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The Death of Rock: The Chronology

2000 - 2004

Artists are listed alphabetically within year of demise. Feel free to scroll, or click the year you wish to view and skip ahead.


Some entries have special notations prior to their names. They represent induction into one of the following Halls of Fame:
* denotes induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
# indicates induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
^ symbolizes induction into the Blues Hall of Fame.


*David Brown
liver and kidney failure. He was 53. Brown was the original bassist for Santana, playing with the band from 1966 until 1971. He rejoined the band in 1973, remaining until 1976. Santana were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Brown played on classics like "Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen," "Oye Como Va," "Samba Pa Ti," and "Evil Ways"

Rob Buck
liver failure; he was 42. Buck was a guitarist for 10,000 Maniacs (which featured lead singer, Natalie Merchant). "My Mother the War," "Hey Jack Kerouac," MTV Unplugged cover of Patty Smith's "Because the Night"

Dennis Danell
Danell was the guitarist and co-founding member of the punk rock band, Social Distortion. Danell suddenly dropped dead in his driveway while moving into a new home. The band's manager stated that he had died of a cerebral aneurysm. The Orange County Coroner’s Office lists his death as “idiopathic dialated cardiomyopathy.” Fellow band member, Mike Ness, stated on the DVD commentary of Another State of Mind that Danell succumbed to a heart condition. Danell was 38. "Let It Be Me," "Ball and Chain," "I Was Wrong"

Ian Dury
colorectal cancer. Dury, 52, was lead for the English band, Ian Dury And The Blockheads. Dury turned to music after the death of singer Gene Vincent (see 1971). The Blockheads scored five hit singles and two Top Ten albums between 1978 and 1980. "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll," "Sweet Gene Vincent," "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick"

Cub Koda
(Michael Koda), kidney disease. He was 51. Koda was the leader of Brownsville Station and a successful solo blues artist. He was editor of The All Music Guide to Blues and writer/editor of "Blues for Dummies". With Brownsville Station: "Smokin' in the Boys Room." As a solo artist: "Let's Hear a Word (For the Folks in the Cemetery)," "Sneakers on a Rooster," "Jail Bait"

Doris Kenner Jackson
breast cancer. She was 58. Jackson was a member of the vocal girl-group, The Shirelles. "Soldier Boy," "Mama Said," "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?"

(William Oliver Swafford), cancer. He was 54. "Good Morning, Starshine" from the rock musical, "Hair". "Jean," "Sunday Mornin'"

*Benjamin Orr
(Benjamin Orzechowski), pancreatic cancer (2000); he was 53. Orr was the bassist and a vocalist for The Cars. He sang lead on several Cars' hits, including "Just What I Needed," "Drive," and "Candy-O." The Cars were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.

Dave Peverett
("Lonesome Dave"), double-pneumonia as a result of renal cancer. He was 56. Peverett was the lead singer for Foghat, who amassed three platinum and eight gold records during their quarter-century career. Foghat's guitarist, Rod Price, died in 2005. 1975's rock classic "Slow Ride," "Drivin' Wheel," "I Just Want to Make Love to You," "Stone Blue," "Third Time Lucky (The First Time I Was a Fool)"

Vicki Sue Robinson
cancer. She was 45. Disco diva who appeared on Broadway in "Hair," "Soon", and "Jesus Christ Superstar". Session vocalist and solo artist, famous for her club hit, "Turn the Beat Around."

Jerome Smith
construction accident. He was 47. Smith was a founding member and rhythm guitarist of KC & the Sunshine Band. While working construction, he fell off his bulldozer and was crushed by the machine. "Get Down Tonight," "That's The Way (I Like It)," "(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty"

Scott Smith
drowned. He was 45. Smith was the bassist for '80s soft-rockers, Loverboy. Smith was boating with two friends when strong winds and high waves began battering the craft. He sent his friends below deck; a while later they realized both he and the steering mechanism were missing. His body was never found. "Working for the Weekend," "Lovin' Every Minute of It," "This Could Be the Night"

Ian "Spike" Spice
cause of death undisclosed; he was 34. Spice was the drummer for Breathe, who had several pop radio hits in the late '80s. "How Can I Fall?" "Hands to Heaven," "Does She Love That Man?"

