20 Musicians Who Died Young

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A list of musicians who died well before they should have.

Being rich and famous can’t stop the inevitable. When your time is up, it truly is. No amount of fame and money can interfere with this as demonstrated by these young musicians whose lives were cut dramatically short. Some of these deaths were easily preventable, others were down to tragic circumstances. Somewhat disturbing are the number of young lives stolen at the age of 27 (…..you’ll see it appears more often than it should).

1. Jim Morrison (27)

Jim Morrison Musicians who died young

Jim Morrison was born in Florida in 1943. Also known as The Lizard King, he was the lead singer of The Doors. His most successful music hits include Riders On The Storm, Break On Through and Light My Fire. According Wikipedia Jim Morrison death, On July 3 1971, Morrison’s body was found in a bathtub in an apartment after suffering heart failure. No autopsy was carried but there has been speculation that he overdosed on heroin. At the time of his death, Morrison was 27 years old.

2. Jimi Hendrix (27)

Jimi Hendrix Musicians who died young

Jimi Hendrix was American singer born in Washington 1942. Hendrix was known for being a rock and blues legend with his most recognised tracks being a All Along the Watchtower, Purple Haze and Voodoo child. Death of Jimi Hendrix, On September 18 1970, Hendrix was found unresponsive in an apartment in London, England. He died at 27 years old from asphyxia while intoxicated with barbiturates and aspiration on his own vomit.

3. Kurt Cobain (27)

Kurt Cobain Musicians who died young

Kurt Cobain was born in Washington in 1967. He was the lead singer of massive grunge group, Nirvana. His most recognised tracks include Smells Like Teen Spirit, Come As You Are and Heart-Shaped Box. On April 8 1994, Cobain’s body was discovered at his home in Lake Washington after he’d completed suicide by shooting himself. The coroner revealed he had laid dead for several days, estimating his death to have occurred on April 5 1994. There was a high level of Heroin and Diazepam in his blood. Cobain was 27 when he died.

4. Amy Winehouse (27)

Amy Winehouse Musicians who died young

Amy Winehouse was born in London, England in 1983. Known for being a soul, rhythm and blues artist, her most famous tracks include Back to Black, Rehab and You Know I’m No Good. On July 23 2011, her bodyguard found her unresponsive at her London home. Medical intervention was attempted, however, Winehouse was pronounced dead at scene. An autopsy revealed she had died from alcohol poisoning at aged 27.

5. Janis Joplin  (27)

Janis Joplin Musicians who died young

Janis Joplin was an American singer from Texas. She was known for psychedelic rock, soul and blues. Her most recognised songs include Me and Bobby McGee, Piece Of My Heart and Summertime. On October 4 1970, Joplin’s producer found her deceased on the floor in her bedroom. It was later revealed that she’d died of heroin overdose at only 27 years of age.

6. Avicii (28)

Avicii Musicians who died young

In 1989, Avicii was born Tim Bergling in Stockholm, Sweden. He was a well respected DJ and record producer with his most recognised hits being Wake Me Up, Without You and Waiting For Love. On April 21 2018, Avicii was found dead at his home in Bergling. He’d taken his own life with a broken wine bottle at only 28 years old.

7. Buddy Holly (22)

Buddy Holly Musicians who died young

Buddy Holly was born in Texas in 1936. Known for his iconic, thick framed glasses and rock and roll, country style music his most famous tracks include Everyday, Peggy Sue and That’ll Be The Day. On February 3 1959, Holly took a flight with singer J.P Richardson. Not long after take-off, Holly’s plane crashed in a cornfield, killing everyone onboard. He was 22 at the time of his death. currently a musicians who died young .  

8. Tupac Shakur (25)

Tupac Shakur Musicians who died young

Tupac Shakur was born in New York 1971. Also known as 2pac, Shakur was a rap and hip hop artist best known for his tracks I Get Around, Changes and Hit ’Em Up. On September 13 1996, Shakur had attended a Mike Tyson fight. He was leaving with his entourage and stopped at some traffic lights when an unknown car with gunman opened fire on him. He was rushed to hospital but died later that night he was only 25 years old.

9. The Notorious B.I.G (24)

The Notorious B.I.G Musicians who died young

The Notorious B.I.G was born Christopher Wallace in 1972, New York. His other stage names include Biggie and Biggie Smalls. His main music styles were rap and hip hop and his most recognised tracks include Juicy, Mo Money Mo Problems and Big Poppa.  Biggie was promoting his newly released album Life After Death on March 8 1997. After leaving a club in Los Angeles, Biggie was killed when an unknown gunman pulled up alongside him and opened fire. He was killed at the scene at only 24 years of age.

