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The Death of Rock: The Chronology

2005 - 2009

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.


Danny Joe Brown
complications from diabetes, including renal failure and pneumonia. He was 53. Brown sang lead for the Southern rock band, Molly Hatchet, which was named after a prostitute who supposedly beheaded her clients. Hatchet's 1978 eponymous album went platinum. "Flirtin' With Disaster," "Bounty Hunter," "Whisky Man"

*Jim Capaldi
stomach cancer; he was 60. Capaldi was the drummer for Traffic and later formed his own band, The Contenders. He was a five-time winner of BMI or ASCAP for the most-played songs in the United States. Traffic were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. "Paper Sun," "Forty Thousand Headmen," "Dear Mr. Fantasy," "Feelin' Alright"

The Cowsills

The Cowsills: Bob, Barry (d. 2005), Susan, William (d. 2006), Barbara (d. 1985), and John

Barry Cowsill
body found admist Hurricane Katrina's devastation in New Orleans. He was 51. He was a member of the '60s group, The Cowsills. (Mother Barbara passed away in 1985 and brother William would die in 2006.) Made up of six siblings and their mother, The Cowsills were the inspiration for television's "The Partridge Family." Barry left a message for his sister before Katrina struck: "I don't know how to get out of town except wait for a bus...I've been so...lonely...I hope I get in touch with you." He was never heard from again. Four months later, his body was found. The cause of death was determined to be drowning. "Hair," "The Rain, The Park, and Other Things," "Indian Lake"

Dennis D'Amour
a.k.a. "Piggy" - colon cancer. He was 45. D'Amour was the guitarist for Canadian thrash band, Voivod. Voivod gained additional notoriety when they were joined by former Metallica bassist, Jason Newsted. "War and Pain," "Forgotten in Space," "Rebel Robot"


Badfinger: Mike Gibbins (d. 2005),

Pete Ham (d. 1975), Tom Evans (d. 1983), & Joey Molland

Mike Gibbins
natural causes. He was 56. Gibbins, drummer for the tragedy-plagued Badfinger, died in his sleep. His bandmates, Pete Ham (see 1975) and Tom Evans (see 1983), both hanged themselves when the group fell on hard times. Harry Nilsson's (see 1994) cover of Badfinger's "Without You" reached #1. (Read about Badfinger's connection to the Curse of Harry Nilsson.)"Day After Day," "If You Want It (Come and Get It)"

Paul Hester
suicide by hanging. Hester was the drummer for '80s band, Crowded House. His body was found in a park near his home in Melbourne. Reports said he was discovered hanging from a tree. Hester was 46 at the time of his death. "Don't Dream it's Over," "Something So Strong," "Weather with You"

*Keith Knudsen
pneumonia; he was 56. Knudsen had played for Southern Pacific and been drummer for the Doobie Brothers since 1974 along with conga player Bobby LaKind (see 1992) and saxophonist Cornelius Bumpus (see 2004). He battled cancer in 1995. The Doobie Brothers were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2020. With the Doobies: "Takin it to the Streets," "Black Water," "China Grove"

Mike Mahaffey
died in his sleep of unknown causes. Mahaffey was the guitarist of the Nashville band, Self. His brother, Matt, sang lead. Mike was 38. "So Low," "Borateen," "Cannon"

Karl Mueller
throat cancer. Mueller was bassist for '90s alternative band, Soul Asylum. He was 41. "Runaway Train," "Black Gold," "Somebody to Shove"

Rod Price
fell down a stairway while suffering a heart attack; he was 57. Price was guitarist for Foghat, who amassed three platinum and eight gold records during their quarter-century career. Foghat's lead singer, Dave Peverett, died in 2000. 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)"

Domenic Troiano
cancer. He was 59. Troiano was the guitarist for The Guess Who and The James Gang. The Guess Who: "American Woman," "These Eyes," "Undun" The James Gang: "Walk Away," "Funk #49"

