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The Death of Rock: The Alphabetical Archive

K, L and M

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.


Arthur Kane
leukemia (2004). 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"

Terry Kath
accidental suicide; 1978. Kath was the founder and guitarist of Chicago. At a party, an intoxicated Kath decided to show off a gun from his collection. After stating, "Don't worry, it's not loaded," Kath put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. It was loaded. He was 32. "Saturday in the Park," "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?"

Brian Keenan
heart attack (1985) at age 41. Keenan was a member of Manfred Mann; later, he was drummer for the Chambers Brothers. Manfred Mann: "The Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo)". The Chambers Brothers: "Time Has Come Today," "New Generation," "People Get Ready".

Tim Kelly
(Timothy Patrick Kelly), head-on collision with an 18-wheeler, 1998. He was 35. Kelly was the guitarist for '90s metal band, Slaughter. "Up All Night," "Fly to the Angels," "Streets of Broken Hearts"

Johnny Kemp
cause of death undisclosed (2015); his body was found floating at a beach in Montego Bay, Jamaica. He was 55. Kemp had a Number One R&B hit with 1988's "Just Got Paid." The song was also nominated for a Grammy Award.

The Temptations

The Temptations, 1964-68: David Ruffin (d. 1991), Paul Williams (d. 1973),

Eddie Kendricks (d. 1992), Melvin Franklin (d. 1995), & Otis Williams (clockwise from bottom left).

*Eddie Kendricks
lung cancer in 1992. Kendricks was a founding member of the Temptations. He was 52 at the time of his death. Fellow Temptations also included in The Archive: Paul Williams (suicide, 1973), Elbridge Bryant (cirrhosis of the liver, 1975), David Ruffin (cocaine overdose in 1991), and Melvin Franklin (seizure in 1995). The Temptations were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. "The Way You Do The Things You Do," "My Girl," "Just My Imagination," "Papa Was a Rolling Stone"

Chris Kenner
heart attack in 1976. He was 57. Kenner scored a hit in 1961 with "I Like It Like That." In 1968 he was convicted of statutory rape and spent three years in Louisiana's Angola prison. His writing credits include "Land of 1,000 Dances," "Something You Got," "Sick and Tired" and "Rocket to the Moon."

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
heart attack in 1997. Middle Eastern singer whose popularity soared when he appeared on the "Dead Man Walking" soundtrack with Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder. Khan was 48. "Face of Love," "Long Road"

*Bob King
cause of death undisclosed (1955); he was 49. King was a member of the gospel/pop vocal group, The Soul Stirrers. (Sam Cooke - see 1964 - was another Soul Stirrer alum.) The group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 (Early Influence) and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2000. "By and By," "Touch the Hem of His Garment," "Any Day Now," "Mean Old World"

Pete King
testicular cancer in 1987; he was 28. King was the drummer for the British punk act, The Flys and later joined After The Fire, who had an international hit with a cover of Falco's (see 1998) "Der Kommissar." He was later a member of the German group, BAP.

*Keith Knudsen
pneumonia (2005); 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"

Cub Koda
(Michael Koda), kidney disease (2000). 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"

Paul Kosoff
heart attack (1976) resultant of drug abuse; he was 25. Kossoff was the guitarist for Free. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine named him one of the greatest guitarists of all time (ranking #51). "All Right Now"

Philip Taylor Kramer
appears to have driven off a cliff. Kramer took Lee Dorman's place as Iron Butterfly's bassist when the band re-formed in 1975. He was found in a canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains in 1999, four years after vanishing. In 1995, Kramer waited at Los Angeles International Airport for a contact who never arrived, then called both his wife and Ron Bushy (Butterfly's drummer) from his cell phone, leaving Bushy a cryptic message about seeing him "...on the other side." He also called 911, saying he was going to commit suicide. He was never heard from again. At the time of his disappearance, he had reportedly made a stunning mathematical discovery, prompting rumors of foul play. Kramer was 42; he predeceased Butterfly original singer Darryl DeLoach (see 2002) and guitarist Erik Brann (see 2003). "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vita," "Are You Happy?"


