Greatest Deceased Rock Artist

For the past 37 years, we have seen the best of the best go, but who is the greatest out of these dead musicians?

The Top Ten

1 Freddie Mercury Freddie Mercury Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara, 5th September 1946 - 24th November 1991) was a Zanzibari-born British singer of Indian descent, songwriter and record producer, known as the lead vocalist and songwriter of the British rock band Queen. He also became known for his flamboyant stage persona and four-octave ...read more.

He was an amazing singer, songwriter, pianist, and frontman for the band. His charisma and sheer talent were a huge part of Queen's success. God save the Queen - ObsessedwFreddie

What? Number 2? Who's number 1? I'm sorry to say, my friends, but I have no idea who that is. Freddie is known worldwide. MOSTLY BY ME. BROUHAHA! ARUGULA! Uh, continuing, he is very influential. I love him, he will always be in my heart forever.

Well-deserved place, he was the best. Much more talented than Lennon and Elvis in singing and songwriting...and I don't speak about stage presence...he was miles away from Lennon and Elvis, he was amazing!

Amazing singer and frontman, incredible talented songwriter and pianist. He was a brilliant musician. Sadly missed for 27 years, never can be surpassed.

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2 John Lennon John Lennon John Winston Ono Lennon, MBE was an English singer and songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as a co-founder of the Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music. He was assassinated by Mark David Chapman on December 8, 1980 at age 40.

John Lennon transcended music... He changed our culture and our world! Music and the world have felt the void created on 12/8/80... Visit Central Park's "Strawberry Fields" and you WILL feel the connection! Visit The Dakota Building and your blood will chill when you see how trapped John was that horrible night... It appears SO much bigger on T.V... This wonderful man had no chance to defend or protect himself. What a cowardly and senseless act of violence! John Lennon was magic! Thank god we've had Paul McCartney for so long... He keeps it all alive and well! - frank

A truly inspirational artist...he touched the world with his beautiful music... - jprg12

when he died, the world suffered - rock2metal

3 Hideto Hide Matsumoto Hideto Hide Matsumoto

He's Japanese most influential guitarist. He's unique, brilliant, colorful, and sparkling. Miyavi is dull compare to him. - kurenai_tenshi

Legendary guitarist the greatest ever. - TD17

Whatever it is, he's legendary. - freakflop

Just one word. who? - drunksanta

4 Elvis Presley Elvis Presley Elvis Presley was an American musician and actor. Known as "The King" He was mostly known for his number 1 singles including "Heartbreak Hotel" "Hound Dog" "Jailhouse Rock" "Love me Tender" Elvis debuted in the movie "Love me Tender" and focused less on his music and continued that way. ...read more.

Elvis is the best and will always be forever and he should be #1 - #1elvisfan

5 Jimi Hendrix Jimi Hendrix Jimi Hendrix (born November 27, 1942 - September 18, 1970) was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter . Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated ...read more.

Most influental guitarist EVER. And you can't argue with that. - d3rrick95

This guy is overrated and died by choking on his own vomit what an idiot!

Easily the best guitarist ever, though his career was short - vidieowiz4

The best I always listen to his music - tanker58

6 Kurt Cobain Kurt Cobain Kurt Cobain was born February 20, 1967, in Aberdeen, Washington. In 1987, he started the grunge band Nirvana, which became one of the most successful bands ever. He was a talented yet troubled grunge performer. Kurt Cobain became a rock legend in the 1990s with his band. He committed suicide at his ...read more.

Kurt was a genius and is responsible for some of the greatest songs ever like smells like teen spirit, come as you are, heart shaped box, in bloom plus many MANY more... - wolphert

Millions of people miss him even though they weren't born when Nirvana was around (like me). Kurt is able to connect with people long after he died and that's what makes him a legend to this day - Danielsun182

Lots of people miss Kurt. Not only were his songs good, but they had deep messages in them. Take Pennyroyal Tea for example

Kurt cobain I really admire you!