Luther Vandross

Luther Vandross

Luther Vandross
complications from a stroke suffered in 2003. Luther Ronzoni Vandross, a Grammy-winning soul vocalist, claimed to have lost 100 pounds - 13 times in his life. He also suffered from hypertension and diabetes. He remained in a coma for two months after his 2003 stroke and never completely recovered. He was 54. "Here and Now," "Give Me the Reason," "Power of Love/Love Power," "The Best Things in Life Are Free" (duet with Janet Jackson)


Syd Barrett

*Syd Barrett
(Roger Keith Barrett), complications from diabetes. He was 60. Barrett was a founding member of Pink Floyd, who wrote most of Floyd's first two albums, before succumbing to drug addiction and mental collapse. (He was replaced by David Gilmour and became rock's most famous recluse.) Many of the band's later hits, such as "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and "Wish You Were Here" were tributes to Barrett. Pink Floyd (including Barrett) were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. With Floyd: "Arnold Layne," "Bike," "See Emily Play." Solo albums: The Madcap Laughs, Barrett

Buddy Blue
(Bernard Seigal), heart attack at the age of 48. Blue was a rock journalist and founder of country-rock band, the Beat Farmers. "Happy Boy"

The Cowsills

The Cowsills: Bob, Barry (d. 2005), Susan, William (d. 2006), Barbara (d. 1985), and John

William Cowsill
complications from emphysema, osteoporosis and Cushing syndrome. He was a member of the '60s group, The Cowsills. (Mother Barbara passed away in 1985 and brother Barry drowned during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.) Made up of six siblings and their mother, The Cowsills were the inspiration for television's "The Partridge Family." William was 58. "Hair," "The Rain, The Park, and Other Things," "Indian Lake"

Bruce Gary
lymphoma. He was 55. Gary was the original drummer for the Knack ("My Sharona") and recorded with solo artists including George Harrison (see 2001), Bob Dylan, Stephen Stills, Yoko Ono, and Harry Nilsson.

Johnny Jackson
drummer for the Jackson 5 (no relation) for the majority of their career. Jackson was fatally stabbed by his girlfriend after an argument. She received two years in prison. Jackson was 50 at the time of his death. With the Jackson 5: "I Want You Back," "ABC," "Who's Lovin' You," "The Love You Save," "I'll Be There," "Dancing Machine"

Gerald Levert
accidental mix of prescription and over-the-counter drugs; age 40. Levert released several solo albums (hits include "I Swear," "I'd Give Anything," and "Baby Hold On to Me"), was a member of LeVert ("Casanova," ""Baby I'm Ready," and "(Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop) Goes My Mind") and LSG ("My Baby"). He was the son of O'Jays member, Eddie Levert, Sr. and the brother of Sean Levert, also a member of LeVert, who died in 2008.

John Whitehead & Gene McFadden

The Epsilons: John Whitehead & Gene McFadden

Gene McFadden
cancer; age 56. McFadden formed The Epsilons with John Whitehead (see 2004), 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."

Daniel McKenna
suicide. He was 54. McKenna was the guitarist for '70s band Toby Beau. He was found dead in his home. No other details were revealed, other than that the death was ruled a suicide. "My Angel Baby," "Westbound Train," "Into the Night," "Broken Down Cowboy"

Grant McLennan
massive heart attack. McLennan was the singer and songwriter for the Australian band, The Go-Betweens. He was preparing for a party, decided to take a nap before his guests arrived, and never woke up. He was 48. The group's single, "Cattle and Cane," was voted by the Australian Performing Rights Association as one of the ten greatest Australian songs of all time. "Part Company," "Streets of Your Town," "Head Full of Steam"

Jesse Pintado
diabetic coma. Pintado was a long-standing guitarist for the death metal group, Napalm Death. He appeared on seven Napalm Death studio albums between 1990-2000, including Harmony Corruption, Utopia Banished, and Inside the Torn Apart. Pintado also played in the groups Terrorizer and Lock Up. He was 37 at the time of his death. With Napalm Death: "Suffer the Children," "If the Truth Be Known," "I Abstain"

June Pointer
cancer. She was 52. She was a member of the late '70s - early '80s outfit, The Pointer Sisters. The group of four (later three) sisters won three Grammy Awards for their songs "Fairytale" (for best country vocal performance!), "Automatic" and "Jump (for My Love)." Other hits include "Neutron Dance," "I'm So Excited," "Slow Hand"