Jeff LaBar
found dead in his apartment (in 2021) of undisclosed causes. LaBar was the guitarist for '80s hair metal band, Cinderella. He was 58. "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)," "Nobody's Fool"

(Rocco) Scott LaFaro
automobile accident in 1961. LaFaro was an influential jazz bassist and worked with such luminaries as Chet Baker (see 1988), Benny Goodman, Percy Heath, and Bill Evans. LaFaro was 25 at the time of his death. "Bohemia After Dark," "Cherokee," "Scene is Clean"

Bobby LaKind
colon cancer (1992) at the age of 47. LaKind was a member (primariy congas) of The Doobie Brothers, along with saxophonist Cornelius Bumpus (see 2004) and drummer Keith Knudsen (see 2005). The Doobie Brothers were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004. The group (minus LaKind) was also inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2020. "Takin it to the Streets," "Black Water," "China Grove"

Major Lance
heart failure in 1994. He was 55. "Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um," "The Monkey Time," "The Matador"

Jani Lane

Jani Lane

Jani Lane
(John Kennedy Oswald), acute alcohol poisoning; found dead in a Los Angeles hotel in 2011. Lane, age 47, was the lead singer for '80s hair-metal band, Warrant. The group had six Top 40 singles: "Heaven," "Cherry Pie," "Sometimes She Cries," "Down Boys," "I Saw Red," and "Uncle Tom's Cabin."

The Small Faces

The Small Faces:

Kenney Jones, Ian McLagan, Ronnie Lane (d. 1997) and Steve Marriott (d. 1991).

*Ronnie Lane
(Ronald Frederick Lane), multiple sclerosis (1997). He was 51. Lane was a co-founder of the '60s mod band, The Small Faces, who were awarded the Ivor Novello Oustanding Contribution to British Music "Lifetime Achievement" Award in 1996. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. (Lane's fellow founding member, Steve Marriott, died in a house fire in 1991.) "Itchycoo Park," "Tin Soldier," "Lazy Sunday," "All or Nothing"

Nicolette Larson
liver failure in 1997. She was 45. 1978's "Lotta Love"

Derek Leckenby
cancer (1994). He was 51. Leckenby was the lead guitarist for Herman's Hermits. "I'm Henry the VIII I Am," "I'm Into Something Good," "There's a Kind of Hush"

John Lennon space saver Lennon with Mark David Chapman

John Lennon; Lennon signing a copy of Double Fantasy for Mark David Chapman.

*John Lennon
shot outside the Dakota Apartments in New York City by Mark David Chapman. (Read about Mark David Chapman's 2008 appeal for parole.) Lennon left his apartment building with wife, Yoko Ono, at approximately 5 pm on 8 Decmeber 1980. On his way out he signed a copy of Double Fantasy for Chapman. The couple returned home less than six hours later, and Chapman, who remained outside the Dakota, fired five hollow point bullets at Lennon's back. Four of the bullets found their mark. John Lennon was 40. He was a member of The Beatles and a controversial solo artist. He was also father to musicians Sean (of Cibo Matto) and Julian. While he was still with The Beatles, Lennon was asked how he expected to die. He lightly answered: "I'll probably be popped off by some loony." (Another macabre fact is found in The Beatles' "Come Together", which contains the words "shoot me" repeated over and over throughout the song. The "me" is obscured by music, but it is there.) Lennon was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice: with The Beatles in 1988 and as a solo artist in 1994. The Beatles were also inducted into both the UK Music Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004. Interesting aside: Chapman's autographed copy of Double Fantasy went up for auction again. View the article from November 2020. Read about Lennon's connections to the Curse of Buddy Holly and the Curse of Harry Nilsson. With the Beatles: "She Loves You," "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "Eleanor Rigby," "Yellow Submarine," "A Day in the Life," "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." Solo: "Woman," "Imagine," "Instant Karma," "Just Like Starting Over"

*Bobby Lester
lung cancer in 1980. He was 50. Lester was an original member of The Moonglows, who had a string of hits in the 1950s. The Moonglows were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. "Sincerely, "See Saw," "Most Of All," "We Go Together," "Please Send Me Someone to Love"

Gerald Levert
accidental mix of prescription and over-the-counter drugs in 2006; 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.

