a drug overdose. In 2010, his mixtape K.I.D.S., released when Miller (born Malcolm McCormick) was merely 18. In 2011, his first studio effort Blue Slide Park topped the charts, a rare feat for an indie release.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

Mac Miller’s death was the result of an accidental overdose, according to a toxicology report released by the L.A. County Coroners Office. Fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol were found in Miller’s system. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 30 times more powerful than heroin. It’s one of the deadliest drugs associated with the ongoing opioid crisis, and the leading cause of accidental overdose deaths, surpassing heroin. In the past few years alone, fentanyl has killed a number of high profile musicians including Prince, Tom Petty and Lil Peep, who all died under similar circumstances to Miller.

#16. Jim Croce

What set Jim Croce apart from other guitar-toting troubadours of the era was that he remained loyal to the classic folk sound, and he also liked to tell a story. Croce showed off his chops on a small 1966 release called Facets and 1969’s Croce, a joint album with his wife, Ingrid. In the midst of his success, Croce was starting to get burned out. An extensive tour had earned him rave reviews throughout the U.S. and Europe, but it had also prevented him from spending time with his wife, Ingrid, and their two-year-old son, Adrian.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

The singer had wrapped up the recording sessions and was nearing the end of his tour when tragedy struck on Sept. 20, 1973. Following a gig at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La., Croce boarded a small chartered plane to travel to his next show in Sherman, Texas. Sadly, the plane never made it much past the runway. In what was later described as solely a pilot error, the Beechcraft E18S failed to clear a pecan tree while taking off and crashed. All six people aboard were killed.

#15. Randy Rhoads

Trained in classical guitar, Randy Rhoads applied the techniques he learned to his heavy metal music. His first major band was called Quiet Riot. When he was barely out of his teens, Rhoads played on the group’s first two Japan-only releases in the late 1970s, Quiet Riot and Quiet Riot II. He left before the group scored its commercial breakthrough Metal Health, but that’s okay because he connected with the biggest metal idol of all: Ozzy Osbourne.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

One of rock’s enduring mysteries unfolded on March 19, 1982, as 25-year-old Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Randy Rhoads perished in a fiery crash at Leesburg, after a joy ride in a Beechcraft Bonanza. Among the dead were Randy, Rachel Youngblood, a 58-year-old seamstress and cook for the Osbourne band, and Andrew Aycock, a 36-year-old bus driver with an expired pilot’s license. Aycock made as many as three passes over the home, apparently in a joy-riding attempt to buzz over the other band members. On the final pass, the plane clipped the tour bus, spun out of control, hit a nearby pine tree and then nose-dived into the house.

#14. Buddy Holly

Charles Hardin Holly, better known to his millions of fans as Buddy Holly, was killed in a plane crash almost 60 years ago. Since his untimely death at just 22 years old, there have been countless theories as to what really happened on February 3, 1959. His death even inspired the iconic song, American Pie by Don McLean, who describes his passing as “the day the music died”. Holly made the fateful decision to get on board the plane in the middle of the grueling The Winter Dance Party tour. Travel time had not been factored into the punishing schedule and Holly wanted to grab some rest and wash his clothes before his next performance.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

Holly was not alone in the plane, as Ritchie Valens and DJ JP Richardson, known as The Big Bopper, were also a passenger. The plane carrying the superstars hit the ground at 170mph, with the right wing tip making contact first. It cartwheeled across the field for 540 feet before slamming into a fence. The wreckage was discovered the following day when a second plane was sent to find out what had happened. In the days after the fatal crash, the official explanation was that it had been caused by pilot error.

#13. Jimi Hendrix

Hendrix was born James Marshall Hendrix on Nov. 27, in 1942 in Seattle, Washington. Hendrix took up a fascination with music early, and his father recalled tripping on a broom in Jimi’s room that he had been using as a practice guitar. He received his first guitar at 11. He joined his first bands by age 13. Hendrix eventually dropped out of high school and joined the U.S. Army. After an honorable discharge in 1962, Hendrix started to tour and play with such big names as Little Richard, Jackie Wilson, and Wilson Pickett. He would electrify audiences with his raw talent, energy, and pure ability.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

On Sept. 17, 1970, Jimi was in London with his girlfriend, a German painter named Monika Dannemann. As she couldn’t sleep, she took a sleeping pill around 6 a.m.  When she woke up four hours later, Jimi was “sleeping normally” next to her. She left the apartment to go buy cigarettes, came back and found him in bed, breathing but unconscious. She called the police, and an ambulance arrived at 11:27 a.m. Oddly enough, when crew members arrived at the flat, the door was wide open and the curtains were closed, but Monika Dannemann was gone.