Billy Preston

Billy Preston

Billy Preston
heart infection. He was 59. Preston was a piano prodigy and considered the "Fifth Beatle." He appeared on their hits "Get Back" and "Let It Be." In addition to his own music, he wrote Joe Cocker's "You Are So Beautiful" and recorded with the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, and Sly and the Family Stone. Miles Davis named a song after him. A heart infection in November 2005 left Preston in a coma, and he never regained consciousness. He also struggled with chronic kidney failure. "Outta Space" (which won a Grammy for best instrumental in 1973), "Will It Go 'Round In Circles," "Nothing From Nothing," "With You I'm Born Again" (with Syreeta Wright - see 2004)

Claydes Charles Smith
passed away after "a long illness." He was 57. Smith was co-founder and lead guitarist of Kool & the Gang. He wrote the hits "Joanna" and "Take My Heart," and was a co-writer of "Celebration," "Jungle Boogie," and others.

breast cancer. She was 37. Soraya was a Hispanic singer who won a Latin Grammy for Best Female Album in 2004. Her mother, grandmother and an aunt died of breast cancer, which prompted her to educate Hispanic women about the disease. "Solo Por Ti," "Casi"

Nikki Sudden
(Nicholas Godfrey), unknown causes; he was 49. Sudden was a cult British rocker who was once part of Swell Maps, a '70s rock outfit that he had formed with his brother, Epic Soundtracks (see 1997). Sudden's 1990 album, Liquor, Guns, and Ammo, was a collaboration with members of REM.

*Vince Welnick
cut his own throat; he was 51. Welnick had battled cancer, alcoholism and depression. He replaced Brent Mydland (see 1990) as keyboardist for the Grateful Dead. He was the fourth Dead keyboardist to pass away prematurely. (Mydland replaced Keith Godchaux (see 1980) who had replaced Ron "Pigpen" McKernan (see 1973).) The Grateful Dead were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. "St. Stephen," "Truckin,'" "Touch of Grey"

Johnnie Wilder, Jr.
died in his sleep, presumably from complications of quadriplegia. He was 56. Wilder sang lead for Heatwave. He was paralyzed from the waist-down after a van struck his vehicle in 1979, yet he continued his singing career. "Always and Forever," "Boogie Nights"

Milan B. Williams
cancer. He was 58. Williams was one of the original Commodores, who wrote the group's first hit, "Machine Gun." The Commodores were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1995. "Brick House," "Easy," "Three Times A Lady"


Banda Fugaz
shot. All four members of Mexican techno group, Banda Fugaz, were killed when gunmen opened fire with AK-47s as the band was returning from a performance. Those killed were Carlos Alberto Hurtado Lule, age 26; Noa Camargo Mendoza, 21, Cristabal Juarez Serrano, 31; Daniel Gonzalez Pimentel, 30. The band's manager, Carlos Hurtado Gonzalez, age 57, suffered multiple gunshot wounds. No motives have been identified in the killings, and no arrests have been made. The murders are part of a recent string of killings of Mexican musicians.

Brad Delp

Brad Delp

Brad Delp
carbon monoxide poisoning. Delp was the lead singer and guitarist for '70s rock band, Boston. He was found on his bathroom floor, his head on a pillow and a suicide note ("I am a lonely soul.... I have lost my desire to live.") paper-clipped to the neck of his shirt. Delp had sealed himself inside the room with two charcoal grills. He was 55. "More Than a Feeling," "Amanda," "Peace of Mind," "Don't Look Back"

Quiet Riot

Quiet Riot: Carlos Cavazo, Kevin DuBrow, Rudy Sarzo, Frankie Banali.

Kevin DuBrow
accidental cocaine overdose; age 52. DuBrow was the lead singer of '80s metal group, Quiet Riot. He formed the band in the late '70s with guitarist Randy Rhoads (see 1982). "Cum On Feel the Noize," "Bang Your Head (Metal Health)," "Slick Black Cadillac"

Dan Fogelberg

Dan Fogelberg

Dan Fogelberg
prostate cancer at age 56. Fogelberg epitomized the mellow singer/songwriters that dominated AM radio in the late '70s and early '80s. His hits include, "Same Old Lang Syne," "Leader of the Band," and the wedding standard, "Longer."

