Top Ten Musicians Who Died in Their 30s

Gg2000
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 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.

Please, guys, do the list a favor and check the age of the musician you want to add before adding them to the list. So far, I've had four musicians who passed away under the age of thirty added to this list, and it's starting to annoy me. - Gg2000

I know that, but most of the time when I try to submit a report, it gets ignored. - Gg2000

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

Mozart sucked no one here would put him in a playlist and listen to him unironically. This music was utter trash and his hair looks like a rug.

There was no such thing as a playlist in the 18th century. Plus his hairstyle was actually a popular trend with the high class in parts of Europe.

Nice hairstyle

V 8 Comments
2 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 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

3 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 ...read more.

Most metal fans would know that he was "The Godfather of Death Metal". Died at the age of 34 from Pneumonia while dealing with a brain tumor. Tragic loss in the metal community.

Such a shame he died so young... One of the biggest musical geniuses of all time!

Music trends didn't bother him or songwriting. he was a self-taught guitarist and had such an original and driving musical vision

A boba fide musical genius

4 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.

Possibly best drumming style ever

Right after number 4 on this list - CygnusX99

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

5 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

One of the greatest. His songs never get old. Every time I listen to his songs it's like I am hearing it for the first time.

Marley should at least be in the top 5

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

6 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.

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

Poor dude went out like a drunk Russian by drinking 40 shots of vodka and choking on his vomit

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, ...read more.

One of my favourite singers ever

A working man's poet - Relixx599

8 Jim Croce Jim Croce 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.

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

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

9 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 ...read more.

Gangsta Rap God. - AlphaQ

rip

Love them AIDs dawg. To bad those gays give it to him. Died too early, will be missed. ;(

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

10 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.

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

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

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

I wish I saw him perform!

V 3 Comments

The Newcomers

? Andy Gibb Andy Gibb
? Don Rich

Ooh, yes - I forgot about Don Rich! He was the guy who made Buck Owens & the Buckaroos a special band. Gone way too soon; thanks for adding him, Cesium. - Gg2000

The Contenders

11 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

He was shot on stage :O - Userguy44

I love Pantera, I buy every Dimebag shirt I can find, just in memory of him... I’ve been surching for a Vinnie item but can’t find anything.
I must say, Patsy Cline is a close second for me! :-) - MelissaMak

12 Franz Schubert Franz Schubert Franz Peter Schubert (31 January 1797 – 19 November 1828) was an Austrian composer. Schubert died before his 32nd birthday, but was extremely prolific during his lifetime. His output consists of over six hundred secular vocal works, seven complete symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music ...read more.

Left us a lot of beautiful music, a lot of which was only discovered years later! Illegal drugs aren't the only addictions that have cost the world a lot...

Thanks for including him. - Gg2000

Died at almost 32 and left more than 900 works. Many of them have been used in movies - arthaus as well as blockbusters - e.g. the Rosamunde-Quartet D 804 (in the first Avengers movie), the 2nd movement of the Trio D 929 (Hunger Games, etc.). The String Quintet D 956 is widely seen as one of the greatest chamber compositions of all times. - mischu72

13 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

14 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

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

I’m very happy that evil witch is dead for good. When Cass Elliot died, she actually melted like the Wicked Witch of the West and then turned into dust like the Sanderson Sisters did

Cass Elliot is considered to be one of the greatest female singers of the 1960’s.

Cass Elliot was one ☝️ of the worst female singers of all time. She was mean, rude, cruel, evil, rotten, awful, angry 😤, nasty 🤢, wicked, ruthless, abusive, sadistic, impolite, annoying, disrespectful, and irritating 😠

16 Frederic Chopin Frederic Chopin Frédéric François Chopin (1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849), born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin, was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era who wrote primarily for the solo piano. He gained and has maintained renown worldwide as a leading musician of his era, whose "poetic genius ...read more.

Thanks to whoever added him. He deserves to be way higher up this list, as does Franz Schubert. - Gg2000

17 Eminem Eminem Eminem, born Marshall Bruce Mathers III, is an American rapper, actor and music producer born on October 17, 1972 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Eminem has sold over 300 million records making him the bestselling hip-hop artist of all time. In addition to his solo career, he is a member of D12 and (with Royce ...read more.

Since when eminem is dead?!? That website is a joke...

