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The Death of Rock: The Alphabetical Archive

N, O, P and Q

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.


*Joey Negroni
cerebral hemorrhage (1978). Negroni was the baritone in the vocal group, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers. He had a brain tumor that was discovered too late and he died of cerebral hemorrhaging. He was 38. Within ten years, three members of the group would be dead: Negroni, Frankie Lymon (see 1968) and Sherman Garnes (see 1977). 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. "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?" "I Want You to Be My Girl," "Who Can Explain?"

Alex Nelson
automobile accident in 2004. He was 41. Nelson was guitarist for '80s hair band, Lizzy Borden. "Me Against The World," "American Metal," "Master Of Disguise"

Billy Nelson
(William Hugh Nelson, Jr.), suicide in 1991. Nelson, son of legendary country singer, Willie Nelson, hanged himself. Cause is unknown. He was 33. "Put Me on a Train Back to Texas"

*George Nelson
fatally gagged during an asthma attack in 1959. He was 33. Nelson was a vocalist for The Orioles ("the first R&B vocal group") and was involved in the auto accident that claimed the life of Orioles' guitarist Tommy Gaither (see 1950). The Orioles were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as an "Early Influence" in 1995. "Its Too Soon to Know," "Tell Me So," "Crying in the Chapel"

*Nate Nelson
heart attack; 1984. Nelson, a member of the doo-wop singing group, The Flamingos, died on his 52nd birthday. The Flamingos were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2000. "I Only Have Eyes for You," "Golden Teardrops," "Ill Be Home"

Rick Nelson

Rick Nelson

*Rick Nelson
(Eric Hilliard Nelson), plane crash in 1985; he was 45. Son of TV's "Ozzie and Harriet" and father of Matthew and Gunnar (of the early Nineties band, Nelson). Nelson's plane, which was previously owned by fellow rocker Jerry Lee Lewis, made an emergency landing after the pilot detected smoke in the cockpit. All survived the landing, but the craft then burst into flames, killing Nelson, his fiancee, and his band (the pilot and co-pilot survived). The cause was cited as faulty heater wiring. Read the National Transportation Safety Board Report, with photos of the crash site/wreckage. Also read about Nelson's connection to the Curse of Buddy Holly. Nelson was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. "Travelin' Man," "Hello Mary Lou"



(Christa Paffgen), cerebral hemorrhage while in Spain (1988). Occasional singer with the Velvet Underground, model and actress, she was 49. Nico was not included with the Velvets for their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1996. "All Tomorrow's Parties," "I'll Be Your Mirror"

Harry Nilsson

Harry Nilsson

Harry Nilsson
(Harry Edward Nelson III), heart disease; 1994. Nilsson was 52. Singer, songwriter, and John Lennon's (see 1980) drinking buddy; both "Mama" Cass Elliot (see 1974) and Keith Moon (see 1978) died while staying at his apartment. Read about the Curse of Nilsson. Badfinger's "Without You," "Everybodys Talkin'," "Coconut"

Jerry Nolan
health complications stemming from drug use in 1992; he was 46. Nolan replaced drummer Bill Murcia (see 1972) in the glam-punk outfit The New York Dolls and later joined The Heartbreakers. Vocalist Johnny Thunders (also an alum of both bands) succumbed to drug use the previous year. (Nolan, Murcia, and Thunders were three of four former New York Dolls to die prematurely. The fourth was Arthur "Killer" Kane in 2004.) "You Cant Put Your Arms Around Money" (with The Heartbreakers), "Personality Crisis," "Frankenstein" (with The New York Dolls)

Klaus Nomi

Klaus Nomi

Klaus Nomi
(Klaus Sperber), AIDS (1983); he was 39. Nomi was an eclectic performance artist, who often combined opera, disco and rock. His theatrical presentations involved stage effects, flamboyant costumes and outrageous make-up. Prior to his career as a performer, Nomi supported himself as a pastry chef, supposedly working at the World Trade Center. Albums include: Klaus Nomi, Simple Man, and Encore.

Nervous Norvus
(James Drake), liver failure in 1968. He was 56. Norvus reached #8 with the 1956 novelty tune, "Transfusion."