Brent Liles
hit by a truck while bicycling. He was 43. Liles was the bassist for the '80s punk outfit, Social Distortion, from 1981-1983. He later played with other punk acts, including Agent Orange. From Social Distortion's Mommy's Little Monster: "It Wasn't a Pretty Picture," "Another State of Mind," "Moral Threat"

George McCorkle
complications from cancer. He was the guitarist for the Toy Factory, the Marshall Tucker Band (both with Toy Caldwell, see 1993), and Pax Parachute. McCorkle was 60. He appeared on the Marshall Tucker Band albums Searchin' For a Rainbow, A New Life, Where We Belong, and Carolina Dreams.

Mercedes Navarro Murciano
pneumonia; she was 49. The Cuban-born singer/songwriter was a member of Miami Sound Machine, and shared vocals with Gloria Estefan on the band's first release, Otra Vez. This was the only album on which Murciano appeared. In later years, Miami Sound Machine would hit the charts with the singles "Bad Boy," "Conga," "The Words Get in the Way," and "Rhythm is Gonna Get You."

Mark St. John
cerebral hemorrhage, age 51. St. John was the guitarist for Kiss during its brief "no-makeup" period, appearing on the album Animalize and in the music video "Heaven's On Fire." He was diagnosed with Reiter's Syndrome (a form of arthritis), which caused his hands and arms to swell. This prevented him from playing guitar, and he completed only one live performance with the band. St. John improved after leaving Kiss, and he started the metal group, White Tiger. With Kiss: "I've Had Enough (Into the Fire)," "Get All You Can Take." With White Tiger: "Rock Warriors," "Northern Wind," "Still Standing Strong"

Hughie Thomasson
(Hugh Edward Thomasson), heart attack at age 55. Thomasson formed The Outlaws but quit to be a guitarist with Lynyrd Skynyrd from the mid-1990s until 2005, when he re-formed The Outlaws. (Visit the Archive's Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute.) The Outlaws: "There Goes Another Love Song," "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky," "Green Grass and High Tides"


Paul Davis
heart attack at the age of 60. His 1977 hit "I Go Crazy," stayed on the Hot 100 chart for 40 weeks - a record at the time. His other hits include "Cool Night," "65 Love Affair," "Ride 'Em Cowboy, " and "You're Still New To Me" with Marie Osmond.

*Danny Federici
melanoma; he was 58. He was a founding member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. It was Federici, along with original drummer Vini Lopez, who invited Springsteen to join. He released two solo albums and worked with other artists, including fellow E Street band member "Little" Steven Van Zandt and Gary U.S. Bonds. The E Street Band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. "Dancing in the Dark," "You're Missing," "Hungry Heart," "4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)," "I'm On Fire"

Jeff Healey
(Norman Jeffrey Healey), cancer. He was 41. Healey battled cancer since age 1, when retinal cancer claimed his eyesight. Struck blind, he taught himself to play guitar by laying the instrument across his lap. Healey fronted the Jeff Healey Band, who were nominated for Grammy awards in 1989 (Best Instrumental Rock Group) and 1996 (Best Instrumental Rock Performance for "Shapes of Things"). The group's hit "Angel Eyes," from 1988's See the Light increased the band's fame and critical acclaim.

Sean Levert
brief illness. He was 39. Levert was incarcerated at the time (and transported to the hospital) for failing to pay child support. Supposedly he suffered from high blood pressure and was hallucinating while in jail. He was a member of LeVert with his brother Gerald, who died in 2006 of an accidental mix of prescription and over-the-counter medications. Their father was O'Jays member, Eddie Levert, Sr. "Casanova," ""Baby I'm Ready," and "(Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop) Goes My Mind"

Dave Matthews Band

The Dave Matthews Band: Leroi Moore, Boyd Tinsley,

Dave Matthews, Carter Beauford, and Stefan Lessard.