For those of you voting for Eminem, it's not funny. Those rumors are just that - rumors. - Gg2000

He's not dead and even if he was, he'd be disqualified because he's in his 40s, not his 30s. - Cesium

Dude he isn’t dead but if he was he would be over 40. - Carly19781

V 13 Comments
18 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

19 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

Yes, great singer and songwriter. Jackson Browne’s song, “Of Missing Persons” was written after Lowell George’s death. Tragic loss.

20 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 ...read more.

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

21 Harry Chapin Harry Chapin

Died in a car accident. (38) - Billyv

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 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.

He deserved it. - NickelbackLinkinPark4Eva

It's a bit not nice to say that anyone deserves death to be honest - MasonOcker

24 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

25 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

26 Karen Carpenter Karen Carpenter Karen Anne Carpenter was an American singer and drummer. She and her brother, Richard Carpenter, formed the 1970s duo Carpenters.

One of the best voices of all time

27 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

28 Sam Cooke Sam Cooke Samuel Cook, known professionally as Sam Cooke, was an American singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur. Influential as both a singer and composer, he is commonly known as the King of Soul for his distinctive vocals and importance within popular music.

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

He is great. Why isn't he #1?

29 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.

NO - AlphaQ

30 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.

31 Eva Cassidy Eva Cassidy Eva Marie Cassidy was an American singer and guitarist known for her interpretations of jazz and blues. In 1992, she released her first album, The Other Side, a set of duets with go-go musician Chuck Brown, followed by the 1996 live solo album titled Live at Blues Alley.
32 Chester Bennington Chester Bennington Chester Charles Bennington (March 20th, 1976 - July 20th, 2017) was an American musician, singer, songwriter and actor, best known for being the lead singer of Linkin Park. He also participated in side projects like Julien K and Dead By Sunrise. He committed suicide in 2017 after a period of depression. ...read more.

Chester was 41 when he passed away. I have nothing against him personally, but he isn't eligible for this list. Please don't vote. - Gg2000

Why Is He Here. I Thought He Died At 41? Get Him Off. - AlphaQ

I love him

33 Jeff Porcaro Jeff Porcaro

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

34 Judee Sill
35 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.
36 Bobby Darin Bobby Darin

Thanks to whoever added him. I totally forgot about him. - Gg2000

He was the best of his time

37 Israel Kamakawiwoʻole Israel Kamakawiwoʻole

Sadly missed. Google him if you don't know about him.

38 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

This is a man who should be in the top guitarist discussion. Jimi Hendrix heard Kath playing with Chicago one and told the people around him that Terry Kath was better than anyone, including himself.

39 Gene Vincent Gene Vincent

One of the early rock and roll stars, best known for his song "Be-Bop-A-Lula". He died at the age of 36 when his stomach ulcer ruptured. He was visiting his father when he died. - Gg2000

40 Dave Williams Dave Williams
41 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 ...read 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

42 Jobriath
43 Allen Collins Allen Collins Larkin Allen Collins Jr. was one of the founding members and guitarists of Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, and co-wrote many of the band's songs with late frontman Ronnie Van Zant. He was born in Jacksonville, Florida.

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

44 Nujabes

Man literally invented his own genre of music.

45 Avicii

Stop voting for him. He was 28 when he died. - Gg2000

46 Billy Stewart Billy Stewart
47 Elliott Smith Elliott Smith
48 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.

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

49 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.

I love Duane and his playing tremendously, but he doesn't belong on the list either. He was only 24 when he died. - Gg2000

What is dimebag Darrel doing above Duane Allman - CygnusX99

Dimebag actually passed away in his thirties. Duane was only 24 years old. - Gg2000

50 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.

Not eligible. He died at age 27; please don't vote. - Gg2000

One of the most fine and influential musicians of the twentieth century.

He's of the 27 club! - Userguy44

Yep. And Eminem gets at least one vote a day despite the fact that he's obviously not dead. That's my list in a nutshell. - Gg2000

Best singer ever!

PSearch List

Related Lists

Musicians Who Died Without Reaching Their Peak Top Ten Musicians Who Died in Their 20s Top 10 Rock Musicians Who Died in the 21st Century Top Ten Metal Musicians Who Died Too Soon Top 10 Musicians Who Died Too Soon

List Stats

600 votes
58 listings
130 days old

Top Remixes (8)

1. Mozart
2. Jim Croce
3. Bob Marley
Billyv
1. Mozart
2. Chuck Schuldiner
3. Stevie Ray Vaughan
Metal_Treasure
1. Keith Moon
2. Bon Scott
3. Bob Marley
htoutlaws2012

WRemix
View All 8

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.
P