Top 10 Musicians Killed in Plane Crashes

The Top Ten
1 Buddy Holly 2/3/1959 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

It would have been amazing to see what would have happened had he lived. What he left behind are all masterpieces.

When Holly, the Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens died on the same plane, musicians started taking the bus.

2 Randy Rhoads 3/19/82 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.

He was the absolute love of my life at that time. His music was phenomenal! I was 13 then, and I still have my posters that covered my bedroom walls. They're now covering my laundry room because my husband wouldn't let me put them in our room! Laugh out loud. He seemed to be just as beautiful on the inside as he was on the outside. I can only imagine the music that he never got to make! I will never stop being a fan and will die an old lady with Randy Rhoads posters on my walls somewhere! Rest in peace. You will never be forgotten!

3 Stevie Ray Vaughn 8/27/1990

I was born after the crash, and I wish I could have seen him live. Rest in peace. I wish I could vote for everyone, especially the members of Lynyrd Skynyrd (this is how you spell it).

4 Otis Redding 12/10/1967 Otis Ray Redding, Jr. was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, arranger, and talent scout.

I'm a 16-year-old girl, and I am obsessed with Otis Redding. I've been singing and dancing along to his songs since I was three years old. Hands down, he's the best singer in the world.

Wow! This guy could light up a stage!

5 Ronnie Van Zant 10/20/1977 Ronald Wayne "Ronnie" Van Zant was an American lead vocalist, primary lyricist, and a founding member of the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Ronnie's writing and his music are standing the test of time. Who would have thought, well, me, that they would be as big as they still are now. Gary, Johnny, Rickey, and the guys are doing Ronnie, Steve, and Cassie proud.

What a loss! Lynyrd Skynyrd could've made a lot more kick-ass stuff if it weren't for this accident.

6 Aaliyah 8/25/2001 Aaliyah Dana Haughton was born on January 16th 1979 and died August 25th 2001. She was a dancer, an actress and an R&B singer. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, raised in Detroit, Michigan and died at Marsh Harbour, Bahamas... read more

I will miss her. I always watch Romeo Must Die. Aaliyah and Jet Li. She was my favorite singer, and she died at a very young age. I idolized her very much. Aaliyah, I will surely miss you.

This is one of the saddest deaths in the music business. Aaliyah was such a nice, sweet, and special girl. She was taken away from us too soon. Like her song says, "I Miss You."

Aaliyah's death was a shock to everyone. I think we will never get over that tragic story. Still, to this day, it's shocking to hear, especially when Aaliyah was so beautiful. She was a good singer, she had dance skills, she was rich, and she had acting ability in films. She will always be missed. Rest in peace, Aaliyah.

7 Ricky Nelson 12/31/1985

A legend who died way too young.

8 Ritchie Valens 2/3/1959 Richard Steven Valenzuela (May 13, 1941 – February 3, 1959), known as Ritchie Valens, was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. A rock and roll pioneer and a forefather of the Chicano rock movement, Valens' recording career lasted eight months, as it abruptly ended when he died (aged 17) in... read more

Ritchie is simply awesome! Try watching the "La Bamba" movie, and you'll see how quickly he stopped making good music.

9 Jim Croce 9/20/1973 James Joseph Croce was an American folk and rock singer-songwriter. Between 1966 and 1973, Croce released five studio albums and singles. His songs "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" and "Time in a Bottle" reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.

One of the best songwriters in modern music. Whether beautifully simplistic love songs (Time in a Bottle, Lover's Cross, etc.) or hilarious quasi-novelty (Bad, Bad Leroy Brown, Workin' at the Car Wash Blues).

10 John Denver 10/12/1997 Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., known professionally as John Denver, was an American singer-songwriter, actor, activist and humanitarian, whose greatest commercial success was as a solo singer, starting in the 1970s.

As well as being a recognized musician of note, he was a highly regarded composer.

The Contenders
11 Glenn Miller 12/15/1944
12 Patsy Cline 3/15/1963 Patsy Cline was born Virginia Patterson Hensley on September 8, 1932, in Winchester, Virginia. She became a professional country singer in the 1950s, and became one of the most important artists in American music history. Patsy died on March 5, 1963, in a plane crash in Camden, Tennessee. She was inducted... read more

Her music touches my soul. There has never been another voice like hers since she's been gone. The world lost a true artist.

The best singer in history, of any genre, male or female. My not-so-humble opinion.

13 Steve Gaines 10/20/1977
14 J.P. Richardson (Big Bopper) 2/3/1959
15 Bill Chase 8/9/1974
16 James Horner 7/22/2015 James Roy Horner was an American composer, conductor and orchestrator of film scores, writing over 100. He was known for the integration of choral and electronic elements, and for his frequent use of motifs associated with Celtic music.
17 Cassie Gaines 10/20/1977
18 Walter Hyatt 5/11/1996
19 Jenni Rivera 12/9/2012

R.I.P., Jenni, and the others that were with her on the fatal flight. You didn't deserve it.

20 Melanie Thornton La Bouche 11/24/2001

She was hoping for good things in 2001 with Thanksgiving after the 9/11 attacks, but sadly, it all ended days before she could celebrate. Rest in peace.

21 Marília Mendonça 11/5/2021

Still can't believe the biggest female Brazilian music artist, as well as the woman with the most-watched non-English livestream on YouTube (with 3.3 million views during streaming), and the most subscribed female on YouTube in 24 hours (1.8 million), was killed three weeks before Thanksgiving while she had a journey to continue. She was 26 and was known as the Queen of Suffering, inspiring many artists, including Anitta. Rest in peace. Gone too soon.

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