Bradley Nowell
heroin overdose in 1996. Singer for Sublime, he was 28. "What I Got"


Allman Brothers

The Allman Brothers Band circa 1970: Jai Johanny Johanson ("Jaimoe"), Berry Oakley (d. 1972),

Duane Allman (d. 1971), Butch Trucks (d. 2017), Gregg Allman (d. 2017), and Dickey Betts

*Berry Oakley
(Raymond Berry Oakley), motorcycle accident in 1972; he was 24. Oakley played bass in the Allman Brothers Band, who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. His motorcycle accident eerily mirrored that of Duane Allman a year before, and occurred only a few blocks away. Oakley refused medical treatment at the scene of the accident and later died from a fractured skull and brain hemorrhage. Oakley was replaced by Lamar Williams (see 1983), who was then replaced by Allen Woody (see 2000). "Ramblin Man," "Midnight Rider," "Melissa"

Phil Ochs
hanging. Ochs was an anti-establishment folk singer, who used his songs to protest against the Vietnam War and to campaign for civil, student, and labor rights. The FBI maintained a file on the singer nearly 500 pages long. In 1973, he was assaulted and almost killed. During the attack he was strangled which permanently damaged his vocal chords. Plagued by bipolar disorder and an alternate, drunken personality (John Butler Train), he hanged himself at the age of 36 in 1976. In 2009, the North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance awarded Ochs the Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Award. Read about Ochs's involvement in the Curse of Buddy Holly. "I Aint Marchin," "Draft Dodger Rag," "There But For Fortune"

Brian O'Hara
singer and guitarist with the Fourmost, a group that shared a manager with the Beatles. The Fourmost had hits with songs written by John Lennon (see 1980) and Paul McCartney, including "Hello Little Girl" and "I'm In Love." OHara was found hanging at his home in 1999. He was 58.

Johnny O'Keefe

Johnny O'Keefe

Johnny O'Keefe
heart attack caused by an accidental overdose of prescription medication in 1978. He was 43. O'Keefe was the Australian King of Rock & Roll, and the first Australian to chart (with the hit, "I'm The Wild One"). He opened for Bill Haley (see 1981) and later appeared on the Lee Gordon Tour in 1958 with Paul Anka and Buddy Holly (see 1959). In 1998, O'Keefe was honored on an Australian postage stamp. Read about O'Keefe's connection to the Curse of Buddy Holly. "Shout," "She's My Baby," "It's Too Late," "Im Counting On You," "Move Baby Move," "She Wears My Ring"

Criss Oliva
struck head-on by a drunk driver in 1993; Oliva was 30. Oliva was the guitarist for the metal outfit, Savatage. The driver who was responsible for the accident was eventually convicted of DUI manslaughter and sentenced to five years in prison (he served 18 months), and ten years' probation. "Hall of the Mountain King," "Prelude to Madness," "Price You Pay"

(William Oliver Swafford), cancer (2000). He was 54. "Good Morning, Starshine" from the rock musical, "Hair." "Jean," "Sunday Mornin"

Mark Daniel Olson
reports suggest his death was bodily wear-and-tear due to chronic alcohol consumption. Olson played keyboards from 1971 until 1984 for rock/soul group, Rare Earth. He died in 1991 at the age of 41. Fellow members John Persh succumbed to a staph infection (1974) and Eddie Guzman died of complications from diabetes (1993). "I Just Want to Celebrate," "Hey, Big Brother," and covers of The Temptations' "(I Know) I'm Losing You" and "Get Ready"

Roy Orbison

Roy Orbison

*Roy Orbison
heart attack in 1988; he was 52. Orbison was a legendary, Grammy-winning musician whose career spanned three decades. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987. In 1989, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. "Pretty Woman," "Only the Lonely," "Crying," "Leah," "Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)," "You Got It"

Dolores O'Riordan

Dolores O'Riordan

Dolores O'Riordan
drowned in the bath while intoxicated (2018). Toxicology tests found she had more than four times the legal alcohol limit for driving. She was 46. O'Riordan was the lead singer for the Irish rock/pop band, The Cranberries. "Zombie," "Linger," "Dreams" "Ode to My Family"

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

Jesus Adolfo Rayos Otanos
murdered in 2011. Otanos was the clarinetist for the Mexican group, Hermanos Baldenegro. Three men pulled up next to the band's tour bus in Nogales, Mexico and requested that the group play a song. When the lead singer refused, one of the men pulled out a gun and fired into the bus. Otanos, who was sleeping, was shot twice, in the right leg and ankle. He later died at the hospital from heart failure. He was 30.


