Top Ten Musicians Who Died in Their 30s

Many rock stars are known for dying at age 27 and joining the unofficial 27 Club. However, what I'm trying to show is that even though you may get past age 30, you're not completely out of the woods yet. Having said that, there are a lot more cases here of lives being lost to external circumstances than to drug or alcohol abuse. May all these musicians rest in peace. Feel free to add more examples.

The Top Ten

1 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 more.

He died at age 35 from a helicopter crash. The sad thing about his death was the fact that he sobered up a few years earlier and was playing better than ever. - Gg2000

What a guitarist! He sussed life out didn't he - stop ageing, but still live on. He and his music will always be here while he is fondly thought of and remembered. - Britgirl

2 Mozart Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era, born in Salzburg.

Thanks for adding him, Metal_Treasure. It's crazy to think that a musician so prodigious and accomplished died so young. - Gg2000

3 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.

Keith died after taking 32 clomethiazole tablets, pills designed to alleviate alcohol withdrawal. He was 32 years old. - Gg2000

4 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 more.

Like Keith Moon, Bonzo was also 32 when he died. According to his autopsy, he died after consuming 40 shots of vodka and choking on his own vomit. - Gg2000

5 Chuck Schuldiner Chuck Schuldiner Charles Michael "Chuck" Schuldiner (1967-2001) was an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist, best known as the founder and vocalist, guitarist and bassist of the American heavy metal band Death. He is considered the most influential figure in Death Metal, with some publications referring to Chuck more.
6 Bob Marley Bob Marley Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley was a Jamaican reggae singer, songwriter, musician, and guitarist who achieved international fame and acclaim.

All of his songs are so lit

He’s pretty good... My dad really like him - VeganTurtle

7 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, more.
8 Eazy-E Eazy-E Eric Lynn Wright better known by his stage name "Eazy-E", was an American rapper who performed solo and in the hip hop group N.W.A. He is affectionately called "The Godfather of Gangsta Rap". He was born to Richard and Kathie Wright in Compton, California. On March 26, 1995 Eazy-E dies from complications more.

One does not simply forget "The Godfather of Gangsta Rap." Rest easy Eazy (1964�"1995). - ParasN2000

9 Phil Lynott Phil Lynott Philip Parris "Phil" Lynott was an Irish musician, singer and songwriter. His most commercially successful group was Thin Lizzy, of which he was a founding member, the principal songwriter, lead vocalist and bassist.

After collapsing in his home and being rushed to the hospital, Phil Lynott died in the ICU at the age of 36. He was a frequent user of heroin during his last years. - Gg2000

10 Jim Croce Jim Croce

I completely forgot about Jim Croce. Thanks for adding him to the list. - Gg2000

Died in a plane crash while on tour. (30) - Billyv

The Contenders

11 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. more.

Only 17? He should be at least in the top 5. How is such a great singer not in the top 10. - LarryLarrington

Most soulful, talented, and underrated singer of my generation...that's why he's #13 on this list. Unforgivable! There will never be another close to Layne's power and range, AIC died on April 5, 2002 with Layne. RIP Layne, can't wait to hear you sing in person when I get there

Best grunge singer ever! I love his voice. He died too early. Vote for him. - Userguy44

Yes, Layne desrerves number one. Such a good musician and a amazing person.

12 Lowell George

For those of you who don't know, Lowell George was the original vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter for Little Feat. He died from a heart attack that was caused by an accidental cocaine overdose. He was only 34. - Gg2000

13 Keith Relf Keith Relf Keith Relf was an English musician, well known as the lead singer for the psychedelic band The Yardbirds.

Keith Relf died from electric shock at the age of 33 while playing a guitar that wasn't properly grounded. He suffered from emphysema and asthma, which hampered his ability to survive the shock. - Gg2000

14 Dimebag Darrell Dimebag Darrell 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.

As most metal fans know, Dimebag was murdered while performing on stage. He was only 38 years old. - Gg2000

The most shocking musician death - Metal_Treasure

15 Cass Elliot Cass Elliot

She died in her sleep at the age of 32 from heart failure. She ended up dying in the same room and at the same age as Keith Moon did a few years later. - Gg2000

16 Dennis Wilson Dennis Wilson

He drowned in Marina Del Ray after drinking all day and diving into the water to retrieve some items he threw overboard in the marina three years prior. He was 39. - Gg2000

