Musicians We Lost in 2016

Many greats have left us in these 12 months...

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Ultimate Guitar
Musicians We Lost in 2016
16

One of the things 2016 will go down in history for is a rather high number of legendary musicians who left us.

Today we will pay a tribute to them.

Mark B aka Mark Barnes

Genre: Hip-hop
Date of death: January 1  Cause of death: N/A  Age at death: 45

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Gilberto Mendes

Genre: Classical, composer
Date of death: January 1  Cause of death: N/A  Age at death: 93

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Michel Delpez

Genre: French chanson
Date of death: January 2  Cause of death: throat cancer  Age at death: 69 

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Paul Bley

Genre: Jazz 
Date of death: January 3  Cause of death: N/A  Age at death: 83

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Jason Mackenroth (Rollins Band, Blue Man Group)

Genre: Hardcore, rock, experimental
Date of death: January 3  Cause of death: prostate cancer  Age at death: 46

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Craig Strickland (Backroad Anthem)

Genre: Country rock 
Date of death: January 4  Cause of death: died in a hunting accident, his body was found on Jan. 4 Age at death: 29

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Long John Hunter

Genre: Blues 
Date of death: January 4  Cause of death: N/A  Age at death: 84

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Pierre Boulez

Genre: Classical, composer, conductor
Date of death: January 5 Cause of death: N/A Age at death: 90

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Nicholas Caldwell (The Whispers)

Genre: Soul, funk 
Date of death: January 5  Cause of death: heart disease Age at death: 71 

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Kitty Kallen

Genre: Swing, jazz, rock 'n' roll
Date of death: January 7 Cause of death: N/A Age at death: 94

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Troy Shondell

Genre: Pop, rock 'n' roll
Date of death: January 7  Cause of death: Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease Age at death: 76

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Otis Clay

Genre: R&B
Date of death: January 8 Cause of death: heart attack Age at death: 73

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Red Simpson

Genre: Country 
Date of death: January 8  Cause of death: heart attack Age at death: 81

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Brett Smiley

Genre: Glam rock
Date of death: January 8  Cause of death: HIV and hepatitis  Age at death: 60

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John Berry (Idaho)

Genre: Slowcore, indie rock
Date of death: January 9 Cause of death: natural cases (died in sleep) Age at death: 51

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Robert McAllister (Iron Chic)

Genre: Punk rock 
Date of death: January 9 Cause of death: N/A  Age at death: 36 

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David Bowie

Genre: David Bowie
Date of death: January 10 Cause of death: liver cancer Age at death: 69

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Hernán Gamboa

Genre: Folk, rock
Date of death: January 11 Cause of death: cancer Age at death: 69

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Hoyt Scoggins

Genre: Rockabilly, gospel
Date of death: January 13  Cause of death: N/A  Age at death: 90

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Franco Oppo

Genre: Classical, composer
Date of death: January 14  Cause of death: N/A Age at death: 80 

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Kevin Lawrence (Rapidfire)

Genre: Hard rock
Date of death: January 14 Cause of death: N/A Age at death: 51

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Pete Huttlinger

Genre: Guitar
Date of death: January 15 Cause of death: stroke Age at death: 54

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Gary Loizzo (The American Breed)

Genre: Rock 'n' roll, pop
Date of death: January 16  Cause of death: pancreatic cancer  Age at death: 70

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Dale Griffin (Mott the Hoople)

Genre: Glam rock 
Date of death: January 17  Cause of death: N/A Age at death: 67 

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Blowfly aka Clarence Henry Reid

Genre: Hip-hop, punk, funk, soul, comedy
Date of death: January 17  Cause of death: liver cancer Age at death: 76

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Mic Gillette (Tower of Power)

Genre: Funk, soul, fusion
Date of death: January 17  Cause of death: heart attack  Age at death: 64 

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Glenn Frey (Eagles)

Genre: Rock
Date of death: January 18 Cause of death: complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acute Ulcerative Colitis and Pneumonia Age at death: 67

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Kevin Junior (The Chamber Strings)

Genre: Soft rock, indie pop  
Date of death: January 18   Cause of death: N/A Age at death: 46

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Pablo Manavello

Genre: Rock, singer-songwriter 
Date of death: January 28   Cause of death: N/A Age at death: 65

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Salim Junior aka Paul Mwangi Salim

Genre: Mugithi  
Date of death: January 22   Cause of death: N/A Age at death: 43

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Alec Wishart (Hogsnort Rupert)

Genre: Rock, rock 'n' roll
Date of death: January 22  Cause of death: lung cancer  Age at death: 76

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Jimmy Bain (Dio, Rainbow)

