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Published on May 22nd, 2016 | by Alan Cross


Running Update: A List of All the Musicians (and Music-Related People) We’ve Lost in the Last Six Months

If it seems like we’ve lost a lot of musical icons lately, we have. Here’s the tally so far:

  1. Scott Weiland, 48, drug overdose, December 3, 2015
  2. Lemmy, 70, cancer, December 28, 2015
  3. Nathalie Cole, 65, congestive heart failure, December 31, 2015
  4. Robert Stigwood (manager and producer), 81, natural causes, January 4, 2016
  5. David Bowie, 69, liver cancer, January 10, 2016
  6. René Angélil (husband and manager to Celine Dion), 73, cancer, January 14, 2016
  7. Dale Griffin (drummer, Mott the Hoople), 67, Alzheimer’s, January 17, 2016
  8. Glenn Frey (Eagles), 67, complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia, January 18, 2016
  9. Jimmy Bain (guitarist with Rainbow and Dio, among others), 69, undiagnosed lung cancer, January 24, 2016
  10. Colin Vearncombe (better known as Black), 53, car crash, January 26, 2016
  11. Paul Kantner (Jefferson Airplane), 74, complications from a heart attack, January 28, 2016
  12. Signe Anderson (Jefferson Airplane), 74, COPD, January 28, 2016
  13. Maurice White (Earth Wind and Fire), 74, effects of Parkinsons, February 3, 2016
  14. Dan Hicks, 74, cancer, February 6, 2016
  15. Vanity (Denise Matthews, Prince protege), 57, kidney failure, February 15, 2016
  16. Joey Feek, 40, cervical cancer, March 4, 2016
  17. George Martin (Beatles producer), 90, natural causes, March 8, 2016
  18. Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake and Palmer), 71, suicide, March 10, 2016
  19. Frank Sinatra Jr, 72, cardiac arrest, March 16, 2016
  20. Lee Andrews (Lee Andrews & the Hearts, father of Questlove), 79, natural causes, March 16, 2016
  21. Phife Dawg (A Tribe Called Quest), 45, complications of diabetes, March 22, 2016
  22. Merle Haggard, 70, pneumonia, April 6, 2016
  23. Dennis Davis (one of Bowie’s favourite drummers), 64, cancer, April 6, 2016
  24. Prince, 57, unknown, April 21, 2016
  25. Richard Lyons (Negativland), 57, nodular melanoma, April 21, 2016
  26. Lonnie Mack (blues rock pioneer), 74, natural causes, April 21, 2016
  27. Papa Wemba (Congolese rumba king), 66, heart attack, April 23, 2016
  28. Billy Paul (soul singer of “Me and Mrs. Jones), 81, cancer, April 24, 2016
  29. Phil Kives (founder, K-Tel Records), 87, natural causes, April 27, 2016.
  30. Tomita (synth pioneer), 84, natural causes, May 5, 2016
  31. Nick Menza (former Megadeth drummer), 51, heart attack, May 21, 2016.

Check the comments below for more additions to the list.

Add in Gary Shandling, Harper Lee, Ken Howard, Alan Rickman, George Kennedy and Umberto Eco and it’s been a rough year in culture.





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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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29 Responses to Running Update: A List of All the Musicians (and Music-Related People) We’ve Lost in the Last Six Months

  1. Rob Brown says:

    If you want to include pop culture, don’t forget Alan Rickman.

  2. Shane Smith says:

    I’m convinced 2016 is the year of death. I fully expect more heroes to fall this year and next. All our heroes are getting old, and lets face it there are not that many new ones. The term Rock Star is disappearing with album sales going down and our attention span dwindling.

  3. Alex says:

    Not to be forgotten: Doris Roberts, Alan Rickman.

  4. All four members of (British indie band) Viola Beach, and their manager, were killed in a car accident on February 14th as well.

  5. Dad says:

    Natalie Cole?

  6. Mark says:

    Nick Alexander was the Eagles of Death metal’s merchandise manager and friend to all in the touring industry. Murdered in action at The Bataclan.

  7. Strange about both Jefferson Airplane members passing on the same day and at the same age.

  8. Mike says:

    We also lost Natalie Cole December 31.

  9. Jammin says:

    Great article Alan! Just to note: Vanity was only 57 not 67 like the article states.

  10. Pierre Boulez, Kurt Masur, Nikolaus Harnoncourt

  11. Lithium says:

    Percy Sledge – April 14th – age 74, liver cancer

  12. Bill says:

    Blowfly (Clarence Reid)

  13. Scott says:

    Piotr Grudziński from the band Riverside.

  14. Bill says:

    Billy Paul

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  16. Cory Wells from Three Dog Noght

  17. John says:

    don terry plumeri was murdered last month.

  18. glen says:

    Stevie Wright of the Easybeats

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  21. erin says:

    Ive lost 2 musician friends – drummer Miggy Barradas of Divine Comedy and Kevin Junior of The Chamberstrings. Just an awful awful year

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