Leroi Moore
complications from an ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) accident. He was 46. Moore was the saxophonist and a founding member of the Dave Matthews Band. "Ants Marching," "Crash," "What Would You Say," "Satellite"


*Ron Asheton
heart attack; he was 60. Asheton was guitarist for The Stooges, who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. He was ranked number 29 on Rolling Stone's list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. (Original Stooges bassist, Dave Alexander ("Zander") died of of pulmonary edema in 1975, likely caused by excessive drinking. Original drummer, Scott Asheton, died of an undisclosed illness in 2014 at age 64.) "I Wanna Be Your Dog," "Fun House," "Dirt"

Jay Bennett
died in his sleep, cause unknown. He was 45. Bennet founded Titanic Love Affair and, from 1994 to 2001, was a member of Wilco. After leaving Wilco, he release five more albums. Albums with Wilco: Being There, Summerteeth, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Solo releases include: Bigger Than Blue, The Beloved Enemy.



(Adam Michael Goldstein), overdose of OxyContin pain killers; drug paraphanelia (crack cocaine) was also found near the body. It is widely speculated that the cause of death was suicide. Goldstein had survived a fatal plane crash less than a year before, sustaining third-degree burns. He often spoke about his survivor's guilt and Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. He had also recently broken up with his girlfriend. DJ AM was a member of Crazy Town ("Butterfly") with Rust Epique (see 2004) and was a popular and well-respected club DJ. He was 36.

Donald "Ean" Evans
cancer. He was 48. Evans played bass with Cupid's Arrow, The Outlaws, and in 2001 he replaced Leon Wilkeson (who died of liver disease) in Lynyrd Skynyrd. For more on Lynyrd Skynyrd, visit the Skynyrd Tribute. Possibly the unluckiest band in rock, Skynyrd lost members Ronnie Van Zant (1977), Steve and Cassie Gaines (also 1977), Allen Collins (1990), Leon Wilkeson (2001), and Billy Powell (2009).

Steve Ferguson
cancer; he was 60. Ferguson was the guitarist and founder of NRBQ. He organized the first incarnation of the band (which stands for New Rhythm and Blues Quartet) in 1967 and remained with the group until 1970. He briefly returned in 1974, and participated in a 35th anniversary concert in 2004. Albums: NRBQ, Boppin' the Blues

Jerry Fuchs
(Gerhardt Fuchs), fell down an elevator shaft. He was 34. Fuchs was a drummer with Maserati, LCD Soundsystem, !!! (pronounced "chk chk chk"), Turing Machine, MSTRKRFT, and The Juan MacLean. He was also "house drummer" for the record label DFA. While at a benefit party in Brooklyn, Fuchs became stuck on a freight elevator between the fourth and fifth floors. He attempted to jump to the fourth floor, but his jacket got caught.

Stephen Gately
cause of death still unknown. Gately was a member of the Irish boy band, Boyzone. He died while vacationing with his partner in Majorca, Spain. Boyzone made history in the United Kingdom by scoring sixteen consecutive top five hits. The group had six UK number one singles and four number one albums. Gately was 33. "Picture of You," "A Different Beat," "All That I Need"

Michael Jackson space saver Jackson's casket

The King of Pop; Jackson's casket arriving at the morgue.