#12. 2Pac

Before he emerged as one of the most popular and era-defining rappers of the 1990s, Tupac Shakur, or 2Pac, as he was known in his musical career, bopped around on the fringes of the hip-hop world for years, serving as a roadie and occasional vocalist for Digital Underground. In 1991, 2Pac was ready to go solo, and he broke through in a big way with the stark and sad single “Brenda’s Got a Baby“.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

All of his songs expressed the same themes as songs by other artists associated with the “gangsta rap” movement, but none as poetically and viscerally as 2Pac. At the same time, the rapper enjoyed an acting career — he starred in Juice, Poetic Justice, and Above the Rim, among others. When Shakur was gunned down in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas in September 1996, the 25-year-old star had reached a career milestone just two months earlier: His double A-side single “How Do U Want It” / “California Love” hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

#11. Kurt Cobain

Nirvana combined elements of punk rock with hard rock to help popularize (along with other Seattle era grunge bands) a new kind of commercially viable but artistically vital music: alternative rock. The chief songwriter and artistic visionary behind the band that delivered ’90s anthems like “Smells Like Teen Spirit“, “In Bloom“, and “All Apologies“: Kurt Cobain, who really had a knack for writing lyrics that were both cryptic and voiced a deep cynicism for mainstream society.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

On April 5, 1994, the world lost Kurt Cobain, who, at age 27, had committed suicide at his Seattle home with a 20-gauge shotgun. His body was found two days later by an electrician. Cobain’s body had been found to contain high traces of heroin and Valium when he died, though, at the time of his death, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic dismissed the idea that his drug habit was the reason he killed himself.

#10. Duane Allman

Duane Allman, in giving his surname to the band he helped found, secured for himself one of the most famous names in rock and blues. He began playing music with his brothers in 1961 and saw some success, but he didn’t find real fame until the foundation of the Allman Brothers Band. By the ’70s, they were one of music’s most influential rock groups, achieving considerable critical acclaim with their album At Fillmore East.

Photo: Courtesy of Facebook

Duane Allman, the leader and driving force behind the Allman Brothers Band, died Friday, October 29th, 1974, from massive injuries received in a motorcycle crash in Macon, Georgia. He was 24. He and the rest of the band had currently been in the middle of their first real vacation in more than two years. Duane had been visiting the band’s “Big House” to wish Linda Oakley, wife of the band’s bassist Berry Oakley, a happy birthday. Shortly after leaving the house–around 5:45 PM–he swerved to avoid a truck. The cycle skidded and turned over, apparently pinning Allman underneath as it traveled another 50 feet.

#9. Sam Cooke

Described by AllMusic as “the most important soul singer in history,” Sam Cooke was one of the first musicians to bridge the gap between white and black audiences. On top of this, he was also one of the first black musicians to found a record label and also became a stalwart figure in the civil rights movement. His career began in the 1930s, singing in the choir in his father’s church; by the ’50s he had released some of the decade’s most successful hits. His music brought together the R&B, gospel, and pop genres into a sound that was utterly unique for the era.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

On December 10, 1964, Cooke headed out for a night on the town. He drove to a restaurant in Hollywood. While there, he met a 22-year-old woman named Elisa Boyer. The two spent the evening together and ended up getting a room at a Los Angeles motel. While Cooke was in the bathroom, Boyer grabbed the singer’s clothes and belongings and bolted from the motel room. Enraged, Cooke went to the manager’s office and began pounding on the door. Cooke accused Franklin of collaborating with Boyer to rob him, and the altercation turned physical. In the struggle, Cooke and Franklin fell to the floor. Franklin then produced a handgun and shot Cooke in the chest.

#8. Otis Redding

Otis Redding, 26 years old, a former well-driller from Macon, Georgia, died in a plane crash in an icy Wisconsin lake on December 10, 1968. With him were the five teenage members of the Bar-Kays, a group which made the popular instrumental, “Soul Finger”, and who backed Otis on his recent tours and appearances.

Photo: Courtesy of Wikipedia

Otis was headed from Cleveland, Ohio, to a Sunday evening concert in Madison, Wisconsin. It was his first tour in the private plane he had just purchased. His plane hit the surface of the fog-shrouded lake with tremendous force, widely scattering the debris. He was only four miles from the Madison Municipal Airport. On Tuesday, teams of divers were still dredging the bottom of the lake in a search for the bodies.

#7. Selena

Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was, among other things, a singer, songwriter, model, actress, designer, and speaker. She is one of the most prolific Hispanic musicians and celebrities ever and is generally credited for bringing Latin music genres into the wider American mainstream. Born in Texas in 1971, Selena found fame in the world of Latin music in 1989 with the release of her self-titled debut album.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

In 1995, as the 23-year-old Selena seemed set to take the world by storm with the release of her first English-language album, she was shot dead by Yolanda Saldívar, the head of her own fan club, who had recently been fired for embezzling funds from the club. Within two years of her death, The New York Times was comparing her to Marilyn Monroe and Elvis, and a 2017 Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony in her name drew the largest-ever crowd for those events.