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7 Jim Morrison Jim Morrison James Douglas "Jim" Morrison was an American singer, songwriter, and poet best remembered as the lead singer of the Doors.
8 Michael Jackson Michael Jackson Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer, dancer, and songwriter born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana and passed away on June 25, 2009. He donated (at least) a remarkable 500,000,000 dollars to charity. Michael is also known as The King of Pop (a title given to him by Elizabeth Taylor) or under ...read more.

"rocker" king of pop - SoldierOfFortune

I don't like to see his name on this list; but, MJ was the best. RIP Michael xo - love4mjj

#8? Are u kidding' me?!

I miss MJ! It was a happy day until I heard of his death! R.I.P. Michael!

9 Duane Allman Duane Allman Howard Duane Allman was an American guitarist, session musician, and co-founder and leader of the Allman Brothers Band until his death in a motorcycle crash in 1971, when he was 24 years old.

Duane is arguably one of the 5 best guitarists of all-time he passed away too early - rocknrolldude

10 Cliff Burton Cliff Burton Clifford Lee "Cliff" Burton (February 10th 1962 - September 27th 1986) was an American musician, best known as the second bass guitarist for the American thrash metal band Metallica, recording three studio albums. He died in 1986 after getting crushed by a tour bus in Copenhagen whilst promoting Metallica's ...read more.

R.I.P Clifford Lee Burton. his solos revolutionized the bass.

If only he were still alive, metallica may have been even better. - aman28

Rest in peace. The greatest bassist ever - lilrocketman

The Contenders

11 John Bonham John Bonham John Henry Bonham was born on May 31, 1948 in Redditch, United Kingdom. Bonham (nicknamed Bonzo) was a professional hard rock drummer who was best known for being the drummer in the band Led Zeppelin. Bonham was also one of the background singers in the band. His drumming is mainly displayed on the ...read more.

John Bonham was the greatest rock drummer that ever lived. His death meant the end of the king of all rock bands... Led Zeppelin. Bonham, Hendrix & Lennon should top this list if were talking about tragically lost talent.

Base this list on skill, innovation & influence on their respective instruments and you have John Henry Bonham sitting easily at #1...the greatest rock drummer who ever lived.

Hope he is on the Stairway to Heaven.

12 George Harrison George Harrison George Harrison was an English guitarist, singer, songwriter, and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles.
13 Ronnie James Dio Ronnie James Dio Ronnie James Dio (born Ronald James Padavona; July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010) was an American heavy metal singer, songwriter and musician. He fronted and/or founded numerous groups including Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio and Heaven & Hell. He is credited with popularizing the "metal horns" hand gesture ...read more.

This guy is one of the gods of metal with an amazing voice. Was very surprised and disappointed to not see him in the top 10.

RIP
O, how the mighty have fallen -

14 Randy Rhoads Randy Rhoads Randall William "Randy" Rhoads was an American heavy metal guitarist who played with Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot. He was killed in a plane crash.

One of the greatest guitarists of all time... second best to jimi... - ch153

15 Bon Scott Bon Scott Ronald Belford "Bon" Scott was a Scottish-born Australian rock musician, best known for being the lead singer and lyricist of Australian hard rock band AC/DC from 1974 until his death in 1980. He was born in Forfar and lived in Kirriemuir, Scotland, for 5 years before moving to Melbourne, Australia, ...read more.

surely top 10 atleast! Bon and Jim Morrison RIP! - Dickey96

16 Gary Moore Gary Moore Robert William Gary Moore was a Northern Irish musician, most widely recognised as a singer, songwriter, and virtuoso rock and blues guitarist.
17 Jerry Garcia Jerry Garcia Jerome John "Jerry" Garcia was an American musician best known for his lead guitar work, singing and songwriting with the band the Grateful Dead, which came to prominence during the counterculture era in the 1960s.
18 Dimebag Darrell Lance Abott Dimebag Darrell Lance Abott Darrell Lance Abbott, also known as Diamond Darrell and Dimebag Darrell, was an American guitarist and songwriter best known as a founding member of two bands, Pantera and Damageplan, alongside his brother, Vinnie Paul. Abbott died in 2004 after he was shot by a mentally unstable fan.

