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The Death of Rock: The Alphabetical Archive

H, I and J

Musicians are listed individually. Search by the artist's last name. Artists commonly referred to by a stage or street name (such as "The Big Bopper," Freddie Mercury, and Jam Master Jay) are listed under those names. Musicians who performed under a single name (like Aaliyah, Nico, and Selena) will be found under those single names. There are a few instances where two or more members of the same band perished in a single incident; you will find those artists listed under the group's name. (Examples are Banda Fugaz, The Bar-Kays, Chase, Passion Fruit, and The Reba McEntire Band.) One notable exception to this rule is Lynyrd Skynyrd. Members of Skynyrd are listed individually; although three perished in the 1977 plane crash, others have since died in unrelated incidents. (The three who died in the crash are grouped as "Lynyrd Skynyrd" on the Causes of Death and Chronology pages.)

Feel free to scroll, or click the letter 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.


Malcolm Hale
carbon-monoxide poisoning in 1968. (Some sources site bronchopneumonia as the cause of death.) He was 27. Hale was the lead guitarist for Spanky and Our Gang. He had gone to bed drunk at a girlfriend's, and even though the band called her to wake him, she refused. Twenty-eight hours later, she discovered that he was dead. Hale died of carbon monoxide poisoning, the result of a faulty space heater. He was 27. "Sunday Will Never Be the Same," "Like to Get to Know You," "Lazy Day"

Bill Haley

Bill Haley

*Bill Haley
heart attack in 1981; he was 55. Bandleader of Bill Haley and His Comets. Immortalized by their wildly popular, early rock single, "(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock." The song held the #1 spot for eight weeks, was used on the soundtracks of the motion pictures "The Blackboard Jungle" (1955) and "American Graffiti" (1974), and was chosen as the theme for the 1970s' television series "Happy Days." Haley was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and he was also inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union announced the naming of asteroid 79896 Billhaley. (In 1954, Comet Danny Cedrone fell down a flight of stairs, breaking his neck. He was 33. Fellow Comets, Rudy Pompilli (age 51; 1974) and Marshall Lytle (age 79; 2013), both succumbed to lung cancer.) Read about the connection to the Curse of Buddy Holly. "Rocket 88," "Crazy, Man, Crazy," "Rudy's Rock"

Greg Ham
found dead in his home in 2012. The cause of death is still unpublished; he was 58. Ham was a member of Men At Work, who scored several hits during the 1980s, including "Who Can It Be Now?" (#1 in the US), "Overkill" (#6 in the US), and the classic, "Down Under," which reached #1 in eight countries (inlcuding the US, the UK, Canada and Australia).


Badfinger: Mike Gibbins (d. 2005),

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

Pete Ham
hanging (suicide); 1975. Member of Badfinger, he was 27. Ham's bandmate, Tom Evans, would follow in his steps 8 years later. Drummer Mike Gibbins would succumb to natural causes in 2005. 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)"

Jeff Hanneman
liver failure (2013). He was 49. Hanneman was co-founder and guitarist for the thrash metal band, Slayer. The group won two Grammy Awards for "Best Metal Performance" for 2007's "Eyes of the Insane" and 2008's "Final Six". "Hate Worldwide," "World Painted Blood"

Mary Hansen
hit by a truck in 2002. 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.

Jeff Hanson
multiple drug toxicity in 2009. Hanson had taken prescription anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication and alcohol; it was unclear if his death was intentional or accidental. He was 31. Hanson was a member of M.I.J. and later released three solo albums: Son, Jeff Hanson, and Madam Owl. His song, "Hiding Behind the Moon" appeared in the TV series Nip/Tuck.

Tim Hardin
drug overdose in 1980. He was 39. "Bird on a Wire."

Slim Harpo
(James Moore), heart attack in 1970. He was 46. "Baby, Scratch My Back," "Shake Your Hips," "I'm a King Bee"

*Addie "Micki" Harris
heart attack after a performance in Atlanta in 1982. She was 42. Harris was a member of the vocal girl-group, The Shirelles. The Shirelles were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. "Soldier Boy," "Mama Said," "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?"

Thurston Harris
heart attack in 1990 at the age of 58. Harris recorded the 1957 hit "Little Bitty Pretty One."