Tommmy Page
suicide in 2017, age 46. Page was best known for his 1990 Number One single which he performed with members of New Kids On The Block, "I'll Be Your Everything."

*Bruce Palmer
heart attack in 2004 at the age of 58. Palmer was the bassist for Buffalo Springfield, who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. "For What It's Worth," "Mr. Soul," "Expecting to Fly"

Robert Palmer

Robert Palmer

Robert Palmer
heart attack in 2003 at the age of 54. Palmer was famous for his controversial music videos featuring identical women in mini-skirts and red lipstick. He won two Grammy awards for "Simply Irresistible" and "Addicted to Love." He formed Power Station ("Some Like It Hot") with Tony Thompson (also 2003) and John and Andy Taylor of Duran Duran. "I Didnt Mean to Turn You On," "Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)," a cover of Marvin Gaye's (see 1984) "Mercy, Mercy Me."

John Panozzo
gastrointestinal hemorrhage brought on by alcoholism, 1996. He was 48. Panozzo was a founding member of Styx, with his brother Chuck, Dennis DeYoung and John Curulewski. (Curulewski succumbed to a brain aneurysm in 1988.)Panozzo played drums for the band, whose hits include "Mr. Roboto," "Come Sail Away," "Lady," and "Babe."

Felix Pappalardi
He was shot and killed by his wife, Gail Collins, in 1983, when they argued over his long-standing affair with a younger woman. (Collins was convicted of criminally negligent homicide and sentenced to four years in prison.) Pappalardi had done production work for Cream and was a producer and member of Mountain. He was 43. "Mississippi Queen"

Charlie Parker

"Bird" Charlie Parker

Charlie "Yardbird" Parker
(Charles Christopher Parker, Jr.), pneumonia (1955). Innovative jazz saxophonist who worked with artists such as bassist Charles Mingus (see 1979). Parker suffered form ulcers and cirrhosis of the liver possibly caused by heroin addiction; he was 34. "A Night in Tunisia," "Groovin' High," "Repetition"

*Gram Parsons
drug toxicity (1973); he was 26. Parsons was a member of the Byrds (with Gene Clark, see 1991, and Michael Clarke, see 1993). Parsons had stated that he wanted his body cremated at Joshua Tree National Monument (CA) and his ashes spread over Cap Rock. But Parson's stepfather had arranged for a private ceremony in New Orleans. So to honor Parsons's wishes, music producer, Phil Kaufman, and a friend stole his body, borrowed a hearse, and drove to Joshua Tree. They then proceeded to pour five gallons of gasoline into the open coffin, followed by a lit match - creating a huge fireball. They were arrested and fined $750 ($700?) for stealing the coffin. Earlier that year, Parsons sang "Farther Along" at Clarence White's funeral service and created his final song, "In My Hour of Darkness," as a partial tribute to him. White had replaced Parsons in The Byrds when Parsons quit the group in 1968. The Byrds were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. "Turn, Turn, Turn," "Mr. Tambourine Man," "Eight Miles High"

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

Jaco Pastorius
(John Francis Anthony Pastorius III), provoked a fight at a nightclub and later died from his injuries (1987); he was 35. Pastorius was a jazz musician who played electric bass. He was a member of Weather Report, a solo artist and he worked with Pat Methany, Herbie Hancock, and Joni Mitchell. Pastorius earned two Grammy nominations and he was inducted into the DownBeat Hall of Fame. Albums with Weather Report include Black Market, Heavy Weather and Night Passage. Albums as leader or co-leader: Jaco, Jaco Pastorius, Word of Mouth and Invitation.

Vinnie Paul
(Vincent Paul Abbott), dilated cardiomyopathy and coronary artery disease (2018); he was 54. Vinnie Paul was the drummer and co-founder of Pantera and Damageplan (with his brother, "Dimebag" Darrell, see 2004) and a member of Hellyeah. Pantera: "Planet Caravan," "Revolution is My Name," "Piss"

John Paulos
drug overdose in 1980. He was 32. Paulos was the drummer for The Buckinghams on several hits, including "Kind Of A Drag," "Dont You Care," and "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy."

