Top Ten Saddest Musician Deaths

The ten saddest deaths of any musician. Any death in the music world, besides old age, can be added. Be sure to add the band, if the artists name isn't in the band name.

The Top Ten

1 John Lennon (The Beatles) 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.

Why does it have The Beatles in parenthesis? I mean, that's kind stating the obvious. Yeah, his death was bad (and kick-started a series of events leading to an assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan.) But what other John Lennon is there? Vladimir Lenin's cousin twice removed?

John Lennon didn't die of a drug overdose. He didn't commit suicide. He was ready to go. He was shot. And he had so much more going for him. He was recording Double Fantasy. And he was so excited about it. He went home early instead of going out to eat so he could go tuck Sean into bed and see him before he fell asleep. And instead he was shot in the back and he died. So no musician death is more saddening than John Lennon's. Because he had so much more to share with us. Happy Birthday John I miss you terribly.

I'm fairly certain he had finished Double Fantasy, but I agree with the sentiment of your post.

This death was so tragic because he played no part in his death. Many musicians die of overdoses or other things like that. He was just walking into his home when some monster decided his voice needed to be silenced.

It s really horrible to rank who's death was the most tragic but lennon's pointless murder and the fact that he literally changed the world and only wanted peace makes it the saddest. Mickeal jackson's death wasn't as tragic because his whole life was tragic I mourn the pain he went through since he was a kid. Freddy is tragic because he was a legend and he died from aids horribly. Jim morrison is second because he was my idol.

2 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.

Michael Jackson was murdered but not for the reason we are told. Michael Jackson was murdered for his
share of the Sony/ATV publishing catalogue which had half of all popular western music and is worth over $50 billion. He was murdered by conspirators of Sony and Michael Jackson talked about how they were conspiring to kill and destroy his image for it in a 2005 interview with Jesse Jackson. Too bad it came true and Sony got away with this incredible injustice. We cannot allow Sony to keep stealing and killing our great artist. Please boycott Sony and never buy their products again. They killed Michael Jackson for something that was rightfully his. That catalogue had the Beatles, Elvish Presley, Eminem, Baby face, Taylor Swift and other artists songs. Spread the word and research.

Everyone remembers where they were when they heard this horrible, tragic news. Michael Jackson's music touched the entire world - I never heard of the Beatles (or John Lennon for that matter) until I stepped foot here in the U.S.; I didn't even know he was dead. White America and Europe mourned John Lennon's death while the ENTIRE WORLD mourned Michael Jackson's. May he rest in peace. I'll always miss him and his ever-unique style and music.

The only artist that I shed tears for. I sometimes think about him and his life. Even though the way he died was not as horrible as that of those other singers like John Lennon his death hurts more because of the things some people said about him when he was still alive, it was all just so wrong. MJ was the sweetest person ever and he worked for peace. Michael will forever be in my heart. He lived a life that is just different in a good way.

He deserves to be #1, I mean, what is he compared to others? He was killed with drugs by a idiot doctor, had 3 kids, had a skin diesese called Virtiligo (skin turns white), had plastic surgery for his nose because he couldn't breath out of the nose, he made the best selling album that is still 1st in the charts today, his father abused him violently if he didn't sing the note right or mistuke in the lyrics, his head was set on fire with a 2nd ° burn, he was accused of molestion (HE IS INNOCENT! ) AND he died in June, his birthday is in August. Whats more sad than dying so close to your birthday?

3 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.

Freddie was the most loved and the most talented person in the world. He loved his fans to death he also took care of the closest people he knew and the people who wasn’t very close.

Freddie, really, truly was one of a kind. Kurt Cobain's death was tragic too. Kurt actually mentioned Freddie in his suicide note. Think how much different music would be right now if Freddie was still alive. All this bullcrap that goes on all the time. Freddie would have changed everything.

P.S: Freddie was not gay. He was bisexual. His main female love was Mary Austin. He wrote a song about her called Love of my life.

4%?! This guy was THE most influential singer of the 80s, and his death was as shocking as anything to the public world. Who knows how many more classics Queen could have created if he never died? This is a tragedy of THE greatest characters and showman in music history.