17 Tommy Caldwell

Tommy Caldwell was the original bassist for the Marshall Tucker Band. He died at the age of 30 due to a car accident. - Gg2000

18 Keith Godchaux Keith Godchaux

Keith Godchaux sustained multiple injuries during an accident while being driven home from his 32nd birthday party. He died four days later. - Gg2000

19 Harry Chapin Harry Chapin

Died in a car accident. (38) - Billyv

20 Steve Clark Steve Clark Stephen Maynard Clark was an English musician. He was the lead guitarist and principal songwriter for the British hard rock band, Def Leppard, until 1991, when he died from alcohol poisoning.

Def Leppard's guitarist. He died in 1991 at the age of 30.

21 Karen Carpenter Karen Carpenter Karen Anne Carpenter was an American singer and drummer. She and her brother, Richard Carpenter, formed the 1970s duo Carpenters.
22 Jaco Pastorius Jaco Pastorius John Francis Anthony "Jaco" Pastorius III was an American jazz bassist who was a member of Weather Report from 1976 to 1981. He worked with Pat Metheny, Joni Mitchell, and recorded albums as a solo artist and band leader.

One of the best bassists of all time and one of the biggest figures in jazz fusion. He died from a brain hemorrhage that resulted from a bar fight he had with a bouncer at the Midnight Bottle Club. He was 35. - Gg2000

23 Mike Bloomfield Mike Bloomfield

One of the first preeminent blues rock guitar players. He was found dead in his car in 1981, sitting in the driver's seat. What exactly happened to him is unknown, except for two unnamed sources who claimed that he died during a party in San Francisco and was driven to another location by two of his fellow partygoers. He was 37. - Gg2000

24 Paul Gray Paul Gray Paul Dedrick Gray, also known as The Pig or by his number #2, was an American musician, best known as the bassist and one of the founding members of the Grammy Award-winning metal band Slipknot.
25 Johnny Thunders Johnny Thunders John Anthony Genzale Jr. (July 15, 1952 – April 23, 1991), better known by his stage name Johnny Thunders, was an American rock and roll/punk rock guitarist, singer and songwriter. He came to prominence in the early 1970s as a member of the New York Dolls. He later played with The Heartbreakers and more.

Thunders was 38 when he died. Official cause of death was by heroine overdose but the amount of drugs found in his system during his autopsy was not lethal. His autopsy also showed he had advance leukemia. Some, like Dee Dee Ramone, claim he was robbed and murdered by his drug dealer. - THC13

26 Jeff Porcaro Jeff Porcaro

Thanks to whoever mentioned Jeff. He was a fantastic drummer! - Gg2000

27 Sam Cooke Sam Cooke Sam Cooke was an American singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur. He is mostly known for being a part of the soul movement.

He was shot at the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles by its manager; there are contradictions and debates over what exactly led to the shooting. - Gg2000

28 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. more.
29 Judee Sill
30 Jobriath
31 David Byron David Byron David Garrick, better known by his stage name David Byron, was a British singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist with the rock band Uriah Heep in the early 1970s.
32 Terry Kath Terry Kath Terry Alan Kath was an American musician and songwriter, best known as the original guitarist, one of the lead singers and founding members of the rock band Chicago.

During the last year of his life, Terry infamously developed a dangerous habit of playing with real guns. He accidentally shot himself with a.38 revolver thinking that it was completely empty. He was 31 years old, only 8 days shy of his 32nd birthday. - Gg2000

33 Patsy Cline Patsy Cline 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 more.

...Killed in a plane crash, aged just 30. - Britgirl

34 Allen Collins Allen Collins

In 1986, Allen crashed his car while driving under the influence of alcohol. It paralyzed him from the waist down, leaving him unable to walk or play guitar again. Four years later, in 1990, Allen died of chronic pneumonia, a complication of his paralysis. - Gg2000

35 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 more.

Marc doesn't belong on this list; he was 29 when he passed away. - Gg2000

36 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.
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List Stats

100 votes
36 listings
12 days old

Top Remixes (6)

1. Mozart
2. Chuck Schuldiner
3. Stevie Ray Vaughan
1. Mozart
2. Stevie Ray Vaughan
3. Keith Moon
1. Keith Moon
2. Bon Scott
3. Bob Marley

View All 6

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