Sean Levert
brief illness; 2008. 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"

Ephraim Lewis
jumped from a fourth-floor balcony in 1994. It is said that the musician, on methamphetamines at the time, had a violent exchange with police in which he was tasered just prior to his fall. His death was ruled a suicide. Lewis was 25. "It Can't Be Forever" (#29 Top 40, #66 R&B for 6 weeks); "Drowning in Your Eyes" (#72 Hot 100 for 9 weeks, #80 R&B for 4 weeks)

*Rudy Lewis
drug overdose in 1964. He was 28. Lewis sang lead for the Drifters from 1960-64. His vocal credits include "Up On the Roof" and "On Broadway." Lewis was found dead in his hotel room, having overdosed the night before the group was supposed to record "Under the Boardwalk." The Drifters were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.

Brent Liles
hit by a truck while bicycling (2007). 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"

Devin Lima
(Harold Lima), cancer in 2018. He was 41. Lima was a member of LFO (Lyte Funkie Ones), who had the ubiquitous hit of 1999, "Summer Girls". Fellow band mate, Rich Cronin, died of leukemia in 2010 at the age of 35.

Mark Linkous
self-inflicted gunshot wound to the heart in 2010; he was 47. Linkous was a singer, songwriter and frontman of the group, Sparklehorse. He was staying with two friends, drinking heavily, and became upset after trading text messages with an unknown person. Linkous told his friends that he was going for a walk and exited through a back door. A witness saw him sit down in an alley, pull out a rifle, and fire into his own chest. He was declared dead at the scene. This is not the first time Linkous had attempted suicide. In 1996 while touring with Radiohead, he overdosed on pills, alcohol and anti-depressants. He lost consciousness for 14 hours, with his legs pinned beneath him and suffered a heart attack that left him legally dead for several minutes. The time he spent without circulation to his legs put him in a wheelchair for six months. "Someday I Will Treat You Good," "Rainmaker," "Sick of Goodbyes"

"Little Eva"
(Eva Narcissus Boyd), cancer; 2003. 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 in 2003; 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"

Lisa Lopes space saver Crash site

Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes; the wreckage.

Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes
car crash in 2002 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"

Joe Hill Louis
(Lester/Leslie Hill), tetanus. Louis was an early musician on the seminal Sun Records, who billed himself as "Be-Bop Boy and His One-Man Band." He was fairly popular in his day and had a radio show (WDIA) on which he was known as "The Pepticon Boy." In 1957, he severely cut his thumb, supposedly on a guitar string, and it became infected; he died of tetanus at the age of 35.

Mitch Lucker
motorcycle crash. Lucker was the lead singer of metal band, Suicide Silence. He lost contorl of his motorcycle on Halloween night 2012, crashing into a light pole; he died the following day of his injuries. Lucker was 28. Suicide Silence released three albums: The Cleansing, No Time to Bleed and The Black Crown.

*David Lynch
cancer (1981) at the age of 51. Lynch was a singer with the vocal group, The Platters. The Platters were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998. "Only You", "The Great Pretender," "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"

Billy Lyall
Billy (William) Lyall died of AIDS-related causes in 1989, aged 36. Lyall was keyboard player, vocalist and occasional flautist with Pilot, and an early member of the Bay City Rollers. He was keyboard player for Dollar for a few years and also contributed to The Alan Parsons Project. He released a solo album, Solo Casting.

Frankie Lymon

Frankie Lymon

*Frankie Lymon
heroin overdose at age 25; 1968. Lymon was only 13 when "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?" reached #1 on the R&B charts. Within ten years, three members of the group would be dead: Lymon, Sherman Garnes (see 1977), and Joey Negroni (see 1978). Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2000. "I Want You to Be My Girl," "Who Can Explain?"