Helen Wheels
(Helen Robbins), staph infrection. Wheels sang with Blue Oyster Cult ("Room to Rage," "Tattoo Vampire") and later went on to form her own bands. She developed a staph infection after a routine surgery and passed away. She was 50.

Allen Woody
(Douglas Allen Woody), most likely a heart attack. He was 44. Woody played bass for the Artimus Pyle Band, the Allman Brothers Band (he replaced Lamar Williams - see 1983, who replaced Berry Oakley - see 1972), and Gov't Mule. He was found dead, seated ina chair, by a maid in a Queens (NY) hotel room. The Allman Brothers were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. (Woody was not included in the induction, having joined the band in 1989.) The Allmans: "Whipping Post," "Ramblin' Man," "Midnight Rider." With Gov't Mule: "Mother Earth," "Temporary Saint," "Dolphineus"

Paul Young
heart attack. He was 53. Young was a singer and percussionist with the bands Sad Cafe and Mike + the Mechanics. With Sad Cafe: "Everyday Hurts," "Run Home Girl." With Mike + the Mechanics: "The Living Years," "All I Need is a Miracle," "Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)"


Aaliyah space saver Aaliyah crash site

Aaliyah; the plane wreckage.

(Aaliyah Dana Haughton), plane crash in the Bahamas. Aaliyah was a rising R&B star and actress ("Romeo is Bleeding," "Queen of the Damned"); she was 22. Aaliyah and her entourage boarded a twin engine Cessna 402B (N8097W) for a flight to the US following a video shoot ("Rock the Boat") in the Bahamas. Aaliyah's entourage insisted that their equipment accompany them rather than leave it behind. The National Transportation and Safety Board report states that, "the total weight of the luggage, fuel on board at the time of the accident, plus the weight of the passengers showed that the total gross weight of the airplane was substantially exceeded...the center of gravity was significantly outside the flight envelope past the aft center of gravity." "(Dust Yourself Off and) Try Again," "Back and Forth," "Rock the Boat"

Stuart Adamson

Stuart Adamson

Stuart Adamson
suicide by hanging. Adamson was the guitarist for late-'70s Scottish punk band, The Skids, and lead singer for '80s group, Big Country, which was the first band to play a privately-promoted concert in Moscow. Adamson sang on the 1985 "Band Aid" Christmas hit, "Do They Know It's Christmas?" He was plagued by alcoholism and was found hanging in a Honolulu hotel room. He was 43. The Skids: "Into the Valley," "Charade," "The Saints Are Coming" Big Country: "Look Away," "Wonderland," "In A Big Country," "Fields of Fire (400 Miles)"

Herman Brood
suicide. Brood was a well known artist and musician on the Dutch rock scene for 30 years. As the leader of Wild Romance, he enjoyed massive success with the 1978 hit, "Saturday Night." Brood often spoke about the difficulty of stopping his famous drug habit and had been complaining of poor health and depression. He had told a close friend he didn't want to "fade away." (See Kurt Cobain's suicide note, 1994.) He jumped to his death from the roof of an Amsterdam hotel. He was 55.

Peter Doyle
cancer. Doyle was a member of The New Seekers, who scored a hit in 1971 with "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing." He was 52. 1970's "Look What They've Done To My Song, Ma"

George Harrison

George Harrison

*George Harrison
cancer; he was 58. Former Beatle and influential, Eastern-inspired solo artist. Organized the all-star concerts for Bangladesh and was the first Beatle to chart a solo album at #1 (7 weeks). In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine named him one of the greatest guitarists of all time (ranking #21). Harrison was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with the Beatles in 1988 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004. The Beatles were also inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004. Read about the Beatles' connection to the Curse of Buddy Holly. "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," "Here Comes the Sun," "(Got My Mind) Set On You"

Richard Hite
cancer; he was 50. Hite was the brother of Canned Heat's Bob "The Bear" Hite (see 1981), and he often performed with the group. He also played with Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Hammie Nixon, Studebaker John, and Pretty Things/Yardbird Blues Band.