The Four Tops

The Four Tops. Clockwise from top, left:

Abdul "Duke" Fakir, Lawrence Payton, Renaldo "Obie" Benson, and Levi Stubbs.

*Lawrence Payton
liver cancer, 1997; he was 59. Payton was one of the legendary Four Tops. The group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. (Payton predeceased fellow Four Tops, Renaldo "Obie" Benson (lung cancer in 2005) and Levi Stubbs (passed in his sleep in 2008). Abdul "Duke" Fakir. is the last surviving member. "Reach Out I'll Be There," "Bernadette," "I Can't Help Myself," "Baby I Need Your Loving," "It's the Same Old Song," "Ain't No Woman (Like the One I've Got)"


America: Dewey Bunnel, Gerry Beckley and Dan Peek.

Dan Peek
found dead in his bed by his wife in 2011. Cause of death was fibrinous pericarditis. He was 60. Peek was a founding member of the vocal/folk group, America. He performed lead and backing vocals, and played guitars, bass, keyboards, and harmonica during his tenure with the band (1970 - 1977). "A Horse with No Name," "I Need You," "Ventura Highway," "Sister Golden Hair," "Tin Man"

Teddy Pendergrass
(Theodore DeReese Pendergrass), colon cancer in 2010. He was 59. Pendergrass was a powerful R&B singer, beginning his career as lead singer of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes ("If You Don't Know Me By Now") and continuing on to an equally successful solo career. (Pendergrass replaced Melvin as lead singer in 1970. Melvin died in 1997 from heart problems at the age of 57.) Between 1979 and 1994, Pendergrass earned five Grammy nominations. In 1982, he was paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident. "Turn Off the Lights," "Love TKO," "Wake Up Everybody," "Close the Door," "I Can't Live Without Your Love"

Clayton Perkins
(Lloyd Clayton Perkings), suicide. Member of the Perkins Brothers (which included Jay and Carl). In 1956, while on their way to perform Carl's composition, "Blue Sude Shoes" on "The Perry Como Show," the driver of their vehicle fell asleep at the wheel and slammed into a pickup truck. Sidelined, the brothers watched as Elvis Presley (see 1977), hijacked the single (simultaneously bolstering his phenomenal career). Jay suffered a fractured neck and internal injuries and continued to suffer the consequences of his injuries, finally succumbing in 1958. Clayton never recovered from the loss of his brother, and when Carl decided to continue in the music business alone, Clayton fell to alcoholism. On Chritsmas Day of 1973, Clayton was found in dead in his bed at the age of 38. He had shot himself with a .22-calibre pistol. (Carl died of throat cancer in 1998 at the age of 65.)

Jay Perkins
(James Buck Perkings), automobile accident. Member of the Perkins Brothers (which included Clayton and Carl). In 1956, while on their way to perform Carl's composition, "Blue Sude Shoes" on "The Perry Como Show," the driver of their vehicle fell asleep at the wheel and slammed into a pickup truck. Jay suffered a fractured neck and internal injuries. He was left to watch on television as Elvis Presley (see 1977) hijacked the single (simultaneously bolstering his phenomenal career). Perkins continued to suffer the consequences of his injuries, finally succumbing in 1958. He was 28. His brother, Clayton, never recovered from Jay's death and committed suicide at the age of 38 (see 1973). Carl died of throat cancer in 1998; he was 65.

Luther Perkins
house fire. He was 40. Perkins was a guitarist with the Tennessee Three, Johnny Cash's backing band. He is credited with creating Cash's signature "boom-chicka-boom" music style. On 3 August 1968, Perkins fell asleep in his living room with a lit cigarette. His daughter awoke to find the room engulfed in flames and her father collapsed by the door. He was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries two days later. He is buried near Johnny and June Carter Cash. (Johnny Cash died of complications from diabetes at the age of 71 in 2003.) Luther Perkins was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. With Johnny Cash: "Folsom Prison Blues," "Ring of Fire," "In the Jailhouse Now," "I Walk the Line"