Phil Lynott

Phil Lynott

Phil Lynott
substance abuse (1986). Lynott was abusing alcohol and drugs; he was rushed to the hosptal with both liver and kidney infections. He died several days later from heart failure and pneumonia. He was 36. Lynott was the singer for Irish rock band, Thin Lizzy. A life-size bronze statue of Lynott was dedicated in Dublin in 2005. (Guitarist Gary Moore would be found dead in a hotel room in 2011.) "The Boys Are Back in Town," "Whiskey in the Jar"


Angus MacLise
hypoglycemia and pulmonary tuberculosis; 1979. (Some sources state he died of malnutrition.) He was 41. MacLise was the original drummer for The Velvet Underground. He quit early in their career (1965) when the group booked its first paid show. He felt the band was selling out. The Velvet Underground would be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 (minus MacLise). "Waiting for My Man," "Heroin," "Sunday Morning," "Venus in Furs"

Kevin Scott Macmichael
lung cancer in 2002. 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."

Mike Mahaffey
died in his sleep in 2005; unknown causes. Mahaffey was the guitarist of the Nashville band, Self. His brother, Matt, sang lead. Mike was 38. "So Low," "Borateen," "Cannon"

*Richard Manuel
hanging (suicide); 1986. He was 42. Manuel was the keyboardist and vocalist for The Band (with bassist Rick Danko, see 1999), who began their career as Bob Dylan's back-up band. The group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. "Up On Cripple Creek," "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," "This Wheel's On Fire"

Teena Marie

Teena Marie

Teena Marie
(Mary Christine Brockert), unknown medical causes in 2010. She was 54. Marie, a protege of Rick James (died 2004), was a white R&B singer who was noted for her soulful "black" vocals. The "Ivory Queen of Soul" was found dead in her home; she apparently passed away in her sleep. Marie had suffered a grand mal seizure just a month prior. Her biggest hit, "Lovergirl," reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 (1984). "I'm a Sucker for Your Love" (with Rick James), "Square Biz," "Ooh La La La"

Bob Marley

Bob Marley

*Bob Marley
(Robert Nesta Marley), cancer in 1980. He was 36. First internationally famous reggae star and Rastafarian. Also was a Wailer with Carlton Barrett and Peter Tosh (see 1987 for both), and Junior Braithwaite (see 1999). (All three Wailers were murdered.) In 1978, Marley was awarded the Peace Medal of the Third World from the United Nations and in 1981, he was honored with the Jamaican Order of Merit, Jamaica's third highest honor. Marley was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004. In 2001, he was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. "No Woman, No Cry, "Get Up, Stand Up," "Buffalo Soldier," "One Love/People Get Ready"

The Small Faces

The Small Faces:

Kenney Jones, Ian McLagan, Ronnie Lane (d. 1997) and Steve Marriott (d. 1991).

*Steve Marriott
(Stephen Peter Marriott), house fire in 1991. Marriott was the singer and guitarist for The Small Faces and Humble Pie. After a return flight from the US, Marriott had dinner with his wife at a friend's house, but returned home alone in the early morning. Valium, cocaine and alcohol were in his system. According to investigators, Marriott fell asleep with a lit cigarette. He was found on the floor next to his bed, dead from smoke inhalation. He was 44. (Marriott's co-founder in the Small Faces, Ronnie Lane, would succumb to multiple sclerosis in 1997.) The Small Faces were awarded the Ivor Novello Oustanding Contribution to British Music "Lifetime Achievement" Award in 1996. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. Read about Marriott's connection to the Curse of Buddy Holly. With The Small Faces: "Itchycoo Park," "Tin Soldier," "Lazy Sunday," "All or Nothing." With Humble Pie: "Black Coffee," "Shine On," "30 Days in the Hole"

Dino Martin, Jr.
(Dean Paul Martin, Jr.), plane crash. He was 35. Member of Dino, Desi and Billy and son of legendary Rat Packer, Dean Martin. Junior died when the Air National Guard jet he was piloting crashed into a mountain in 1987. Read about his connection to the Curse of Harry Nilsson. "I'm a Fool," "Not The Lovin' Kind"