George Harrison

George Harrison

*George Harrison
cancer; 2001. 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"

Eddie Harsch
(Edward Hawrysch) died at the age of 59 of undisclosed causes in 2016. He was the keyboardist for the Black Crowes and a member of Bulldog. The Black Crowes: "Hard to Handle," "She Talks to Angels," "Twice As Hard," "Jealous Again"

Grant Hart
liver cancer (2017) at the age of 56. Hart was a singer and the drummer of Husker Du. "Eight Miles High," "Makes No Sense At All," "Don't Want to Know If You Are Lonely"

Dan Hartman
brain tumor (1994). He was 43. Hartman was a member of The Edgar Winter Group and scored solo pop hits with 1978's "Instant Replay" and 1984's "I Can Dream About You." Hartman was diagnosed with AIDS in the late 1980s, but it was ultimately a brain tumor that brought on his demise. With Edgar Winter: "Frankenstein," "Free Ride"

Alex Harvey
two heart attacks in 1982. He was 46. Harvey was the leader of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band and Les Harvey's brother (see 1972). "Delilah," "Boston Tea Party"

Les Harvey
electrocution (1972). He was 27. Harvey was a Scottish musician, a co-founder of Stone the Crows. While onstage at a performance, he touched a microphone that was not properly grounded. He was electrocuted in front of 1,000 fans. Les was the brother of Alex Harvey (see 1982). Read about the Curse of 27 and see Les Harvey's inclusion. Studio albums: Stone the Crows, Ode to John Law, Teenage Licks, Ontinuous Performance.

Donny Hathaway

Donny Hathaway

Donny Hathaway
suicide. R&B artist who achieved success as Roberta Flack's duet partner with, "Where Is the Love" and "The Closer I Get to You." He also recorded the theme song for the '70s television show, "Maude" (starring Bea Arthur). In 1979, Hathaway was found dead on the sidewalk below the 15th floor window of his room in New York's Essex House hotel. The glass had been carefully removed from the window, and there were no signs of struggle, leading investigators to rule his death a suicide. He was 33.

Hawkshaw Hawkins

Hawkshaw Hawkins

Hawkshaw Hawkins
Hawkshaw Hawkins (Harold Franklin Hawkins), plane crash in Tennessee; 1963. Hawkins was 41. Hawkins, Cowboy Copas and Patsy Cline, were returning from a benefit for the widow of a local disc jockey who died in a car crash. Randy Hughes, both Copas's son-in-law and Cline's manager, was piloting the plane; he was also killed in the crash. Proceed to the Patsy Cline Tribute, which details the crash and includes photos and the official crash report. "Lonesome 7-7203" (entered US charts three days prior to his death), "I Love You A Thousand Ways," "Slow Poke," "Bad News Travels Fast," "Soldiers Joy"

*Eddie Hazel
internal bleeding and liver failure after a lengthy battle with stomach problems (1992); he was 42. Hazel was the pioneering guitarist for Parliament-Funkadelic, who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. In 2003, Rolling Stone Magazine named Hazel one of the greatest guitarists of all time (ranking number 43). Hazel was predeceased by fellow band member, Glenn Lamont Goins (1978), and was followed by Garry Shider (2010). "Flash Light," "One Nation Under a Groove," "Aqua Boogie," "(Not Just) Knee Deep"

Jeff Healey
(Norman Jeffrey Healey), cancer; 2008. 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.

Heavy D

Heavy D

Heavy D
(Dwight Arrington Myers), respiratory ailment; 2011. Heavy D was was returning home when he experienced difficulty breathing and collapsed in the hallway of his condominium. He died at the hospital, approximately 90 minutes later. The singer was 44, weighing almost 350 pounds. Heavy D was nominated for four Grammy Awards and four Soul Train Awards (one of which he won, for the 1990 album, Big Tyme). Heavy D & the Boyz: "Now That We Found Love" and themes for the TV programs, In Living Color and MADtv. Heavy D also appears on Michael Jackson's (see 2009) single "Jam" and Janet Jackson's single "Alright".

The Jimi Hendrix Experience

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

*Jimi Hendrix
(born Johnny Allen Hendrix, his father changed his name to James Marshall Hendrix when he was 4 years old), aspiration of vomit while sleeping after ingesting alcohol and sleeping pills in 1970. Sources are saying Hendrix's death was actually a homicide; read about Hendrix's murder by his manager. Hendrix was 27 and an established guitar legend. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine named Hendrix the greatest guitarist of all time. The Jimi Hendrix Experience, with Noel Redding (see 2003) and Mitch Mitchell (2008; natural causes at age 61), were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. Hendrix was also inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. "Purple Haze," "Foxy Lady," "Manic Depression"

Jim Henson

Jim Henson

Jim Henson
bacterial pneumonia (1990). He was 53. Henson created The Muppets, who scored two hits: "Rubber Duckie" in 1970 and "Rainbow Connection" in 1979.