Freddie stayed strong to the very end. He never stopped performimg, even at the stage where he was so sick he barely could walk.

4 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.

In Utero is one of the Saddest, Most Disturbing, and Powerful Albums ever produced. One of the greatest and most Influential bands of all time, but losing Kurt, a man who's dealt with depression and sadness nearly his whole life. With the exception of a few stars like Jeff Buckley, Ian Curtis, E.T.C., the majority went out peacefully and with less pain. Kurt Cobain died at his lowest point, and it's a death that will be felt for years to come.

I learned plenty things about him recently and I think his suicide is very sad, Nirvana is a very good group. He killed himself because he hated being popular with Nirvana, but I think they would eventually quit and Dave would have started the Foo Fighters (a group I like very much) anyway. He said he was ugly but I think he's quite cute

KuRt Cobain was the best singer at that time and would have been a legend if he had the chance to live. I have full evidence that his wife killed him with various technics. But it is not possible for me to case a file that is old. But in after life, there will be judgement.

I was born in 1999 so I wasn't around when he was but I still look up to him and although he is dead now his story and his music will never die there are other great bands out right now that were inspired by nirvana and they are all great bands. Kurt Cobain will always be one of my favorite musicians.

5 Hideto Matsumoto (X-Japan) Hideto Matsumoto, better known by his stage name Hide, was a Japanese musician, singer, songwriter and record producer. He is primarily known for his work as lead guitarist of the heavy metal band X Japan.

Hide was one of the greatest and most influential musicians that I know. He was such a good person. Just remember the story about hide and Mayuko (a little girl with an uncurable illness, she was a huge fan of hide. Her last wish was it to meet him). He even kept in contact with her and visited her in the hospital. They became best friends and spend so much great time together. When he passed away she had to live without her best friend for 11 years until she left this world in 2009. Just imagine you are a little ill kid with a very low chance to survive, you get noticed by your biggest idol and you get invited to a concert from his band. You meet him backstage, get lots of presents and he made a promise to answer on your next letter. Then you have to go to the hospital to do a surgery and no one expect you to survive. He even calls you, so that you can hear his voice for a last time. Then, on the day of your surgery, he even comes to the hospital to be there for you. After the ...more

An absolutely stunning lyricist, a great guitarist, and such a vibrant appearance and attitude -- a person who could be wild and crazy on stage, but logical and kind off of it. 14 years after his death, he continues to have and to gain fans and inspire many.

It's entirely possible he could have been seen as a worldwide legend like many others on this list if his life hadn't been cut short or if more of the world had been more open-minded about Asian musicians back in the 1980s/1990s.

I think it's enough to say that after almost 15 years that he passed away, (December 13, 1964 - May 2, 1998) people still mourn his death, and people who know him recently, wish that he was still alive. And even after all this time, his legacy and the love of all his fans remains.

I only discovered hide and his music a few months ago, but I've been thinking a lot about him since then. I grew up knowing about John Lennon and Freddie Mercury and all them, but somehow this one makes me so much sadder.

6 David Bowie David Robert Jones, known professionally as David Bowie (January 8, 1947 - January 10, 2016) was an English singer born in London, the son of a fundraiser and a waitress. He is credited for his experimental and creative musical discography which has won praise and accolades for many critics and fans. ...read more.

Not only Bowie was loved by millions and continued to amaze us as he got older, but it was out of the blue when he died.He wanted to keep his battle against cancer a secret, so that we the fans won't be so saddened on his final days. So not only his sudden death was agonizing, but also the we he said goodbye touched us all inside. His music video of his song, "Lazarus", released only days before he passed was his final goodbye to the world. Even his death was very classy in art. In a way he is like Lazarus. Though Bowie isn't coming back from the dead, his legacy is going to be around forever.

I woke up to the news of his death on the day I had an exam. I was so emotionally shot that halfway through the exam I just gave up and turned it in incomplete. I excused myself to the bathroom and cried in a stall for 20 minutes. He had been such an inspiration to me and he was gone just like that. I can barely explain how crushing that still is to me.