Curtis Mayfield

Curtis Mayfield

*Curtis Mayfield
complications from quadriplegia; 1999. He was 57. Mayfield was a member of the Impressions and a successful solo artist. He was performing outdoors when the wind blew a lighting rig down upon him, paralyzing him from the neck down. Mayfield was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice: with the Impressions in 1991 and as a solo artist in 1999. "People Get Ready," "Superfly"

Bob Mayo
heart attack in 2004 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 Frampton's tour, also died in 2004.) He also appeared on Frampton's albums I'm in You, Where I Should Be, Frampton Comes Alive! II, Live in Detroit and Now. Mayo also 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"

Linda McCartney

Linda McCartney

Linda Eastman McCartney
breast cancer, 1998. Rock & Roll photographer, member of Wings (lead guitarist Jimmy McCulloch died in 1979) and wife of Paul McCartney. She was 56 at the time of her death. Read about her connection to the Curse of Harry Nilsson. Wings: "Band on the Run," "Wonderful Christmastime," "Listen to What the Man Said," "With a Little Luck"

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.

Van McCoy
heart attack (1979) at age 39. Songwriter and producer. Most widely-known for his instrumental, "The Hustle."

Jimmy McCulloch
heroin overdose in 1979, age 26. McCulloch played lead guitar in Paul McCartney's Wings (which also featured Paul's wife, Linda Eastman McCartney - see 1998). "Band on the Run," "With a Little Luck," "Listen to What the Man Said"

John Whitehead & Gene McFadden

The Epsilons: John Whitehead & Gene McFadden

Gene McFadden
cancer (2006); 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."

"Stick" McGhee
(Granville "Stick" McGhee), lung cancer. McGhee was an American guitarist (Walter "Brownie" McGhee's younger brother) best known for "Drinkin' Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee", later covered by Jerry Lee Lewis. The alcoholic fruit drink "spodi" supposedly takes its name from the song. He earned the nickname "Stick" by pushing his polio-stricken older brother, "Brownie" (died 1996, age 80; stomach cancer), on a cart that he propelled with a stick. "Drinkin' Wine," first recorded in 1947 and remade in 1949, became a huge R&B hit for "Stick." He died in 1961 at the age of 44. "Tennessee Waltz Blues," "Jungle Juice," "Double Crossin' Liquor," "Six to Eight," and "Head Happy with Wine."

Robbie McIntosh
drug overdose in 1974. McIntosh was the drummer for the Average White Band. While attending a party, McIntosh inhaled what he thought was cocaine; it was actually heroin laced with strychnine. He was 24. The Average White Band: "Pick Up the Pieces," "Cut the Cake," "A Love of Your Own"

Daniel McKenna
suicide in 2006. 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"


Ron "Pigpen" McKernan

*Ron "Pigpen" McKernan
liver failure due to alcohol abuse (1973); he was 27. Keyboardist for the Grateful Dead, inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. McKernan was the first of four Grateful Dead keyboardists to die prematurely. He was succeeded by Keith Godchaux (see 1980), Brent Mydland (see 1990), and Vince Welnick (see 2006). "Truckin'," "St. Stephen," "Casey Jones," "Friend of the Devil"

Grant McLennan
massive heart attack (2006). 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"

Leroy McNeil
stabbed. McNeil was a member of The Nutmegs, a doo-wop/R&B vocal group. In 1975 McNeil was fatally stabbed during an argument. He was 36. (Fellow Nutmeg, Leroy Griffin, was also murdered. See 1966.) "Story Untold," "Ship of Love"

Clyde McPhatter

Clyde McPhatter

*Clyde McPhatter
liver, kidney, and heart failure (1972) at the age of 38. McPhatter was the original lead singer with The Drifters before going solo. McPhatter was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist (1987) and the Rockabilliy Hall of Fame. With the The Drifters, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Vocal Hall of Fame (1998). The song, "Money Honey," was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 and McPhatter was pictured on a U.S. postage stamp in 1993. Read about McPhatter's connection to the Curse of Buddy Holly. With The Drifters: "Honey Love," "Money Honey," "Such a Night," "Lucille." As a solo artist: "Treasure of Love," "A Lover's Question," "Little Bitty Pretty One," "Lover Please"

Don McPherson
leukemia (1971); he was 29. McPherson was a founding member of The Main Ingedient, an R&B group that gained popularity with their hit, "Everybody Plays the Fool". Other hits include "You've Been My Inspiration," "I'm So Proud," "Spinning Around (I Must Be Falling in Love)," and "Black Seeds Keep On Growing".