A.J. Pero
(Anthony Jude Pero), cause of death undisclosed; 2015. He was 55. Pero was the drummer for metal bands, Twisted Sister and Adrenaline Mob. With Twisted Sister: "We're Not Gonna Take It," "I Wanna Rock"

John Persh
(John Parrish), staph infection at the age of 34 (1976). Persh played bass, trombone, and sang vocals for rock/soul group, Rare Earth. Fellow band members Mark Olson died of chronic alcohol consumption (1991), and Eddie Guzman succumbed to complications of diabetes (1993). "I Just Want to Celebrate," "Hey, Big Brother," and covers of The Temptations' "(I Know) I'm Losing You" and "Get Ready"

Dave Peverett
("Lonesome Dave"), double-pneumonia as a result of renal cancer; 2000. He was 56. Peverett was the lead singer for Foghat, who amassed three platinum and eight gold records during their quarter-century career. Foghat's guitarist, Rod Price, died in 2005. 1975's rock classic "Slow Ride," "Drivin' Wheel," "I Just Want to Make Love to You," "Stone Blue," "Third Time Lucky (The First Time I Was a Fool)"

Kristen Pfaff
heroin overdose in 1994. Bassist for Hole, she was 27. "Miss World," "Doll Parts"

River Phoenix

River Phoenix

River Phoenix
(River Jude Bottom), drug overdose at age 23. Phoenix, although known primarily for his critically-acclaimed acting, was the guitarist for Aleka's Attic. In 1993, Phoenix collapsed and went into cardiac arrest outside the Viper Room on Halloween night. Ephedrine, marijuana, valium, cocaine and morphine were found in the strict vegan's system. Since his death, he has been memorialized in songs by Belinda Carlisle, Natalie Merchant, REM, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and others. "Across the Way," "Too Many Colors," "Note to a Friend"

Bill Pickering
aneurysm; age 58. Pickering was a DJ - the first to play Buddy Holly's solo effort, "Blue Days, Black Nights" - and later, a back-up singer for Holly. The Pickering Brothers ("The Picks"), were overdubbed on several Holly classics, including "Oh, Boy!" and "Maybe Baby," but were never credited for their contributions. In 1959, when Holly died, Pickering sang at his funeral. The group disbanded, but reunited in 1969. Unfortunately, the group was sidelined in 1974; Pickering suffered his first stroke, rendering him blind for nearly two years. He recorded once more, ten years later, again overdubbing on Holly tracks. He was motivated by Maria Elena Santiago, Holly's widow, when she related how Holly had wanted to work with The Picks again. The overdubs were Pickering's last foray into music. He died in 1985, in Holly's hometown of Lubbock, Texas. The Picks were inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, the New Mexico Music Hall of Fame, and received the West Texas Music Hall of Fame Music Pioneer Award. Read about Pickering's connection to the Curse of Buddy Holly.

Milli Vanilli

Milli Vanilli: Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan

Rob Pilatus
suicide by ingesting a mixture of unidentified pills and alcohol in 1998. He was 32. Pilatus was half of the lip-synching duo, Milli Vanilli. The pair was forced to return their 1990 Grammy for "Best New Artist" when it was discovered that they were not the ones singing on their album. "Girl, You Know It's True," "Blame It On the Rain," "Baby Don't Forget My Number"

Jesse Pintado
diabetic coma in 2006. 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"

Audie Pitre
(Audie Thomas Pitre), 26-year-old bassist and vocalist for Acid Bath and founder/bassist for Shrum. Shrum featured two bassists (instead of the standard bassist-guitarist combination). In 1997, Pitre, his parents and his brother, Kelly, were riding on the Bourg-Larose Highway in Louisiana when their vehicle was struck by a drunk driver. Audie and his parents were killed. Shrum, still in its formative stages, had yet to release an album or play live. After Pitre's death, an EP was released, Red Devils and Purple Ringers, with proceeds to benefit Audie's son. The band also played some shows with Audie's younger brother, Kelly, filling in on bass. Albums with Acid Bath include When the Kite String Pops and Paegan Terrorism Tactics.