*Michael Jackson
(Michael Joseph Jackson), cardiac arrest; he was 50. Jackson collapsed at his home and was not breathing when paramedics arrived. He suffered a cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at UCLA Medical Center. The Los Angeles County coroner ruled Jackson's death a homicide. Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson's personal physician, was convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter. Lethal levels of propofol (a powerful anesthetic) were found in the singer's system, in addition to two sedatives, which Murray administered in an effort to get Jackson to sleep.
Jackson was arguably the most famous entertainer in the world, winning every music (and music video) award in existence. He began his career as lead singer of The Jackson 5, a group consisting of Michael and his brothers. (Singer Janet Jackson is his younger sister.) He went onto a phenomenal solo career, releasing Thriller in 1982, the best-sellling album of all time. He influenced music, dance, music videos and fashion. Jackson co-wrote and performed on "We Are the World," for the charity USA for Africa, which went on to become the best-selling single at the time. He won 13 Grammy Awards, had 13 number one singles and achieved sales of over 750 million albums worldwide. Jackson was named male artist of the millennium at the World Music Awards. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice: with the Jackson 5 in 1997 and as a solo performer in 2001.
By contrast, his personal life was often a subject of controversy. He was married twice, once to Elvis Presley's (see 1977) daughter, Lisa Marie, and he was the father of three children: Michael Joseph, Jr. ("Prince") and Paris Michael Katherine (with second wife, Debbie Rowe), and Prince Michael II ("Blanket") born to an unnamed surrogate mother. Jackson battled several allegations of child molestation occuring at his Neverland Ranch and he came under fire when he once dangled "Blanket" off a balcony in front of the paparazzi. He was also criticzed for his compulsion for plastic surgery and his claim that he suffered from vitiligo, a condition where the skin loses all pigmentation.
With the Jackson 5: "I Want You Back," "ABC," "Who's Lovin' You," "The Love You Save," "I'll Be There," "Dancing Machine"
Solo career: "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," "Rock With You," "Billie Jean," "Beat It," "Thriller," "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)," "Human Nature," "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" (duet with Siedah Garrett), "Bad," "The Way You Make Me Feel," "Man in the Mirror," "Smooth Criminal," "Black or White," "Remember the Time," "In the Closet," "Scream" (duet with Janet Jackson)

Taylor Mitchell
attacked by coyotes while hiking. She was 19. Mitchell was a Canadian folk singer who was nominated for Young Performer of the Year by the Canadian Folk Music Awards. During a break while touring, she decided to go hiking on the Skyline Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia. Fellow hikers witnessed the coyote attack and called 911. Mitchell was airlifted to a hospital, where she died 12 hours later. Her album, For Your Consideration, was released in 2009.

Brittany Murphy

Brittany Murphy
combination of pneumonia, an iron deficiency and "multiple drug intoxication;" she was 32. Murphy was better known for her acting (Clueless, 8 Mile and Girl, Interrupted), but she was also a singer. She was in a band in the early '90s called Blessed Soul (with actor Eric Balfour) and in 2006, she and Paul Oakenfold had a club hit with the single "Faster Kill Pussycat." (The song reached number one on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play chart.) Murphy also covered Queen's "Somebody to Love" and Earth, Wind & Fire's "Boogie Wonderland" for the soundtrack to the film, Happy Feet. Murphy was found at her home, unconscious in full cardiac arrest.

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.

*Billy Powell
(William Norris Powell), heart attack; he was 56. Powell was the original keyboardist for Lynyrd Skynyrd. Powell called 911 complaining of difficulty breathing. Paramedics found him in his bedroom unresponsive, still holding the telephone. Along with Gary Rossington, Allen Collins (see 1990), Artimus Pyle and Leon Wilkeson (see 2001), 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. 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"

James "The Rev" Sullivan
unknown causes; Sullivan was 28. He was found unresponsive at his home. Sullivan was the drummer for Avenged Sevenfold, who were named Best New Artist at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2006. "Bat Country," "Afterlife," "Almost Easy"

Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze
pancreatic cancer; he was 57. Swayze was primarily known as an actor (Dirty Dancing, Ghost). He co-wrote and sang the top ten hit song, "She's Like the Wind," from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. He was named People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" in 1991.

Wayman Tisdale
bone cancer. He was 44. Tisdale was a basketball star (winning a gold medal as a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic basketball team) and jazz musician. His debut CD, Power Forward, reached No. 4 on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz chart. "Ain't No Stopping Us Now," "Can't Hide Love," "Don't Take Your Love Away"

Mary Travers space saver Mary Travers grave

Mary Travers
leukemia. She was 72. Travers was part of '60s folk trio, Peter, Paul and Mary. The trio were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. (Although Travers is past the cut-off age for inclusion into The Archive, I added her anyway because I was afforded a rare opportunity to obtain a grave photo. Umpawaug Cemetery, Redding, Connecticut.) "Puff the Magic Dragon," "Blowin' in the Wind," "Leaving On a Jet Plane"