10. Otis Redding (26)

Otis Redding Musicians who died young

Otis Redding was born in Georgia in 1941. He was a well-known soul and R&B musician, most recognised for his tracks Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay, Stand by Me and These Arms of Mine. On December 9 1967, Redding was on a flight from Cleveland to Madison in severe weather. 4 miles short of his destination, the plane came down in Lake Monona. Redding died not long after he impacted the water and was only 26 at the time of his death.

11. Lisa Left Eye Lopes (30)

Lisa Left Eye Lopes Musicians who died young

Lisa Left Eye Lopes was born Lisa Nicole Lopes in Philadelphia in 1971. She was a singer and rapper but is best known for being in girl band TLC. TLC released No Scrubs, Waterfalls and Creep. On April 25 2002, Lopes was driving when she swerved to avoid a lorry. She swerved again to avoid another car and ended up hitting a tree, throwing her out of the window and killing her instantly. Lopes was only 30 when she died.

12. Brian Jones (27)

Brian Jones Musicians who died young

Brian Jones was born Cheltenham, England in 1942. He was known for being a songwriter, composer and singer and was also the founder of rock band, The Rolling Stones (best known for tracks Sympathy For The Devil, Satisfaction and Paint It Black). On July 3 1969, Jones was found lying at the bottom of a swimming pool at his home. By the time medical assistance arrived he was already deceased. His death was pronounced accidental, possibly as a result of drugs and alcohol.

13. John Bonham (32)

John Bonham Musicians who died young

John Bonham was born in Worcestershire, England in 1948. He was a  songwriter and played the drums with band Led Zeppelin. He is known for his contribution to music tracks Moby Dick, When The Levee Breaks and Kashmir. On September 25 1980, Bonham was drinking heavily and would never wake up again when he was assisted to his bedroom to sleep. He was only 32 when he died.

14. Stevie Ray Vaughan (35)

Stevie Ray Vaughan Musicians who died young

Stevie Ray Vaughan was born in Dallas, Texas. He was a singer and songwriter best known for rock blues. His most memorable songs include Pride and Joy, Cold Shot and Little Wing. On August 27 1990, Vaughan went onboard a helicopter, traveling from East Troy Wisconsin to Chicago. The helicopter never made it, crashing not long after takeoff. Vaughan was only 35 the day he died.

15. Keith Moon (32)

Keith Moon Musicians who died young

Keith Moon was born in Wembley, England in 1946. He was a musician and songwriter and well known drummer in the band, The Who. On September 6 1978, Moon attended an evening with Paul and Linda McCartney. On returning home, Moon took 32 clomethiazole tablets which he would never wake up from. Moon was 32 when passed away.

16. Bob Marley (36)

Bob Marley Musicians who died young

Bob Marley was born in British Jamaica in 1945. He was a world wide music sensation best known for his reggae tracks Three Little Birds, Could You Be Loved and One Love. In 1977, a melanoma skin cancer was discovered on Marley’s toe. His medical team advised Marley that the toe would need to be removed however, Marley refused, claiming this would affect his performance. This was the wrong move as the cancer advanced through his body. On May 11 1981, Marley was rushed to hospital in Miami where he died at aged 36.

17. Sid Vicious (21)

Sid Vicious Musicians who died young

Sid Vicious was born John Simon Ritchie in London in 1957. Known for playing bass guitar badly and occasional, excruciating vocals, he was an undeserving member of punk rock band, The Sex Pistols. He was known for his below average contributions to God Save The Queen, Anarchy In The UK and Pretty Vacant. On February 1 1979, a small group of friends held a party for Ritchie in a New York apartment when Ritchie took an overdose which he died from at 21 years of age.

18. Duane Allman (24)

Duane Allman Musicians who died young

Duane Allman was born in Tennessee in 1946. He was known for being a southern rock, blues and jazz guitarist in the band Allman Brothers. His best songs include Statesboro Blues, Ramblin Man and Midnight Rider. On October 29 1971, Allman was riding his Harley Davidson at high speed when he swerved to avoid a lorry that had stopped in front of him. He was thrown from his Harley Davidson and died from his injuries at only 24 years of age.

19. Sam Cooke (33)

Sam Cooke Musicians who died young

Sam Cooke was born in Mississippi in 1931 and was a singer songwriter known for soul and R&B. His most recognised tracks include Wonderful World, A Change Ia Gonna Come and Chain Gang. On December 11 1964, police were called to a shooting at a motel only to find Cooke lying on the floor deceased. Reports say that a receptionist had shot him in self defence and that Cooke was trying to attack her. He was 33 when he died.

20. Christina Grimmie (22)

Christina Grimmie Musicians who died young

Christina Grimmie was born in New Jersey in 1994. She was singer and songwriter, known for her pop style music. Her most recognised songs Just A Dream, I Won’t Give Up and Love Song to the Earth. On June 10 2006, Grimmie has performed at The Plaza in Orlando when she was shot by an unknown gunman as she was signing autographs. She was only 22 when she was killed.

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