Amazing guitarist. One of the most influential guitarists of all time. R.I.P. Dime

Best metal guitarist. Rip dimebag - lilrocketman

19 Jon Lord Jon Lord Jonathan Douglas "Jon" Lord was an English composer, pianist, and Hammond organ player known for his pioneering work in fusing rock with classical or baroque forms, especially with Deep Purple, as well as Whitesnake, Paice Ashton Lord, The Artwoods, and The Flower Pot Men.
20 David Bowie David Bowie David Robert Jones, known professionally as David Bowie, was an English singer born in London on January 8, 1947, and was the son of a fundraiser and a waitress. He died in New York on January 10, 2016 at the age of 69, a hero to millions. ...read more.
21 Buddy Holly Buddy Holly Buddy Holly, born Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959) was an American musician and singer-songwriter who was a central figure of mid-1950s rock and roll. He was a rising star when a tragic plane crash struck him down at age 22. ...read more.

Buddy Holly actually inspired some famous people, should be at least in the top 10. - Mumbizz01

22 Layne Staley Layne Staley Layne Thomas Staley was an American musician who served as the lead singer and co-songwriter of the rock band Alice in Chains, which he founded with guitarist Jerry Cantrell in Seattle, Washington in 1987. Alice in Chains rose to international fame as part of the grunge movement of the early 1990s. ...read more.

What Layne Staley left us was the most incredible vocals to some fantastic songs. He also wrote some very honest, painful lyrics. He was a very influential artist when he was alive. I wish he was still here making music, but will always cherish what he gifted us. RIP Dear Layne, you will never be forgotten and Imitations Are Truly Pale!

One of the most underrated singers. Very few can even match his talent. Closest in my opinion is Chris Cornell.

23 Keith Moon Keith Moon Keith John Moon was an English drummer for the rock band the Who. He was noted for his unique style and his eccentric, often self-destructive behaviour. His drumming continues to be praised by critics and musicians.
24 Janis Joplin Janis Joplin Janis Joplin (1943-1970) was an American singer who rose to fame as the main singer of acid band Big Brother and the Holding Company. She was known for her eccentric hippie style and psychedelic rock music.

janis is absolutely amazing... there never was or never will be anyone like her - ssevensstars

Beast

25 Johnny Cash Johnny Cash John R. "Johnny" Cash (1932-2003) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author, who was widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century and one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 90 million records worldwide. He died of ...read more.
26 Lemmy Kilmister Lemmy Kilmister Ian Fraser Kilmister, known as Lemmy, was an English musician, singer and songwriter who founded and fronted the rock band Motörhead. He was a bassist and a singer known for his raspy voice. He died in 2015 from cancer and other health problems.

Rip lemmy - lilrocketman

27 Jimmy The Rev Sullivan Jimmy The Rev Sullivan James Owen Sullivan, professionally known by his stage name The Rev, was an American musician, composer and songwriter, best known as the drummer, composer, songwriter, co-lead vocalist and founding member for the American alternative metal/ metalcore band Avenged Sevenfold.

he's the best can't believe he's not on this lists. he's better than betohven er whatever AMAZING! R.I.P. - SurfinBird

Jimmy is foREVer I love his drumming so much and think he should be higher

Amazing drummer, he will be missed.

foREVer

28 Syd Barrett Syd Barrett Roger Keith Barrett was an English musician, composer, singer, songwriter, and painter. Best known as a founder member of the band Pink Floyd, Barrett was the lead singer, guitarist and principal songwriter in its early years and is credited with naming the band.

Only few years music but perhaps the most talented of all. He was one of the greatest innovator in music history of the 20th century.