Glenn Hughes
lung cancer. Hughes was the leather-clad "motorcyclist" for '70s gay icons, the Village People. Hughes, who was buried in his leatherman outfit, was 50. "YMCA," "In the Navy," "Macho Man"

Passion Fruit
crash of Crossair Flight 3597 in 2001. Passion Fruit, a Euro-dance trio, scored several international hits, the biggest being 1999's "The Rigga-Ding-Dong-Song." After a performance in Berlin, the group was flying to Zurich, when the pilot descended below the minimum descent altitude and crashed into a hill in Bassersdorf, Switzerland, killing 24 of the 33 people on board. Debby St. Marteen survived; Nathalie van het Ende (age 25) and Maria Serrano-Serrano (age 27) were killed, along with Melanie Thornton of the group La Bouche. Proceeds from Passion Fruit's posthumous single, "I'm Dreaming of a. . .Winter Wonderland" went to families of the crash victims.

The Ramones

The Ramones: Johnny, Dee Dee, Joey & Marky

*Joey Ramone
(Jeffrey Hyman), lymphoma; he was 49. Vocalist for The Ramones. All three founding members would die within four years of one another. (Dee Dee Ramone would die the following year from a drug overdose and Johnny Ramone would succumb to prostate cancer in 2004.) Punk pioneers, The Ramones were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. "I Wanna Be Sedated," "Teenage Lobotomy"

Chuck Schuldiner
(Charles Michael Schuldiner), brain cancer. He was 34. Schuldiner was the founder, songwriter, vocalist, rhythm and lead guitarist for the metal group, Death. "The Father of Death Metal," his obituary in Kerrang! magazine called Schuldiner "one of the most significant figures in the history of metal." He placed at #20 on Guitar World's list of the 100 greatest metal guitarists. Death albums include: Human, Individual Thought Patterns, Symbolic and The Sound of Perseverance.

Mike "Smitty" Smith
succumbed to natural causes. He was 58. Smith was the drummer for Paul Revere and the Raiders. "Indian Reservation (Cherokee People)," "Steppin' Out," "The Great Airplane Strike"

Melanie Thornton
crash of Crossair Flight 3597. Thornton was the singer for dance group, La Bouche. While flying from Berlin to Zurich, the pilot descended below the minimum descent altitude and crashed into a hill in Bassersdorf, Switzerland, killing 24 of the 33 people on board. Thornton, along with Nathalie van het Ende and Maria Serrano-Serrano of the group, Passion Fruit, were killed. Thornton was 34. "Be My Lover," "Sweet Dreams," "Fallin' In Love," "I Love To Love"

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Skynyrd circa 1974: Leon Wilkeson (d. 2001), Billy Powell (d. 2009),

Ronnie Van Zant (d. 1977), Gary Rossington, Bob Burns, Allen Collins (d. 1990), Ed King.

*Leon Wilkeson
liver disease; he was 49. Wilkeson was a founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Along with Gary Rossington, Allen Collins (see 1990), Artimus Pyle and Billy Powell (see 2009), he was also a survivor of the 1977 plane crash that killed lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, his sister, backup singer Cassie Gaines, and manager Dean Kilpatrick. During the early '90s, guitarist Ed King found Leon Wilkeson on the group's tour bus, sleeping, but with his throat cut and bleeding. Wilkeson was taken to the hospital and recovered. It is still a mystery as to who was responsible - Ed King blames Wilkeson's girlfriend-at-the-time. Wilkeson's replacement in the band, Donald "Ean" Evans, succumbed to cancer in 2009. Lynyrd Skynyrd were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. Visit the Archive's Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute. "Free Bird," "Sweet Home Alabama," "Gimme Three Steps," "Simple Man"


Paul Baloff
stroke. Baloff was a lead vocalist for thrash-metal band, Exodus. He appeared on the album, Bonded by Blood. Baloff was 41 at the time of his death.

Randy Castillo
squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer). He was 51. Castillo was the drummer for Ozzy Osbourne and briefly played with Motley Crue. Albums with Osbourne include: The Ultimate Sin, No Rest for the Wicked, and No More Tears.

Robbin Crosby
complications from AIDS. Crosby, guitarist for the seminal 1980's hair-metal band, Ratt, abused heroin during the band's early success and contracted HIV. Ratt's 1984 video for their signature song, "Round and Round," featured a cross-dressing Milton Berle. Crosby was 42. "Round and Round," "Lay It Down"

Darryl DeLoach
liver cancer. He was 55. DeLoach founded Iron Butterfly, and was the original lead singer. He left the band after their first album, Heavy, was recorded, before the success of "Inna-Gadda-Da-Vita." He survived bassist Philip Taylor Kramer (see 1995) and died one year before guitarist Erik Brann (see 2003).