Jimmy McShane
(James Harry McShane), AIDS in 1995. He was 37. McShane was the lead singer of Baltimora, who had a hit in the '80s with "Tarzan Boy" which still features in commercials.

Joe Meek
(Robert George Meek), self-inflicted gunshot wound. Meek was a pioneering record producer and songwriter. Meek's works include The Tornados' "Ridin' the Wind" and "Telstar," which was the first song by a British act to reach #1 on the US Hot 100. Meek suffered from bouts of rage, paranoia and depression which were exacerbated by his drug use. He became obsessed with fallen rocker Buddy Holly (see 1959), whom Meek claimed visited him in dreams. On the eighth anniversary of Holly's death (3 February 1967), Meek shot and killed his landlady before turning the single-barreled shotgun on himself. He was 37. Read about Meek's involvement in the Curse of Buddy Holly.

Jonathan Melvoin
heroin overdose in 1996. Keyboardist for Smashing Pumpkins; Melvoin was 34. "Disarm," "Today"

Harold Melvin
heart problems; he died in 1997. Melvin was the founder and original lead singer of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. He was 57 at the time of his death. (Melvin was replaced as lead singer in 1970 by Teddy Pendergrass. Pendergrass died of colon cancer in 2010. He was 59.) "If You Don't Know Me By Now," "Wake Up Everybody," "Bad Luck"

Michael Menson
(Michael Tachie-Menson), set on fire. He was 30. Menson was a member of the British band, Double Trouble, who had several pop hits in the 1980s. On 28 January 1997, Mario Pereira, Harry Charalambous Constantinou, and Ozguy Cevat, using an accelerant, set fire to the back of Menson's coat. Constantinou also stole his personal stereo; they then fled. Two passing motorists, and later emergency services, went to Menson's aid. He died about two weeks later from complications and two heart attacks caused by 30% burns to his back. Pereira confessed to the killing, saying the the motive was that Menson was, or looked like, a man who had "stressed his girlfriend." In 1999, Pereira was found guilty of murder, Constantinou was found guilty of manslaughter, and Cevat (who fled to Cyprus) was arrested and jailed for 14 years for manslaughter. "Just Keep Rockin'," "Street Tuff," "Don't Give Up," "Talk Back," "Love Don't Live Here Anymore"

Nick Menza
Former Megadeth drummer, Nick Menza, died after collapsing on stage while performing with his band, OHM, in 2016. The musician suffered a heart attack at the age of 51. Menza performed with Megadeth at the height of their success, appearing on such albums as Rust in Peace, Countdown to Extinction and Youthanasia.

Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury

*Freddie Mercury
(Farrokh Bulsara), AIDS; 1991. He was 45. Singer for Queen, who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004. Mercury was music's first superstar-turned-AIDS casualty. "Another One Bites the Dust," "We Are the Champions," "Bohemian Rhapsody"

Miami Showband

The Miami Showband: Brian McCoy, Fran O'Toole, Des Lee,

Stephen Travers (top), Ray Miller (bottom), Tony Geraghty.

Miami Showband
ambushed; several members murdered in 1975. The Miami Showband were wildly successful throughout Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, considered the "Irish Beatles." During The Troubles, five of the band members were stopped at a checkpoint when returning from a show in Northern Ireland. A group of men, members of the UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force, a Northern Irish paramilitary group) and the Ulster Defence Regiment, with suspected ties to the British government, escorted the band members from their bus. It was bombed and the musicians were shot. The Miami Showband Massacre, as it came to be called, took the lives of Brian McCoy (age 32), Fran O'Toole (age 28) and Tony Geraghty (age 24). Des Lee and Stephen Travers sustained serious injuries. "Clap Your Hands and Stomp Your Feet," "Dance in the Old Fashioned Way," "There Won't Be Anymore"