June Pointer
cancer (2006). 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"

*Rudy Pompilli
(Rudolph Clement Pompilii), lung cancer in 1976 at the age of 51. Pompilli was the tenor saxophonist for Bill Haley and His Comets. The group was 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." Pompilli was named Sax Player of the Year by Down Beat magazine in 1957. In 2012, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by a special committee, when the band failed to originally be inducted with Bill Haley in 1987. When Haley returned to touring after Pompilli's death, he would dedicate a part of every show to Pompilli with a performance of "Rudy's Rock." (Haley died of a heart attack in 1981 at the age of 55. In 1954, Comet Danny Cedrone fell down a flight of stairs, breaking his neck. He was 33. Fellow Comet, Marshall Lytle, succumbed to lung cancer in 2013. He ws 79.) "Rocket 88," "Crazy, Man, Crazy"

Jeff Porcaro
hardening of the arteries due to cocaine abuse, 1992. Porcaro was Toto's drummer (and brother to Mike). The group garnered six Grammy Awards in its heyday. Porcaro's death, while gardening, was originally thought caused by an anaphylactic reaction to a pesticide. He was 38 at the time of his demise. "Africa," "Rosanna," "Hold the Line"

Mike Porcaro
Lou Gehrig's Disease, 2015. Porcaro was the bassist for the band, Toto (and brother to Jeff). The group garnered six Grammy Awards in its heyday. Porcaro was 59. "Africa," "Rosanna," "Hold the Line"

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 in 2009; 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"

Cozy Powell
(Colin Flooks), auto accident; he was 50. Powell was a drummer who did session work for Jeff Beck, Suzi Quattro, Donovan, and Hot Chocolate. He was a member of Rainbow, White Snake, and later Black Sabbath. Powell crashed his car while driving at 104 mph - in bad weather while talking to his girlfriend on his cell phone. He was not wearing a seat belt and was over the alcohol limit. Albums with Black Sabbath: Headless Cross, Tyr, The Sabbath Stones and Forbidden. With Whitesnake: Slide It In

*William Powell
cancer (1977). Powell was a member of the R&B vocalists, the O-Jays, who were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. Powell was 35 when he died. "Back Stabbers," "Love Train," "Use Ta Be My Girl"

Chet Powers
(also known as Dino Valenti), "died suddenly" (no cause disclosed) in 1994. He was 57. Powers was a lead singer for Quicksilver Messenger Service. He also wrote the '60s anthem, "Get Together" under the name Jesse Oris Farrow. With Quicksilver Messenger Service: "Fresh Air," "What About Me," "Who Do You Love"

*Dave Prater
auto accident in 1988; he was 51. He was half of the duo, Sam & Dave. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. "Hold On, I'm Comin," "Soul Man," "I Thank You"

Elvis space saver Presley

"The King"

*#Elvis Presley
drug overdose in 1977; he was 42. Actor in over 30 films and the "King of Rock and Roll." Presley was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1998, the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004, and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. He was also honored on a United States postage stamp. Possibly the most-imitated entertainer in history. Read about the King's connection to the Curse of Buddy Holly, or the auction of Elvis's crypt. "Hound Dog," "Jailhouse Rock," "Cant Help Falling in Love," "Suspicious Minds"

Billy Preston

Billy Preston

*Billy Preston
heart infection (2006). 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. Preston was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2021. "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)

Rod Price
fell down a stairway while suffering a heart attack in 2005; 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)"



(Prince Rogers Nelson), accidental overdose of fentanyl, an opiod (pain killer), in 2016. Fentanyl is prescribed by doctors for cancer treatment and is 25 to 50 times more potent than heroin. It is unclear whether the artist was prescribed the drug or came about it illegally. Prince was 57. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. He has won an Academy Award, two Brit Awards, a Golden Globe, 7 Grammy Awards and 4 MTV Video Music Awards (and one Golden Raspberry Award). "When Doves Cry," "Purple Rain," "Let's Go Crazy," "Raspberry Beret," "Kiss"

PM Dawn

P.M. Dawn: Prince Be and DJ Minutemix

Prince Be
(Attrell Cordes), diabetes and renal disease in 2016. He was 46. Cordes founded the psychedelic '90s R&B group, P.M. Dawn, with his brother, Jarrett (DJ Minutemix). "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss," "I'd Die Without You," "Looking Through Patient Eyes"

Barry Pritchard
heart failure (1999). He was 54. Pritchard was the singer and guitarist for The Fortunes. "You've Got Your Troubles," "Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again"


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