Gregory Herbert
heroin overdose in 1978; he was 31. Herbert was a jazz saxophonist and played briefly with Blood, Sweat and Tears: "You've Made Me So Very Happy," "Spinning Wheel," "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know"

Paul Hester
suicide by hanging, 2005. 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"

Ulysses K. "Ronnie" Hicks
heart condition (1955). He was 22. Hicks joined the Five Keys, an R&B/doo-wop singing group, in 1952. The Five Keys were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2002. "Ling, Ting, Tong," "Out of Sight, Out of Mind," "Wisdom of a Fool," "Teardrops in Your Eyes," "Story of Love"

Canned Heat

Canned Heat, front to back:

Fito de la Parra, Larry Taylor, Bob Hite (standing, d. 1981),

Henry Vestine (d. 1997), Alan Wilson (standing, d. 1970).

Bob "The Bear" Hite
heart attack in 1981. He was 36. Hite, vocalist for Canned Heat, weighed nearly 300 pounds at the time of his death. He was one of the band's original members, along with Al "Blind Owl" Wilson (see 1970) and Henry "Sunflower" Vestine (see 1997). Hite's brother, Richard (see 2001), also played with a later incarnation of the group. "Same All Over," "Let's Work Together," "Time Was," "Boogie Music," "On the Road Again," "Going Up the Country"

Richard Hite
cancer (2001); 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.

*Elsbeary Hobbs
lung cancer at age 59 (1996). Hobbs was a member of the legendary Drifters. The Drifters were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Vocal Hall of Fame in 2000. "There Goes My Baby," "Save the Last Dance for Me," "Under the Boardwalk," "Up on the Roof"

Jimmy Hodder
drowned in a swimming pool in 1990. He was 42. Hodder was one of several session drummers for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees, Steely Dan. Steely Dan: "Reeling in the Years," "Rikki Don't Lose That Number," "Deacon Blues," "Do It Again"

Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday

*^Billie Holiday
(Eleanor Fagan Gough), cirrohsis of the liver due to excessive alcohol and heroin consumption; 1959. A jazz legend; Holiday was 44. "Lady Day" was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. "God Bless the Child," "Nobody's Business (If I Do)," "Strange Fruit"

Buddy Holly

Buddy Holly

*Buddy Holly
(Charles Hardin Holley), plane crash in Iowa in 1959; he was 22. Holly's bassist, Waylon Jennings, jokingly told Holly, "I hope your plane crashes," after being denied a seat on the aircraft in favor of "The Big Bopper." Ritchie Valens was also killed. Holly was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and he is a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Visit the Tribute to Rock's Royal Trinity and read about the Curse of Buddy Holly. "Peggy Sue," "That'll Be the Day," "Rave On," "Oh Boy!"

*James Honeyman-Scott
cocaine overdose in 1982; he was 25. Honeyman-Scott was the guitarist for the Pretenders, who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. (Pete Farndon, bassist for The Pretenders, would succumb to a heroin overdose in 1983.) "Brass in Pocket," "Talk of the Town," "Message of Love." The Pretenders minus Honeyman-Scott: "Back on the Chain Gang," "I'll Stand By You"

Shannon Hoon space saver Shannon Hoon

Shannon Hoon; newspaper article reporting Hoon's death.

Shannon Hoon

(Richard Shannon Hoon), heroin overdose in 1995. Lead singer of Blind Melon and back-up vocalist on "Don't Cry" by Guns n' Roses. Hoon was 28. "No Rain," "Tones of Home," "Galaxy"

Doug Hopkins
shot himself in 1993. He was the co-founder of and songwriter for the Gin Blossoms, but because of his alcoholism (possibly caused by chronic depression) he was fired from the band prior to their national success. Hopkins was 32. "Hey Jealousy," "Found Out About You," "Until I Fall Away," "Til I Hear it From You," "Follow You Down"

Johnny Horton
(John Gale Horton), automobile crash in 1960; he was 35. Country singer whose song, "The Battle of New Orleans" was a huge hit in 1959; it won the 1960 Grammy for Best Country & Western Recording and the Grammy Hall of Fame Award. In 2001, the song was named one of the "Songs of the Century." In 1960, Horton was driving home from the Austin Skylight Club when his car was struck head-on by a drunk driver. Ironically, this was also the last place Hank Williams played before his alcohol-related death in 1953 (and both musicians died in Cadillacs). Horton had married Williams's widow, Billie Jean Jones Eshlimar. He was returning from a performance when he heard on the radio about Hank Williams's death, on Highway 79 going through Milano, Texas - the same town where Horton would have his fatal accident seven years later. Horton was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and was posthumously inducted into the Delta Music Museum Hall of Fame in Louisiana. "Sink the Bismarck," "North to Alaska"

Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston

*Whitney Houston
drowned in 2012; age 48. Houston, an '80s pop sensation and an award-winning actress, claimed numerous awards, including two Emmys, six Grammys, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards and an NAACP Image Award. She appeared in several films including The Bodyguard, Waiting to Exhale, and The Preacher's Wife. Her personal life often made headlines that overshadowed her professional achievements, such as a tumultous marriage to R&B singer, Bobby Brown, and her very public battle with substance abuse. Houston was found dead in the bathtub of her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. The coroner listed the cause of death as "drowning due to atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use." (Toxicology reports also showed Benadryl, Xanax, marijuana and Flexiril in her system.) Houston was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2020. "How Will I Know," "Greatest Love of All," "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)," "I'm Your Baby Tonight," "I Will Always Love You," "I'm Every Woman"

Glenn Hughes
lung cancer; 2001. 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"

Michael Hutchence

Michael Hutchence

Michael Hutchence
hanged himself; 1997. Lead singer for INXS, he was 37. Hutchence's girlfriend, Paula Yates, in a custody battle with ex-husband Bob Geldof (formerly of the Boomtown Rats), was prevented from leaving England with their three daughters and with Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, her daughter with Hutchence. Unable to join him in Australia for Christmas, reports speculated that an already depressed Hutchence committed suicide. Some pose the theory that it was an accidental death resulting from autoerotic asphyxiation. For the complete story, visit the Archive's Michael Hutchence Tribute. "Need You Tonight," "Disappear," "New Sensation," "Not Enough Time," "Never Tear Us Apart," "Elegantly Wasted"

Andy Hummel
cancer in 2010; he was 59. Hummel co-founded Big Star with Chris Bell (killed in an auto accident in 1978) and Alex Chilton (heart attack, 2010). Hummel also played in the bands Rock City and Ice Water. Big Star: "Thirteen," "September Gurls," "The India Song"

Walter Hyatt
plane crash in 1996. He was 47. Hyatt was a Texas singer and songwriter who formed Uncle Walt's Band. Hyatt was involved in the Austin, Texas music scene from its beginning and is credited with being the "original Americana Artist." View the detailed account of Hyatt's plane crash (the National Transportation and Safety Board report on the crash of ValuJet Flight 592). Album: Some Unfinished Business, Volume One


*Marvin Isley
complications from diabetes in 2010. He was 56. Isley was a member of the Isley Brothers, who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and Isley-Jasper-Isley, who had a #1 hit with "Caravan of Love". Isley had both legs removed because of his diabetes in 1997. The Isleys: "Fight the Power," "I Wanna be With You," "The Pride," "Take Me to the Next Phase," "Between the Sheets"


*Al Jackson
(Albert J. Jackson, Jr.), murdered in 1975; he was 39. Jackson was a session drummer and member of Booker T. and the MGs. Among others, Jackson backed Otis Redding, Al Green, and Sam & Dave. Jackson's death remains suspicious: he was killed the day before he was allegedly due to testify at a hearing concerning Stax Records' bankruptcy. Also, Jackson's estranged wife, Barbara, was at his home the night of the murder. She claimed she was bound and gagged and that intruders had tied Al up and shot him. He sustained five gunshot wounds to the back. The couple had been negotiating a divorce and Barbara had shot Al earlier that year in "self defense." No items of value were missing after the break-in. The suspected killer was the boyfriend of Barbara's friend; he was shot and killed in 1976 while resisting arrest. Al Jackson was inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame in 2015, and Booker T. & the MGs were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. "Green Onions," "Time is Tight," "Soul Limbo," "Hang 'Em High"

Doris Kenner Jackson
breast cancer; 2000. She was 58. Jackson was a member of the vocal girl-group, The Shirelles. "Soldier Boy," "Mama Said," "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?"