Willis Draffen
(Willis Lewis Draffen, Jr.), cause of death undisclosed. Draffen was a known diabetic, but the specific cause of death was not released. He was 56. He was a member of Bloodstone, with Roger Lee Durham (see 1973). "Natural High," "Never Let You Go," "Outside Woman," "My Little Lady"

John Entwistle

John Entwistle

*John Entwistle
heart attack brought on by cocaine use. He was 57. Virtuoso bassist for The Who, he died in his sleep, the day before the band's latest tour was to begin. The remaining members decided to proceed in tribute to the bassist. The Who (including drummer Keith Moon, see 1978) were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. "Baba O'Reilly," "Pinball Wizard," "Behind Blue Eyes"

Zac Foley
(Zachary Sebastian Rex James Foley), collapsed after combining ecstasy, crack cocaine, morphine and barbiturates along with vodka and beer. Member of the early-'90s one-hit wonders, EMF (Epson Mad Funkers?). He was 31. "Unbelievable"

Mary Hansen
hit by a truck. She was 36. Hansen was a member of the British alternative group, Stereolab. She was also a member of the band Schema, with members of the Seattle-based band, Hovercraft. Hansen was killed when she was struck by a truck while cycling around London. She appeared on six Stereolab albums, from 1993's Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Announcements to 2001's Sound-Dust.

Jam Master Jay

Jam Master Jay

*Jam Master Jay
(Jason Mizell), shot while working in a Queens (NY) recording studio. Mizell was DJ for the ground-breaking rap trio, Run-DMC. His death was one in a string of rap artist slayings. Mizell was 37. Run-DMC were named Greatest Hip Hop Group of All Time by and Greatest Hip Hop Artist of All Time by VH1. The trio was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. Here is a 2020 article about the indictment of two suspects in Jam Master Jay's murder. "Walk This Way," "Mary Mary," "Down With the King"

Lisa Lopes space saver Crash site

Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes; the wreckage.

Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes
car crash in Honduras. Lopes was one third of the R&B trio, TLC, considered the best-selling girl group of all time. "Left Eye" was spending a month in Honduras, when several days before the end of her stay, she said she felt she was being "chased" by a spirit. A vehicle she was riding in struck and killed a young boy - Lopes thought it was a mistake on the spirit's part; the boy's last name was Lopes. A few days later she was driving an SUV and the vehicle rolled. Nine people were involved; Lopes, who reportedly was wearing her seat belt, was the only fatality. She was 30. "Baby, Baby, Baby," "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," "Scrubs," "Unpretty," "Waterfalls"

Kevin Scott Macmichael
lung cancer. He was 51. Macmichael played guitar for Cutting Crew, who were nominated for a Grammy for Best New Artist in 1987. Their song, "(I Just) Died in Your Arms," hit number one the same year. After his time with Cutting Crew, he played on Robert Plant's album, Fate of Nations (1993), including the Grammy-nominated song "Calling to You."

The Ramones

The Ramones: Johnny, Dee Dee, Joey & Marky

*Dee Dee Ramone
(Douglas Colvin), drug overdose. He was 49. Bassist for The Ramones. All three founding members would die within four years of one another. (Joey Ramone died the previous year from lymphoma and Johnny Ramone would succumb to prostate cancer in 2004.) Punk pioneers, The Ramones were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. "I Wanna Be Sedated," "Teenage Lobotomy"

Joe Schermie
heart attack. He was 55. Schermie was the original bassist for Three Dog Night. "Black and White," "Joy to the World," "Mama Told Me (Not to Come)," "One"

Layne Staley space saver Alice in Chains

Layne Staley.

Alice in Chains, circa 1992: Mike Starr (d. 2011), Jerry Cantrell, Layne Stayley (d. 2002) and Sean Kinney.