George Michael

George Michael

George Michael
(Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou), cardiac arrest in 2016, age 53. He died peacefully in his sleep. Michael hit the scene with the pop duo, Wham! and then followed that success with a phenomenal solo career. He won two Grammy Awards. With Wham!: "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," "Careless Whisper" As a solo artist: "I Want Your Sex," "Praying for Time, "Freedom! 90," "Faith," "Monkey," "Father Figure"

Ralph "Pee Wee" Middlebrooks
cause of death (1996) unknown; he was 57. Middlebrooks was the trumpeter and trombonist for The Ohio Players, popular for their 1970s dance hits, such as "Love Rollercoaster," "Funky Worm," and "Fire." (Fellow Ohio Player Clarence "Satch" Satchell passed away the year before, in 1995.)

Glenn Miller

Glenn Miller

Glenn Miller
(Alton Glenn Miller), his plane disappeared on a flight from England to France in 1944. Popular leader of The Glenn Miller Orchestra and The Army Air Force Band. Also a former member of the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra (see Tommy, 1956 and Jimmy, 1957). It is speculated that Miller's plane was accidentally shot down by a US bomber. He was 40. "In the Mood," "Moonlight Serenade"

Jacob "Killer" Miller
car crash in Kingston, Jamaica; he was 27. Miller was an original member of the reggae group, Inner Circle. They initially gained popularity by covering US pop hits. In later years, the group had hits with "Bad Boys," the theme to the television show, COPS, and "Sweat (A La La La La Long)." At the time of Miller's death in 1980, Inner Circle were preparing for a tour with Bob Marley and the Wailers (see 1981). Side note: Miller was the uncle of British R&B singer, Maxi Priest ("Close to You," "Set the Night to Music" with Roberta Flack).

Roger Miller
lung cancer; 1992. He was 56. Enjoyed fame in the 1960's with hits like "King Of The Road" and "Dang Me." Inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005.

Charles Mingus

Charles Mingus

Charles Mingus
Lou Gehrig's disease (1979); he was 56. Mingus was a legendary jazz composer and bassist who suffered from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). He worked and/or performed with Charlie Parker (see 1955), Dizzy Gillespie, and Duke Ellington. "Fable of Faubus," "If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger, There'd Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copy Cats" (renamed to "Gunslinging Bird"), "Better Git It in Your Soul"

Taylor Mitchell
attacked by coyotes while hiking in 2009. 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.

Keith Moon

Keith Moon

*Keith Moon
drug overdose (1978); he was 32. Moon was the drummer for The Who. On the eve of his death, he previewed The Buddy Holly Story and dined with his girlfriend, Annette Walter-Lax, and Paul and Linda McCartney. Moon and Walter-Lax returned to a flat owned by Harry Nilsson (heart failure, 1994, age 52) where "Mama" Cass Elliot had died four years earlier (heart failure, age 32). He supposedly woke up at 7:30 on the morning of the seventh, and returned to bed. At 3:40 pm, Walter-Lax tried to wake him, but he was unresponsive. At some point during the previous night or that morning, he had ingested 32 tablets of Clomethiazole (Heminevrin), a sedative prescribed for alcohol withdrawal. Keith Moon was dead of a prescription drug overdose. The Who (including bassist John Entwistle, see 2002), were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. Read about Moon's connection to the Curse of Buddy Holly and the Curse of Harry Nilsson. "Baba O'Reilly," "Pinball Wizard," "Behind Blue Eyes"

Gary Moore
unknown causes in 2011. Moore, 58, was the guitarist for Irish rock band, Thin Lizzy. He was found dead in his hotel room while vacationing in Spain. The cause of death is still unknown. (Lead singer, Phil Lynott, died in 1986 from drug- and alcohol-related compliations.) "The Boys Are Back in Town," "Whiskey in the Jar"

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 in 2008. He was 46. Moore was the saxophonist and a founding member of the Dave Matthews Band. "Ants Marching," "Crash," "What Would You Say," "Satellite"