Death of Freddie Mercury, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Jimmy Hendrix or Cliff Burton weren't very sad to me. Cause I was born hearing about their deaths. The saddest deaths to me are deaths like David Bowie, Gregg Allman, Chuck Berry, Chris Cornell etc.

He was just amazing! How can anyone not agree? I listened to his music for days after I found out he died. So awesome and so influential. I also think it's awesome that a new constellation was named in his honor.

7 Cliff Burton (Metallica) 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 Umeå whilst promoting Metallica's ...read more.

The best bassist known. He changed thrash metal so much, and you could actually hear his bass in songs. His influence was so insane that Metallica wouldn't be the same without him. Considering Metallica's greatest rival, Megadeth, had a song dedicated to him, In My Darkest Hour, it's not hard to tell his death shook buildings and hearts.

Half of these people died of drug overdose or suicide (besides RJD, Randy Rhoads, and Dimebag Darrel) which makes their deaths their down dumb fault as they left a family behind. This guy was killed by his tour bus being driven by someone presumably drunk. Cliff should be at the top, he died way too soon at age TWENTY FOUR.

Improved every album. Just imagine how insane he would be at the time of Death Magnetic. Instead of a Kirk solo every song, they would have 4 Cliff solos per song. Also never got to see Metallica earn a Diamond Album. So much in thrash could have changed if it weren't for his death.

When I listen to the Metallica song "To Live is To Die", the middle part that is supposed to invoke memory of Cliff makes me an emotional wreck. I can't help but to start tearing up and crying. R.I.P. Clifford Lee Burton, your legacy will live on forever.

8 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.

I have no words, only tears, this man was a god, and to see him taken away from us, his killer deserved to be taken off this planet, but dime, if you can hear me, you have touched all of our hearts, metal fans all over the world miss you, you have shown what metal truly is, and to be a man as wild as you are I wish to speek to you at your grave and someday when I am 21 have a shot of black tooth grin, we love you dime, and I will follow in your footsteps whatever it takes to make you proud, we love you, I love you. Rest in peace my friend.

Being shot by a deranged man while performing. Right in front of his brother. Right after his band's breakup. As tragic as it gets.

The fact that he was killed while he was performing, right in front Vinny no less, who had to watch his brother die in front of him.

The saddest death in history, No more pantera and even if there was it wouldn't be the same without you dime R.I. P Dime, you didn't diserve it

9 Whitney Houston Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, Guinness World Records cited her as the most awarded female act of all time. Houston is one of pop music's best-selling music artists of all-time, with an estimated 170–200 ...read more.

Sad. She was an amazing singer, a great role model, an astounding, great person, and one of the greatest musicians of all time. She wasn't just a singer, she was a mother. She raised a child. She is amazing. WHY DID SHE HAVE TO DIE! :(

She had one of the best voices of all times and I was so sad when she died, I just couldn't believe we lost such a big and unique voice.

I LOVE Whitney Houston. she is my favorite singer and even know my heart aches when I'm reminded she is dead

Long time since I felt so bad for someone I never met. Not since I was a kid

10 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.

As sad as I am and how I wish that he's still here, I'm just thankful a local god descended this earth to touch our hearts and change our lives and the music world forever. For fans, we just see the amazing, funny, intense and great personality he has. At his best, he was very happy so that's a comfort. He lived life the way he wanted and saw it - no pretense and no compromise. He was so blatantly honest and real that his music and lyrics reflected it. No amount of money, fame and success that these "musicians" have nowadays will ever equal to the kind of life Layne has attained in his short but very significant life he lived. R.I.P. layne, we will love you forever...

Seems the average person commenting sees tragic and saddest as the same thing, in my opinion John Lennon being shot was more tragic, but saddest has to be Layne and I am not sure it's even close.

Perhaps main stream people aren't aware, but dying alone in your apartment at 86# and sitting dead on drug paraphernalia with the light of the T.V. flickering is one of the saddest things I've ever heard.

That applies to anyone, let alone a person who impacted so many lives with his honest lyrics and kind heart.

To all of the fallen, RIP

Layne Staley was and still is the voice of my generation. He had one of the most incredible voices. The world lost a great talent 9 1/2 years ago. Sadly his cause of death has overshadowed his talent, maybe someday they will give him the credit he is due. Hopefully others will find his music and enjoy the gifts he gave us so long ago. RIP Layne - You are missed...