Layne Staley
heroin overdose. Staley was 34. Lead singer of Alice in Chains and Mad Season, Staley was found dead in his apartment, his body undiscovered for 2 weeks. He died on 5 April, the date fellow grunge icon, Nirvana singer, Kurt Cobain, took his life in 1994. Mike Starr, former bassist for AIC, was the last known person to see Staley alive; he spent time with the singer the day before he died. Starr stated that Staley was extremely ill, but would not call 911. The two argued and Starr stormed off with Staley calling after him, "Not like this, don't leave like this." Starr regretted not calling 911 to save his friend's life and blamed himself for Staley's death. (Mike Starr would die of a suspected drug overdose in 2011. Coincidentally, Staley's bassist in Mad Season, John Baker Saunders, died of a heroin overdose in 1999.) AIC had the heaviest sound of the early '90s grunge movement, with songs like "Would?," "No Excuses," "Down in a Hole," and "Angry Chair."

Joe Strummer

Joe Strummer

*Joe Strummer
(John Graham Mellor), heart failure. He was 50. Ground-breaking punk band The Clash were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. "Rock the Casbah," "Train in Vain," "Radio Clash"

Mick Tucker
leukemia; he was 53. Drummer for Sweet, who enjoyed hits with "Ballroom Blitz," "Little Willie," "Fox on the Run," and "Love is Like Oxygen."

Doreen Waddell
struck by three vehicles and killed. Waddell, 36, was a former vocalist with Soul II Soul and The KLF. She was being chased after shoplifting from a store in Worthing when she ran onto the A27 and was killed. Soul II Soul: "Back to Life" The KLF: "3 AM Eternal," "Justified and Ancient"

Patrick Waite
hereditary heart condition. Member of the '80s one-hit wonders, Musical Youth. Waite, who turned to a life of crime after the band's break-up, died while awaiting a court appearance on drug charges. He was 23. "Pass the Dutchie"

Dave Williams
hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. He was 30. Williams was the original lead singer for the metal group, Drowning Pool. He was ranked #82 (out of 100) as one of the top metal vocalists by Hit Parader. Williams performed on Drowning Pool's debut platinum album, Sinner.

*Zal Yanovsky
heart attack; he was 57. Founding member and original guitarist for The Lovin' Spoonful, he left the group in 1967. The album, The Best of The Lovin' Spoonful (1967), charts for an entire year, peaking at #3. The group is inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. Yanovsky contributed to the hits, "Do You Believe in Magic," "Daydream," "Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind," "Summer in the City," and "Good Time Music"


Erik Brann
(born Rick Davis), heart attack. He was 52. Brann was guitarist for the psychedelic rock group Iron Butterfly at the age of 17. The band achieved immortality with their 17 minute metal epic, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (1968). Brann survived fellow bandmates, bassist Philip Taylor Kramer (see 1995) and original singer Darryl DeLoach (see 2002). "Are You Happy," "Most Anything That You Want"

Arthur Conley
intestinal cancer. He passed away at his home in Netherlands at the age of 57. Conley recorded the 1967 hit, "Sweet Soul Music."

Bill Deal
heart attack. He was 59. Deal fronted Bill Deal & the Rhondels. "May I," "I've Been Hurt," "What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am?"

*Howie Epstein
(Norman Howard Epstein), heroin overdose at the age of 47. Epstein was the bassist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The band (including Epstein) was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. "Free Fallin'," "Learnin' to Fly," "I Won't Back Down," "Refugee"

T. Rex

One version of T. Rex: Bill Legend, Mickey Finn (d. 2003),

singer Marc Bolan (d. 1977), and Steve Currie (d. 1980).

*Mickey Finn
(Michael Norman Finn), liver and kidney disease. He was 55. Finn joined T-Rex, where he replaced Steve Peregrin Took (see 1980) on bongos and "looked superb," according to singer Marc Bolan (see 1977). T-Rex seems to have fallen apart after Bolan's death. In addition to Finn and Took, fellow T-Rex members Steve Currie (see 1981) and "Dino" Dines (see 2004) also passed away prematurely. T-Rex was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2020. "Get It On (Bang A Gong)," "Hot Love," "Telegram Sam," "Metal Guru"

The Bee Gees

The Bee Gees: Robin (d. 2012), Barry, & Maurice (d. 2003) Gibb

*Maurice Gibb
cardiac arrest. Gibb collapsed and was rushed to the hospital for an intestinal blockage, but died from heart failure. He was 53. Maurice was one-third of the phenomenal Bee Gees who scored hits in the 1960s through the 1990s. Maurice's twin and fellow Bee Gee, Robin, died in 2012 after a battle with cancer. He was 62. The Bee Gees were the older brothers of entertainer Andy Gibb. The Bee Gees were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001. "Stayin' Alive," "Alone," "More Than A Woman," "How Do You Mend a Broken Heart"

"Little Eva"
(Eva Narcissus Boyd), cancer. She was 59. Scored a number one hit as a teenager with the often-covered, 1962 dance-craze "The Loco-Motion."