Rushton Moreve
(John Russell Morgan), automobile crash in 1981; he was 33. Bassist Moreve, with drummer Jerry Edmonton (see 1993), was a co-founder of Steppenwolf. "Magic Carpet Ride," "Born to Be Wild"

Jim Morrison space saver Jim Morrison

"The Lizard King"

*Jim Morrison
(James Douglas Morrison), unknown. Morrison was found dead in his bathtub while living in Paris in 1971. The official cause of death was myocardial infarction (heart attack). Some speculate that he actually succumbed to some type of drug (heroin or cocaine) and/or alcohol overdose. Others believe "The Lizard King" still lives. Morrison was lead singer of The Doors and a published poet; he was 27 at the time of his death. The Doors were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. (Keyboardist Ray Manzarek died in 2013 of bile duct cancer; he was 74.) "Riders on the Storm," "Hello, I Love You," "The End," "Light My Fire"

Interesting aside: In 1967, The Doors were booked to play three shows in San Francisco, headlined by soul singer Otis Redding. Redding was killed two weeks before the scheduled performances. (Visit Redding's Tribute.) Morrison paid tribute to the fallen singer during the first performance and again in The Doors' song "Runnin' Blue": "Poor Otis, dead and gone, left me here to sing his song..."

2007 - Update: Sources (including Morrison's close friend, Sam Sernett) are surfacing, stating that Morrison actually overdosed on heroin in a Paris nightclub bathroom and was quietly moved to his apartment where the bathtub death scene was staged.

*Sterling Morrison
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; 1995. He was 53. Guitarist for Andy Warhol's Velvet Underground. Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. "Heroin," "Sunday Morning," "Waiting for My Man"

Jelly Roll Morton

Jelly Roll Morton

*Jelly Roll Morton
(Ferdinand Joseph Lematt), heart trouble and asthma (1941). He was 50. Morton, who started his career playing in whorehouses, was arguably the first great jazz pianist. Prior to his success as a musician, he was employed as a gambler, pool shark, vaudeville comedian, and pimp. He attributed his failing health to a voodoo curse. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. "Original Jelly Roll Blues," "Dead Man Blues," "Black Bottom Stomp," "Red Hot Pepper"

Karl Mueller
throat cancer; 2005. Mueller was bassist for '90s alternative band, Soul Asylum. He was 41. "Runaway Train," "Black Gold," "Somebody to Shove"

Bill Murcia
accidental drug overdose; in an effort to revive him, he was placed in a bathtub and forced to drink coffee. He died of asphyxiation at the age of 21 in 1972. Original drummer for The New York Dolls, he was replaced by Jerry Nolan (see 1992). Murcia and Nolan were two of four band members who would die prematurely, the other two being Johnny Thunders (see 1991) and Arthur "Killer" Kane (see 2004). "Personality Crisis," "Frankenstein"

Mercedes Navarro Murciano
pneumonia in 2007; 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."

Brittany Murphy

Brittany Murphy
combination of pneumonia, an iron deficiency and "multiple drug intoxication," in 2009; 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.

*Brent Mydland
morphine and cocaine overdose; 1990. He was 37. Keyboardist for the Grateful Dead, who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. Mydland was the third of four Grateful Dead keyboardists to die prematurely. He succeeded Ron "Pigpen" McKernan (see 1973) and Keith Godchaux (see 1980) and was succeeded by Vince Welnick (see 2006). "Truckin'," "St. Stephen," "Casey Jones," "Friend of the Devil"

Alan Myers
stomach cancer (2013), age 58. Meyers was drummer for the New Wave group, Devo ("De-evolution") from 1976 until 1986, their most successful period. "Whip It," "Working in the Coal Mine," "Theme from Doctor Detroit"

*Don Myrick
shot accidentally by police; he was 45. Myrick played saxophone for Earth, Wind & Fire. In 1993, an LAPD officer had a warrant to search Myrick's apartment for drugs. (Myrick had been abusing crack cocaine.) He shot Myrick when he mistook a cigarette lighter for a pistol in Myrick's hand. Earth, Wind & Fire were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Vocal Hall of Fame in 2003. "Shining Star," "Boogie Wonderland," "Let's Groove"