#6. Hank Williams

Born in Alabama and afflicted throughout his youth with a severe spinal condition, Williams found solace in music, learning to overcome both his physical issues and his shyness by writing and recording songs inspired by the blues musicians, gospel songs, and folk ballads of his home state. He found success quickly: Within six years he recorded almost 66 songs, 37 of which were smash hits. Hank Williams was to country music what Hendrix was to rock music, what Bowie was to pop, what Joplin was to psychedelia. A legend within his genre.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

That same success battered him, though, physically and mentally. The stresses of touring worsened his back issues and the pressures of his career pushed him toward alcoholism. He missed shows and was unable to maintain his big gigs. In 1952, he hired a bogus doctor who supplied him with highly dangerous prescription drugs. In December of that year, he died en route to a couple of small shows that had been arranged for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

#5. Aaliyah

Brooklyn-born Aaliyah Dana Haughton started voice lessons shortly after she learned to talk. Determined to be a star, she signed a contract with Jive Records at the age of 12 and came to popular acclaim in 1994. On her way home from a music video shoot in 2001, a plane crash killed Aaliyah and eight members of her film crew. She was 22 years old at the time of her death.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

Tragically, Aaliyah was killed on August 25, 2001, when a small Cessna passenger plane carrying the singer and her video crew crashed and burst into flames shortly after takeoff from Abaco Island in the Bahamas, where they had just completed work on a video. The plane was headed for Miami, Florida. Aaliyah and seven other people, including the pilot, were believed to have died instantly, while a ninth passenger died later at a Bahamian hospital.

#4. Marc Bolan

Born two years after the end of World War II, Mark Feld became a teenager soon after the rock ’n’ roll movement took off. Like the Beatles and other groundbreaking British bands, he started off playing skiffle music, inspired by the work of Lonnie Donegan, before seeking something a little more intriguing. By the age of 17 he’d recorded his first single – although opinions differ on whether it was “Mrs. Jones,” produced by Joe Meek in 1963, or “All At Once” the following year. Bolan created Tyrannosaurus Rex, the psychedelic folk duo (along with drummer Steve Peregrin Took) that brought him his first taste of fame.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

By 1970 he’d begun to move towards a rockier sound, with help from producer Tony Visconti, and “Ride a White Swan” was the vehicle that presented T. Rex to the world. Around 5 AM, in the morning of September 16, 1977, after a night in a London club, Bolan was in the passenger seat of a purple Austin Mini driven by backing singer Gloria Jones. She lost control on a humpback bridge and the car was thrown into a steel fence before stopping against a tree. The passenger side had born the brunt of the impact, and Bolan was sent through 180 degrees and ended up in the rear seat.

#3. Eazy-E

At a Hollywood news conference on March 17, 1995, former N.W.A frontman Eazy-E told the world that he had AIDS. In a prepared statement, Ron Sweeney, the rapper’s friend and attorney, said that Eric Wright had learned two weeks prior and that he was listed in critical condition at the intensive care unit at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

While in critical condition at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Eazy-E and his long-time girlfriend Tomica Woods –who was pregnant with the couple’s second child– were married at approximately 9:30 p.m. on March 14 surrounded by his immediate family. At the time of the rapper’s announcement, both Woods and her one-year-old son had tested negative for HIV and AIDS.

#2. Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin was one of the most gifted and talented singer-songwriters in the 1960s. With a powerhouse voice and understated, no-frills look, Janis commanded every crowd she was in front of, from her early days as the lead singer of Big Brother and the Holding Company to her breakthrough solo career; hits like “Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)”, “Maybe”, and “Piece of My Heart” skyrocketed her to fame and landed her a spot in the lineup at Woodstock in August 1969 — but just a year later, Janis’s intense flame would burn out.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

After Janis failed to show up for a recording session in LA on October 4, 1970, her road manager, John Cooke, drove to the Landmark Motor Hotel in Hollywood, where she was staying, and saw her distinctively painted Porsche in the parking lot. He entered Janis’s room and found her lying dead on the floor next to the bed. Her official cause of death was a heroin overdose, “possibly compounded by alcohol”.

#1. Biggie Smalls

Christopher Wallace, aka Biggie Smalls and the Notorious B.I.G., lived a short life. He was 24 years old when he was gunned down in 1997 in Los Angeles, a murder that has never been solved. Smalls was from New York and had almost single-handedly reinvented East Coast hip hop — overtaken in the early 1990s by the West Coast “g-funk” sound of Dr. Dre and Death Row Records.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

On September 7, 1996, his former friend Tupac Shakur was shot dead in Las Vegas. Nobody has ever been charged for the murder, but as a consequence of the ongoing East Coast/West Coast rap beef that Biggie and Tupac’s rivalry had come to embody, there were plenty who believed that the East Coast rap kingpins were behind Tupac’s murder. Sadly, Biggie did not live long enough to see the peace he wished for. He himself was murdered the early hours of March 9, 1997, Biggie’s SUV waited at a red light, a vehicle pulled up alongside it, and a gunman opened fire. His bodyguard rushed Biggie to the hospital, but it was already too late.

Related posts:

  • About Author

    Luke H.

    Certified Translator recently graduated at the Universidad de Buenos Aires.
    Gamer. Bookworm.

    What we do in life echoes in eternity.

  • Advertising

  • Advertising