Ty Longley space saver Fire, Great White Concert

Ty Longley; the fire at The Station, 40 seconds after ignition.

Photo of the club by Daniel R. Davidson (from Wikipedia).

Ty Longley
night club fire; he was 31. Longley was the guitarist for '80s hair band, Great White. The band was playing The Station, a club in Rhode Island, and used pyrotechnics, setting the building ablaze. One hundred people ultimately died and 230 others were injured. The club's owners claimed they did not give permission for pyrotechnics; band members say otherwise. Investigators determined that the foam used for insulation was intended for use in packaging and product display rather than sound-proofing and was not treated with fire-retardant materials used in acoustic foam. Witnesses to the blaze claimed the flames spread across the foam at approximately one foot per second. The Station (illegally) did not have a sprinkler system. The owners, Jeffrey and Michael Derderian, and Great White's road manager, Daniel Biechele, were charged with 200 counts of involuntary manslaughter (criminally negligent manslaughter and misdemeanor manslaughter). Daniel Biechele, against his lawyers' advice, pleaded guilty to 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter. Biechele was sentenced to 15 years in prison; four to serve and 11 years suspended, plus three years probation. (Biechele was released from prison in March 2008.) Michael and Jeffrey Derderian, changed their pleas from not guilty to no contest. Michael Derderian received 15 years in prison; four to serve and 11 suspended, plus three years probation. Jeffrey Derderian received a 10-year suspended sentence, three years probation, and 500 hours of community service. (According to the sentencing judge, the difference in the brothers' penalties reflected their roles in purchasing and installating the flammable foam.) Michael Derderian will be released early from prison in September 2009. As of August 2008, nearly $175 million has been offered to the families of the victims of the fire by various defendants. Great White offered $1 million dollars in a settlement to survivors and victim's families; Jeffrey and Michael Derderian have offered $813,000. (Information from Wikipedia.) Original bassist, Lorne Black, would pass away from undisclosed causes in 2013 at the age of 49. Great White: "Once Bitten (Twice Shy)," "The Angel Song," "House of Broken Love"

Robert Palmer

Robert Palmer

Robert Palmer
heart attack at the age of 54. Palmer was famous for his controversial music videos featuring identical women in mini-skirts and red lipstick. He won two Grammy awards for "Simply Irresistible" and "Addicted to Love." He formed Power Station ("Some Like It Hot") with Tony Thompson (also 2003) and John and Andy Taylor of Duran Duran. "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On," "Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)," a cover of Marvin Gaye's (see 1984) "Mercy, Mercy Me."

The Jimi Hendrix Expwerience

Mitch Mitchell (d. 2008), Jimi Hendrix (d. 1970) and Noel Redding (d. 2003).

*Noel Redding
cirrhosis of the liver. He was 57. Redding was the bassist for The Jimi Hendrix Experience, who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. Jimi Hendrix (see 1970) died from aspiration of vomit while under the influence and drummer Mitch Mitchell died in 2008 at age 61 from apparently natural causes. "Purple Haze," "Foxy Lady," "Crosstown Traffic"

Greg Ridley
succumbed to pneumonia. He was 56. Ridley was the bassist and co-founder of Humble Pie. "Black Coffee," "30 Days in the Hole," "I Don't Need No Doctor," "Natural Born Bugie"

Elliott Smith
self-inflicted stab wound. Smith released 5 solo albums and was nominated for an Academy Award for the song, "Miss Misery," from the 1997 film, "Good Will Hunting". He was 34.

Tony Thompson
renal-cell cancer; he was 48. Thompson debuted as the drummer for Chic, evolving into an in-demand session drummer, backing many popular ‘70s and ‘80s artists, including Diana Ross, Sister Sledge, Rod Stewart, Debbie Harry, Mick Jagger, and David Bowie. In 1985, he accompanied the surviving members of Led Zeppelin on stage at Live Aid and formed Power Station ("Some Like It Hot") with Robert Palmer (also 2003) and John and Andy Taylor of Duran Duran. Their self-titled album, produced by fellow Chic member, Bernard Edawards (see 1996), was certified platinum. With Chic: "Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)," "Le Freak," "Good Times".