To keep it short: he had an incredible voice, a shy/endearing personality and a charisma most people simply don't possess. No one will ever sound like Layne ever again, and if the new 'Alice in Chains' think they can replace and forget, they're WRONG. He was one of the best people, he didn't deserve to die, especially at such a young age.

The Newcomers

? Riley Gale

The Contenders

11 George Harrison George Harrison (1943 - 2001) was an English guitarist, singer, songwriter, and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles.

If The Beatles hadn't become famous, they'd all be alive. George wouldn't have gotten cancer because he wouldn't have smoked pot, and I don't need to explain John. That thought alone is sad.

Excuse me but George's cancer came from smoking tobacco cigarettes. In fact, while it may not be the best choice to make, smoking pot is nowhere near as bad for the lungs and heart as tobacco.

I read a newspaper article the other day from when he survived the stabbing, and it made a comment about how he had recently gotten through a fight with cancer and it made me so sad.

I still think he should have been knighted as he had done so much for charity and world music recognition.

Come on guys, this was the saddest death ever! His last words were love one another!

12 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.

Jimi should be in the top 2, with John Lennon. Only 27 years old, he is without question the greatest guitarist that ever lived. He only lived to produce 3 albums (Are You Experienced? , Axis: Bold as Love, Electric Ladyland) and those albums are considered some of the greatest albums in popular music history, as well as having a tremendous influence on what rock would become. Imagine if he lived.

Guitar genius, The Guitar God, achieved so much success in a short career of just 4-5 years!
Others take it a lifetime to achieve!

He was only 27 when he died. Imagine what other music he could of done and icon he would have been

Greatest guitarist ever with 3 amazing albums, imagine what he could have made

13 Prince Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 - April 21st, 2016) was an American musician, best known for being one of the most popular and influential artists from the 80s, with songs such as "Purple Rain", "Little Red Corvette", "1999", and "When Doves Cry" .

Ridiculous to have Prince at #16, below a bunch of no names! How many others were such a pure genius? Should be at LEAST 2 or 3! I remember all of these, and with Prince, THE WORLD mourned!

Him and David Bowie, and Maurice White and Glenn Frey and Christina Grimmie, and Phife Dawg is too much for 1 year.

There is no excuse to have Prince at number 48. Put him in the top 5.

Worst death in my era, Lost our Jimi Hendrix

14 Amy Winehouse Amy Jade Winehouse was an English singer and songwriter known for her deep expressive contralto vocals and her eclectic mix of musical genres, including soul, rhythm and blues, and jazz. She is also a well-known member of the 27 Club, as she overdosed on alcohol at age 27.

She is the most tragic death in music history because she was a dying breed of a singer who had a brilliant voice and wrote her own songs which were so powerful and well written. Well except Monkey Man lol. She managed to make songs that were not modern pop like Britney Spears and managed to make hits using instruments like saxophones and trumpets in a time when people were not that interested in listening to that. Also, she manages to have a voice that just suited the beat of her songs and lyrics so well. I believe no one could ever suit her songs more than her.

Beautiful lyricist who still chills me to the bone. I am sad to see that she is not significantly higher given how much she has influenced millions of artists around the world. Her music will live forever, she reinvented an entire genre and makes me cry. I'm actually too young to remember her properly and yet I have the utmost respect for her. So sad.

She was one of the greatest singers because she had a great voice but also the best songwriter with all her songs being extremely honest about her life's sad and happy moments.

I was watching the news right at the moment when news got out that she had died from a relapse of alcohol effects. She was only 27. She has joined the 27 club with Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. 1983-2011

15 Marvin Gaye Marvin Gaye was an American singer, songwriter, and musician, and is regarded as one of the greatest singers of all time.