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 in 2009; 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)

Jam Master Jay

Jam Master Jay

*Jam Master Jay
(Jason Mizell), shot while working in a Queens (NY) recording studio in 2002. 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"

Rick James

Rick James

Rick James
(James Johnson, Jr.), existing medical conditions (2004). 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"

Jill Janus
lead singer of the metal band, Huntress. Janus committed suicide in 2018. She was 43. "Eight of Swords," "Spell Eater," "Zenith," "Sorrow"

^Blind Lemon Jefferson
(Lemon Henry Jefferson), possibly hypothermia, possibly a heart attack, in 1929. Jefferson was one of the earliest blues artists to record, recording over a hundred titles between 1926-1929. Reports about his death are conflicting; the commonly accepted story has Jefferson freezing to death in a Chicago snowstorm. Another version states that during a snowstorm, he suffered a heart attack while in his car and was abandoned on the street by his driver. No death certificate has ever been found. Jefferson was between 32 and 37 years old. Jefferson was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980. "Matchbox Blues," "See That My Grave is Kept Clean," "Easy Rider Blues," "Jack O'Diamonds"

Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson

*^Robert Johnson
(Robert Leroy Johnson), poisoned in 1938; he was 27. Father of the Blues, "King of the Delta Blues". Legend has that Johnson was living in Mississippi with no outstanding talent for guitar playing, but a strong desire to master the blues. He took his guitar to a crossroads at midnight, where he was met by a mysterious man who took the guitar and tuned it. Thereafter, Johnson possessed the unparalleled ability to play blues guitar. He had sold his soul to the devil in order to be the greatest bluesman. Johnson was infamous for his womanizing; while in Mississippi, he was supposedly given a bottle of whisky that had been poisoned by a jealous husband. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine named Johnson one of the greatest guitarists of all time (ranking #5). He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. He was also honored on a United States postage stamp. "Crossroads," "I Think I'll Dust My Broom" "Hellhound on My Trail"

Daniel Johnston
"natural causes" after being hospitalized with a kidney ailment in 2019; he was 58. Johnston was an influential artist who was admired by the likes of Kurt Cobain (see 1994), Matt Groening and Tom Waits. Artists such as Pearl Jam, The Flaming Lips, Death Cab for Cutie, Bright Eyes, and Beck covered his songs. “Life in Vain,” “True Love Will Find You in the End,” “Walking the Cow”

Barbara Lee Jones
heart attack in 1992. She was 44. Member of the ‘60s girl group, The Chiffons. "He's So Fine," "One Fine Day"

Billy Jones
(William Harry Jones), self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head (1995). He was 45. Jones was the a guitarist and singer who co-founded the southern rock band, The Outlaws. "There Goes Another Love Song," "Breaker-Breaker," "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky"

Brian Jones

Brian Jones

*Brian Jones
(Lewis Brian Hopkins-Jones), drowned in 1969. He was 27. Jones was a co-founder of the Rolling Stones, who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004. Speculation remains that Jones may have been murdered. For the whole story, and to read about the renewed investigation into his death in August of 2009, follow this link. You can also read about Jones's connection to the Curse of 27. "Satisfaction," "Red Door," "Sympathy for the Devil"

*Orville "Hoppy" Jones
brain hemorrage in 1944. He was 39. Jones was the bass vocalist for the vocal quartet, The Inkspots. The Inkspots were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. "If I Didn't Care," "I Don't Want to Set the World On Fire," "Maybe"

Janis Joplin


*Janis Joplin
heroin overdose in 1970; "Pearl" was 27. Blues legend Bessie Smith (see 1937) lay in an unmarked grave for 33 years, until Joplin and Juanita Green, Smith's former maid and later a chapter-head of the NAACP, donated money for a headstone. "Pearl" was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. "Me and Bobby McGee," "Piece of My Heart," "Summertime," "Mercedes Benz"

Scott Joplin

Scott Joplin

Scott Joplin
dementia paralytica (1917), the result of suffering most of his life with syphilis. He was 49. The "King of Ragtime" composed "Treemonisha," the first grand opera by an African American. In 1973, his music was featured in the film, "The Sting," which won an Academy Award for its score. In 1976, Joplin was awarded a citation for his contributions to American music. "Maple Leaf Rag," "The Entertainer"

Joey Jordison
died "in his sleep" in 2021. (No definitive cause of death was offered.) He was 46. Jordison was a founder and former drummer for the metal outfit, Slipknot. The band only appeared publicly wearing grotesque masks and jumpsuits. Slipknot was nominated for seven Grammy Awards and a Video Music Award; the group took home a Grammy in 2006 for Best Metal Performance ("Before I Forget"). (Fellow Slipknot member, Paul Gray, died of a drug overdose in 2010.) "Wait and Bleed," "Psychosocial," "Duality"