Barry White

Barry White

Barry White
(Barry Carter), medical complications at the age of 58. Chronic high blood pressure resulted in kidney failure. While undergoing dialysis in May, White suffered a stroke which impaired his speech and left him partially paralyzed. The baritone, responsible for numerous romantic soul classics, won two Grammys and earned 106 gold albums, 41 platinum albums, 20 gold singles and 10 platinum singles. "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe," "You're the First, the Last, My Everything," "Love's Theme"

Warren Zevon
lung cancer; age 56. Zevon began his musical career as pianist and later bandleader for the Everly Brothers. He then penned several hits for Linda Ronstadt (such as "Carmelita," "Poor, Poor Pitiful Me," and "Hasten Down the Wind"), before gaining notoriety as the creator of macabre novelty hits. "Werewolves of London," "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead," "Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead," "Life'll Kill Ya," "She Quit Me Man" (from the film, "Midnight Cowboy")


Carl Anderson
leukemia. He was four days shy of his 59th birthday. Anderson was a jazz musician and actor, nominated for a Golden Globe for his perfomrance as Judas Iscariot in Broadway's Jesus Christ, Superstar. His self-titled album produced a #2 pop hit, "Friends and Lovers," a duet with Gloria Loring. "How Deep Does It Go," "Pieces Of A Heart," "Hot Coffee"

Paul Atkinson
liver and kidney disease. Atkinson was a founding member of The Zombies, a '60s British Invasion band. He later became a music executive, signing (among others) ABBA, Bruce Hornsby, Judas Priest, and Patty Smyth. Atkinson was 58 at the time of his death. "She's Not There," "Time of the Season," "Tell Her No"

Dave Blood
(David Schulthise), suicide. He was 47. Bassist for the Dead Milkmen, popular on the '80s college circuit. The band broke up in 1995, when Blood developed tendinitis in both hands, forcing him to stop playing music. "Bitchin' Camaro," "Punk Rock Girl"

Laura Branigan

Laura Branigan

Laura Branigan
aneurysm; she was 47. Songstress of the '80s, scoring four Grammy nominations. "Gloria," "Self-Control," "Solitaire," "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You?"

Cornelius Bumpus
heart attack on a flight from New York City to California; age 58. Saxophonist, formerly of the Doobie Brothers; member of Steely Dan since 1993. Steely Dan (Walter Becker and Donald Fagen) were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. The Doobie Brothers were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004. Fellow Doobies Bobby LaKind (congas, see 1992) and Keith Knudsen (drummer, see 2005) are also members of the Archive. Doobies: "Takin it to the Streets," "Black Water," "China Grove"

dimebag Darrell

"Dimebag" Darrell

"Dimebag" Darrell
(Darrell Abbott), shot to death while performing with Damageplan. He was 38. Darrell was co-founder and guitarist of the metal groups Pantera and Damageplan (with his brother, Vinnie Paul, see 2018). The shooting occurred on the 24th anniverasry of John Lennon's fatal shooting by Mark David Chapman (see 1980). You can read the report on Darrell's murder, released 24 October 2005. With Pantera: "Planet Caravan" (Black Sabbath cover), "Revolution is My Name," "Becoming." With Damageplan: "Explode," "Save Me," "Breathing New Life"

"Dino" Dines
(Peter Leslie Dines), heart attack; he was 59. Dines was a keyboardist who played with The Hollies, Beach Boys, and later joined T-Rex. Unforunately for Dines, he joined after the band's heyday. He was one of five T-Rex members to die prematurely, the others being singer Marc Bolan (see 1977), Steve Peregrin Took (see 1980), Steve Currie (see 1981), and Mickey Finn (see 2003). T-Rex (minus Peregrin Took) was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2020. T-Rex's hits with Dines: "New York City," "I Love to Boogie"

Rust Epique
(Charled Lopez), massive heart attack. Epique was a member of Crazy Town (with DJ AM, see 2009), when the group hit big with the single, "Butterfly." He left the band and later formed pre)Thing (that is not a typo). Epique was known for his hard-living Rock & Roll lifestyle. He was 35 when he died.