I never heard off him until clients pu think'she " Marvin gaye" but I read about his death and it was very tragic... rip marvin

So sad that his own father shot him. R.I. P in music heaven

Killed by his own father, that's cruel

Best Motown act with tammy terrel 2 tragic deaths

16 Aaliyah 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.

She died in one of the most horrible ways possible. Whenever I watch the music video for rock the boat I remember her and the 8 other people that were with her in the plane crash that took their lives. She was going to be much bigger than she already was. Aaliyah was such an amazing singer, young and beautiful and its hard to believe she is gone :'( 1979-2001 We love you baby girl!

She was truly an amazing artist as well as an individual! Very beautiful and talented. She had the whole package singing, acting, and just being real 24/7.

Rest in peace to Aaliyah and all of the other people that also died in the airplane crash. She was the best and allways will be. WE LOVE YOU BABY GIRL!

Now at 22, Aaliyah sudden demise was too much for me to bear. she was so young and beautiful! so sad

17 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.

Bon Scott is an absolute legend. He didn't deserve to die so young. Ride On, Bon!

So much better than brian johnson

Rest in peace mate

he was the greatest singer for acdc he was the one that made them famous in the first place and now he can't see there success now. RIP bon scott

18 John Bonham (Led Zeppelin) 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.

We all wonder what Led Zeppelin would have become if he was still alive, but we'll sadly never know.

He was amazing just wish he was around a bit longer like amazing guy he will be missed by many

I always wonder what zeppelin would have achieved if he was still alive..

The greatest drummer ever if zeppelin kept going that would be amazing

19 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.

Someone explain to me how the second greatest person in the entire universe is ranked at 32.
Chester should be at least in the top three. RIP to my idol and the person who saved my life through his music, Legends never truly die.

Chester, was an inspiration beyond just his songs. They way he lived, the way he spoke,the way he took care of his fans, seeing it all from afar was so awe inspiring that I remember saving myself from a potential suicide by one of their songs. In the end, it did matter Chester, it mattered to a whole lot of us.

If I search chester in the search box and click on chester bennington it throws an sql exception.. if he was not in the newcomers list I wouldn't be able to vote

Almost threw up when I saw the news... so tragic and so recent. Another child hood legend gone. He could scream and had great vocals.

20 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.

Why do good people often have early graves? Elvis Presley was the guy who set the standard for Rock and Roll, and his only competition was just The Beatles, (who got their ideas from dreams and Elvis.)

The greatest loss to the music world ever, the king. The world mourned him and on the day of nis funeral more flowers were sold in america than on any other day in the history of the usa. Speaks volumes!

Elvis died at 42 because of the way he was expoited by his manager, that scumbag parker. Elvis was fed with prescription drugs on an unprecented scale, pills to keep him awake pills to put him to sleep all to keep him performing to earn money for a compulsive gambler's addictive needs. A pack horse would have had an easier life! Rest in peace darling man.

Elvis Presley death was the saddest in music the man who became the king of rock and all different kinds of music and did a lot of movies threw the 60s and a U. S veteran Elvis was my hero and I miss him

21 Bob Marley Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley was a Jamaican reggae singer, songwriter, musician, and guitarist who achieved international fame and acclaim.

Its sad knowing that the only thing people can remember him by is smoking weed

Song of the millenium

Screw you cancer!

22 Keith Moon (The Who) 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.

Man! The Who wouldn't have broken up by then!

A real good drummer but no gene krupa

I miss him and love him

23 Frank Zappa Frank Vincent Zappa was an American musician, songwriter, composer, record producer, actor and filmmaker.

Very sad, and signaled the end of one of the most inventive and eccentric artists. EVER!

24 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.

More people should have heard about Death, because they had the best lyrics, the best technical guitar riffs, and were just all around innovative. Who knows what they could have done if Schuldiner was still alive today.

He did not only create Death Metal, but he took it to the furthest anyone has ever tried

The only one listed who pioneered a genre and gave birth to two others. In 50 years he may be the most influential to musicians than any other listed.

He is the one who shows us the right way and what human really is. He is a philosopher, take a look of his songs. What the hell is wrong with you guys? What the hell Tupac is doing on the list?

25 Lemmy 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.

What a badass bass player, there will be no one like Lemmy. I will now have a drink for you Lemmy, you will be missed.

So cool and so badass! It stinks that he died. He was one awesome dude.
Also, Benjamin Orr, anyone?

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