Death! It is one of the few things in life that is reliable. When a person dies it is a mere loss of one more person among thousands but when a legend dies it’s a tragedy beyond all others. A legend is not necessarily someone who contributed many years of his life to a particular cause or passion but one who contributed most and left an everlasting impact upon the hearts, minds and souls of many. Since the development of the music industry many musicians have introduced their hearts through music and many became a legend in a short span of time and are missed till this day. Following is the list of ten musicians who died young:
10. Aaliya (1979-2001)
She was born to be a musician but unfortunately for her fans she died too soon but her charm remains till this day. aaliya was born in Brooklyn on January 16 1979. She was so fond of singing that she took music lessons at a very early age that is after she mastered the skill of talking as a toddler. Her success had begun at the age of 12 when she signed the contract of a music record with Jive Records in 1994. “Back and Forth” and “At you’re your Best” are two of the most hit singles which left a great impact on Aaliya’s musical career and her life had just started to enjoy the world of glamor when her tragic death in a plane crash back from a music video shoot was reported on August 25, 2001.
9. Chris Bell (1951-1978)
Often what makes a good musician is not the quantity of his work but the endearing qualities of his music. Chris Bell did not last long in this world which gave him little time to reach his full potential yet his records however short listed they might be are a pioneer for future indie musicians. Chris Bell was born in Tennessee surrounded by phenomenal music of his time but his inspiration was the music of the British invasion and quite early in life he began to pursue his passion for music following in the footsteps of “The Beatles”. Along with three of his friends Chris Bell, after a long struggle during his not so long life stared the Big Star band which launched its debut in 1972. Unfortunately the fame nor he lasted long and Chris died at the age of 27 in a car accident when he was driving from his family restaurant in Memphis and his car lost control striking into a pole marking the end of Chris Bell.
8. Brian Jones (February 28, 1942 — July 3, 1969)
The founding member of the famous band “Rolling Stones” and apart from that a multi-talented musician, Brian Jones or rather Lewis Brian Hopkins Jones is a legendary musician who unfortunately could not contribute much of his talent to the industry due to his unexpected death but he managed to introduce diversified forms of music through his band. His use of the sitar and marimba in the band was particularly prodigious. Drugs took control of him unfortunately and he was found dead at the bottom of a pool at his East Sussex England home by his girlfriend. It was later revealed that his lungs and liver had deformed due to alcohol and drug abuse.
7. Randy Rhodes (December 6, 1956 — March 19, 1982)
A distinct style of music can only be created by a unique and legendary musician such as Randy William or better known as Randy Rhodes. Combining his love for classical music with his talent for heavy metal rock Rhodes introduced his own personal form of music altogether. Randy Rhodes performed as a heavy metal guitarist with Ozzy Osbourne and Quite Riot and even though this marked his success in music it was his own band, Violet Fox, established along with his brother at the age of 14 which marked the beginning of a short but remarkable career. Rhodes met a tragic death when their(the band’s) bus driver decided to take them for a ride in their small plane to test his pilot license which had actually been expired and the plane crashed and hit the bus where the remaining band was sleeping killing every person aboard the plane and bus alike.
6. Otis Redding (September 9, 1941 – December 10, 1967)
Otis Redding was a legendary singer who started his career with the Chitlin’ Circuits since this was his only ticket to singing during the years of racial conflicts which lasted till the 1960s. He was an African-American which meant he had to struggle more than his American counterparts but he managed to leave the band and join Pinetopper(another band) when he met Phil Walden the future owner of the famous record company Phil Warden and Associates. Along with him he decided to take a step further and signed a contract with the then small scale operating record company Confederate. He recorded and launched his second solo “Shout bamalma”. Otis was not just a singer or song writer, he was an artist, a one-man show and an influential individual in the world of blues and rhythm. It is astonishing how long the list continues for musicians who died in a plane crash inclusive of Otis who departed from this world on December 10, 1967 in an unexpected plane crash.
5. Kurt Cobain (February 20, 1967 – April 5, 1994)
The co-founder of the legendary band Nirvana, Kurt Cobain was yet another multi-talented musician who excelled in everything he did whether it was singing, playing the guitar or writing songs for the band. Cobain was not just a musician but a pioneer of the Generation X music a name coined for the post World War 2 generation. His music acted as words through which he conveyed inspiration and thought for the present generation. However all good things don’t last long and very soon Kurt Cobain too became a victim of drugs and depression and was found dead in Seattle with a head wound due to a gun shot and a suicide note beside it.
4. Ritchie Valens (May 13, 1941 – February 3, 1959)
A gifted singer and song writer, Ritchie Valens was one of the few unique personalities who are born for what they intend to pursue as a career meaning that Ritchie or Richard as he was formerly known was a self-made musician one who never needed any coaching or lessons to discover his true potential as a singer. He made his debut as a full0fledged singer in 1958 when Bob Keane heard him perform at San Fernando at a movie theatre and decided to give him his big break as “Ritchie” instead of Richard. Regrettably for the music industry he could not contribute much of his talent to the industry since he died while still an adolescent at the age of 17 and gave 8 remarkable months to the industry with hits like “Donna” and “la Bamba”. Another musician to suffer a plane crash accident, Richard died on February 3rd 1959.
3. Buddy Holly (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959)
A developer of rock n roll and a song writer as well as singer, Charles Hardin Holly also known as Buddy Holly could not last long enough within the industry and managed to contribute only one and a half years of his short life to music. Popular musicians of their time including the Beatles and Rolling Stone took him as a source of inspiration for their own music and one might wonder what wonders he could have done had he lived long. Seems as if planes have something against musicians and crashes just seem to be attracted to them since Buddy too died in the most tragic crash in music history known as the “day when music died” since several musicians aboard were killed along with him including the young Ritchie Valens.
2. Eddie Cochran (October 3, 1938–April 17, 1960)
All of the above musicians were brought up in one way or another within a musical environment wither within their own residence or near to it but somehow the career of a musician becomes even more fascinating when he is the only individual with a positive attitude towards music combined with an evolving passion for it. Eddie Cochran was one of such legends which left behind a legacy. Despite hindrances in his early career where he had to learn the piano in order to become a drummer in his school band he did not give up his dream. He soon discovered his real strength lies in playing the guitar which he learned through a chord book. His greatest hits include Summertime Blues. Unfortunately this great musician met a terrible fate too soon and died in a car accident in England where he was on a tour due to the taxi driver’s negligence.
1 Robert Johnson (May 8, 1911 – August 16, 1938)
A guitarist, singer and song writer who is known as an inspiration for later famous musicians and singers. His death was a tragic yet an interesting incident. It was rumored that Johnson who had been playing at a country dance in a town near Greenwood started flirting with a married woman and it was due to this unorthodox act that he was poisoned by her husband through a bottle of vine given by the woman herself. He died 3 days later due to severe illness on August 16 1938.