Rick James

Rick James

Rick James
(James Johnson, Jr.), existing medical conditions. He was 56. James, nephew of the Temptations' Melvin Franklin (see 1995), was notorious for his tangles with sex, drugs, and the law. James became a funk favorite after the success of his hit, "Super Freak." He produced songs for Teena Marie (died 2010) and Eddie Murphy ("Party All the Time") and won Grammy Awards for his album Street Songs and his collaboration with M.C. Hammer on "U Can't Touch This," which incorpoarted samples from "Super Freak." "Give It to Me Baby," "17," "Glow"

Arthur "Killer" Kane
leukemia. Kane was the bassist for the New York Dolls, four of whom would die prematurely: Kane, Bill Murcia (see 1972), Johnny Thunders (see 1991), and Jerry Nolan (see 1992). Kane was 55. "Personality Crisis," "Frankenstein"

Bob Mayo
heart attack at the age of 53. Mayo was a session keyboardist and guitarist. He joined Pater Frasmpton's touring band, appearing on Frampton Comes Alive! (John Siomos, who was drummer for the Frampton tour, also died in 2004.) Mayo also appeared on Frampton's albums I'm in You, Where I Should Be, Frampton Comes Alive! II, Live in Detroit and Now. He toured with Foeigner, Dan Fogelberg, Hall & Oats, Aerosmith and Robert Plant. With Foreigner: "Waiting For a Girl Like You" With Frampton: "Show Me the Way," "Baby, I Love Your Way", "Do You Feel Like We Do"

Alex Nelson
automobile accident. He was 41. Nelson was guitarist for '80s hair band, Lizzy Borden. "Me Against The World," "American Metal," "Master Of Disguise"

*Bruce Palmer
heart attack at the age of 58. Palmer was the bassist for Buffalo Springfield, who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. "For What It's Worth," "Mr. Soul," "Expecting to Fly"

The Ramones

The Ramones: Johnny, Dee Dee, Joey & Marky

*Johnny Ramone
(John Cummings), prostate cancer; he was 55. Guitarist for the Ramones. All three founding members would die within four years of one another. (Joey Ramone died in 2001 from lymphoma and Dee Dee Ramone in 2002 from a drug overdose.) In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine named Johnny Ramone one of the greatest guitarists of all time (ranking #16). Punk pioneers, The Ramones were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. "I Wanna Be Sedated," "Teenage Lobotomy"

John Siomos
causes unknown; he was 56. Siomos was a session drummer who toured with Peter Frampton and appears on Frampton Comes Alive! Siomos co-wrote the hit "Do You Feel Like We Do". (Bob Mayo, who was the keyboardist for the Frampton tour, also died in 2004.) Siomos also appeared on Todd Rundgren's "Hello It's Me" and Carly Simon's "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be". Siomos was found dead in his apartment. No cause of death was named, but it was supposedly "natural causes."

Edmund Sylvers
cancer; he was 47. Lead singer of the Sylvers. "Boogie Fever"

Randy Van Warmer
leukemia. He was 48. Van Warmer recorded the hit "Just When I Needed You Most" and wrote the number one country hits "It Never Hurts to Hurt Sometimes" (performed by The Oak Ridge Boys) and "I'm in a Hurry (And Don't Know Why)" (by Alabama). He was cremated and his remains were sent into space in 2007.

John Whitehead and Gene McFadden

The Epsilons: John Whitehead & Gene McFadden

John Whitehead
murdered at age 55. He was working on a vehicle when two men approached and opened fire; he was shot in the neck and killed. Whitehead and Gene McFadden (see 2006) formed The Epsilons, and scored hits with "The Echo" and 1979's "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now." The Epsilons toured with Otis Redding, and McFadden and Whitehead wrote the O'Jays' "Backstabbers" and Harold Melvin (see 1997) & the Blues Notes' "Wake Up Everybody."

Syreeta Wright
(Rita Wright), cancer; age 58. Motown singer and songwriter. She dueted with, and was once married to, Stevie Wonder. She also appeared as Mary Magdalene in a U.S. touring production of Jesus Christ Superstar. "With You I'm Born Again" (with Billy Preston, see 2006), "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," "If You Really Love Me" (both with Stevie Wonder), "Your Kiss Is Sweet," "Spinnin' and Spinnin'"