Syd Barrett was the glue holding Pink Floyd together. He deserves more legacy. - PositronWildhawk

29 Marc Bolan Marc Bolan Marc Bolan, born Mark Feld (30 September 1947 – 16 September 1977) was an English singer-songwriter, musician, guitarist, and poet. He was best known as the lead singer of the glam rock band T. Rex. Bolan was one of the first pioneers of the glam rock movement of the 1970s. He died at age 29 in a ...read more.
30 Stevie Ray Vaughan Stevie Ray Vaughan Stephen "Stevie" Ray Vaughan (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990) was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer. In spite of a short-lived mainstream career spanning seven years, he is widely considered one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of music, and ...read more.

He was a rare talent. Not only was he the greatest guitarist ever, he had a rich and expressive singing voice. Very underrated vocalist. - vwade8

Can�'t Believe He Wasn�'t On The List, Greatest Musician Ever Lived

31 Cozy Powell Cozy Powell Colin Trevor "Cozy" Powell was an English rock drummer, who made his name with many major rock bands and artists like The Jeff Beck Group, Rainbow, Robert Plant, Whitesnake and Black Sabbath.
32 James Brown James Brown James Joseph Brown was an American singer, songwriter, dancer, musician, record producer and bandleader. A progenitor of funk music and a major figure of 20th century popular music and dance, he is often referred to as the "Godfather of Soul".
33 Brian Connolly

One of the best singers ever in any genre

34 Tim Buckley Tim Buckley Timothy Charles "Tim" Buckley III (February 14, 1947 – June 29, 1975) was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. His music and style changed considerably through the years; he began his career based in folk music, but his subsequent albums incorporated jazz, psychedelia, funk, soul, avant-garde ...read more.
35 Jeff Buckley Jeff Buckley Jeffrey Scott "Jeff" Buckley (November 17, 1966 – May 29, 1997) raised as Scott "Scottie" Moorhead, was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. ...read more.
36 Eric Carr Eric Carr Paul Charles Caravello better known by his stage name Eric Carr, was an American musician who was the drummer for the rock band Kiss from 1980 to 1991. Caravello was selected as the new Kiss drummer after Peter Criss left, when he chose the stage name "Eric Carr" and took up the "Fox" persona.
37 Brian Jones Brian Jones Lewis Brian Hopkin Jones was an English musician, the founder and the original leader of the Rolling Stones.
38 Lou Reed Lou Reed Lewis Allan "Lou" Reed (March 2, 1942 – October 27, 2013) was an American musician, singer, and songwriter. He was the guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter of the Velvet Underground, and his solo career spanned five decades. ...read more.

Lulu was a disaster - lilrocketman

39 Buddy Rodgers
40 Jobriath
41 Pete Ham
42 Mike Bloomfield
43 Buddy Miles
44 Gene Clark Gene Clark Harold Eugene "Gene" Clark was an American singer-songwriter and founding member of the folk rock band the Byrds.
45 Judee Sill
46 Nico Nico Christa Päffgen (16 October 1938 – 18 July 1988), better known by her stage name Nico, was a German singer-songwriter, lyricist, composer, musician, fashion model, and actress who became famous as a "Warhol superstar" in the 1960s. ...read more.
47 Sandy Denny Sandy Denny Alexandra Elene MacLean Denny, later known as Sandy Denny, was an English singer-songwriter who was lead singer for the folk rock band Fairport Convention.

One of the very best, active for just over 10 years but a massive legacy, check her out oun YouTube.

48 Rory Gallagher Rory Gallagher William Rory Gallagher was an Irish blues and rock multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and bandleader.
49 Sky Saxon
50 Andrew Gold Andrew Gold
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List Stats

1,000 votes
79 listings
11 years, 131 days old

Top Remixes (7)

1. Randy Rhoads
2. Ronnie James Dio
3. Cliff Burton
SoldierOfFortune
1. Freddie Mercury
2. Kurt Cobain
3. John Lennon
Mumbizz01
1. John Lennon
2. Michael Jackson
3. Elvis Presley
NvGNick

WRemix
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