30 tragic deaths of music legends
Music is a powerful force that connects members of a generation, and when an icon of that generation dies, the loss is felt among the masses; it’s especially shocking when this larger-than-life celebrity dies suddenly and at a young age. Sadly, we lost several musical artists far too soon, often through the pressure, exposure, or commitments that come with stardom. Visit our gallery of photos recalling 30 music legends and the details of their tragic deaths.
I was only nine when John Lennon died, and over 40 years later I remember sitting at the kitchen table listening to the radio report of this crazy fan Marc David Chapman shot down the legendary singer. It was one of the most shocking events in rock and roll history; fans were devastated, with at least three suicides. Chapman pleaded guilty and remains incarcerated. Barely 15 years later, a promising young singer Selena was murdered by an obsessed fan, Yolanda Salvidarwho also remains in prison.
In the 1990s, two influential rappers were murdered less than a year apart when East and West Coast hip-hop rivalries escalated. Tupac Shakur and The notorious BIG were shot in drive-by shootings. Member of the Crips gang Orlando Anderson was a prime suspect in Shakur’s death, but many believed Biggie was involved. When Biggie was later similarly killed, theories arose linking Wallace’s death to Shakur’s as a revenge theory; corrupt Los Angeles cops were also implicated. Both murders remain unsolved.
Unfortunately, many have fallen into the trap of drug addiction. Disturbingly, in some cases, the musician’s personal physician is responsible for providing unnecessary “medication”. In fact, some of these doctors have been held responsible. Although there have been differing opinions on the role of drug use in Elvis PresleyUpon ‘s death, his attending physician had his license temporarily suspended for overmedication; he was later permanently revoked due to new allegations. michael jacksonThe doctor was convicted of manslaughter and served a short stint in jail.
We have lost too many of these gifted musicians at too young an age, with an unfortunate bond connecting many of them. Between September 1970 and July 1971, jimi hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison all died of drug-related causes. They were each only 27 years old, which gave rise to the concept of the “Club of 27”, which was also linked to kurt cobain and Amy Winehouse decades later.
One of the most common causes of death among musicians is plane crashes, as performers try to get from one venue to another in a short time. Aliyah, Otis Redding and Patsy Cline were still young and at the start of promising careers when their planes crashed. The most famous of these accidents was immortalized by Don McLean in the song “American Pie”, which refers to the tragic death of holly buddy, Ritchie Valens and the big punchwhich were all terribly young, like “The Day the Music Died”.
Some, like Nat King Cole and Bob Marley, died young of a disease like cancer. Others, like george michael and Karen Carpenter, seemed to have conquered their demons and continued to work and prosper; however, the damage they had done to their bodies with substance abuse or eating disorders had taken their toll. The following is a list of some of the most shocking deaths of popular musicians, most of whom were pioneers in their genre and left behind impressive work, but also left us wondering what else they would have given the world of music. entertainment if they hadn’t left us way too soon.