Genre: Hard rock, heavy metal 
Date of death: January 23  Cause of death: lung cancer/pneumonia  Age at death: 68

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Black aka Colin Vearncombe

Genre: Pop, new wave
Date of death: January 26  Cause of death: road traffic accident Age at death: 53

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Signe Toly Anderson (Jefferson Airplane)

Genre: Psychedelic rock
Date of death: January 28 Cause of death: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Age at death: 74

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Paul Kantner (Jefferson Airplane)

Genre: Psychedelic rock
Date of death: January 28 Cause of death: multiple organ failure and septic shock (following a heart attack several days earlier) Age at death: 74

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Jon Bunch (Sense Field)

Genre: Emo, alternative rock, post-hardcore
Date of death: February 1  Cause of death: suicidal overdose Age at death: 45 

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Steve Childers (Black Witchery)

Genre: Black/death metal
Date of death: February 3  Cause of death: car accident  Age at death: 49 

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Maurice White (Earth, Wind & Fire)

Genre: Soul
Date of death: February 3 Cause of death: Parkinson's disease Age at death: 74

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Mikey Clement (Valleys)

Genre: Progressive metal
Date of death: February 5  Cause of death: car accident  Age at death: 23

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Viola Beach (band)

Kristian "Kris" Leonard (20), guitar and vocals
River Reeves (19), guitar
Tomas Lowe (27), bass Jack Dakin (19), drums Craig Tarry (32), manager

Date of death: February 13 Cause of death: car crash

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CounterFlux (band)

Kyle Canter (23) Earl Miller II (27) Devin Bachmann (26)

Vashti Nicole Brown (29), friend
James Pohlabeln (61), driver
   Date of death: February 13   Cause of death: car crash

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Piotr Grudziński (Riverside)

Genre: Progressive rock/metal 
Date of death: February 21  Cause of death: cardiac arrest  Age at death: 40

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James Atkins (Hammerbox)

Genre: Grunge, alternative rock 
Date of death: February 29  Cause of death: esophageal cancer  Age at death: 49

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John Thomas (Budgie)

Genre: Hard rock, heavy metal 
Date of death: March 3  Cause of death: N/A  Age at death: 63 

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Oscar Karlsson (Gates of Ishtar, The Duskfall)

Genre: Death metal
Date of death: March 3  Cause of death: N/A Age at death: 39 

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Aaron Huffman (Harvey Danger)

Genre: Alternative rock, indie rock
Date of death: March 6 Cause of death: respiratory failure following a lengthy illness Age at death: 43 

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George Martin (The 'Fifth Beatle')

Genre: Rock, pop
Date of death: March 8 Cause of death: N/A Age at death: 90

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Keith Emerson

Genre: Progressive rock
Date of death: March 11 Cause of death: self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head Age at death: 71

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Tommy Brown

Genre: Blues, R&B
Date of death: March 12  Cause of death: N/A Age at death: 84

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Nik Green (Blue Murder)

Genre: Hard rock, heavy metal
Date of death: March 13   Cause of death: cancer  Age at death: 62 

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Frank Sinatra Jr.

Genre: Jazz
Date of death: March 16   Cause of death: cardiac arrest  Age at death: 72

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Dave Adams

Genre: Pop, rock 'n' roll
Date of death: March 19  Cause of death: N/A Age at death: 77

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Phife Dawg (A Tribe Called Quest)

Genre: Hip-hop
Date of death: March 22 Cause of death: complications relating to diabetes Age at death: 45

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Michael Stewart (Ectovoid)

Genre: death metal 
Date of death: March 23  Cause of death: epilepsy induced asphyxiation   Age at death: 23 

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David Baker

Genre: Jazz, classical
Date of death: March 26  Cause of death: N/A  Age at death: 84

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Joe Skyward (Sunny Day Real Estate, Posies)

Genre: Emo, alternative rock 
Date of death: March 26 Cause of death: cancer Age at death: 57

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Andy 'Thunderclap' Newman

Genre: Rock
Date of death: March 30 Cause of death: N/A Age at death: 73

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Unfortunately, there are A LOT of great musicians who left us in 2016 - so read a continuation of this sad list here.

86 comments sorted by best / new / date

    dalejandro88
    The Viola Beach thing is just heartbreaking
    Sandman4991
    Let's also remember russian Alexandrov Ensemble, a brilliant choir, members of which died yesterday in a plane crash. And only 3 of them lived because they didn't board the plane. And to me the first piece of domino was Lemmy. Though he died 3 days short of 2016, it began then.
    TMoreau15
    I saw this and knew it was gunna be a long list, but I still can't fully wrap my head around just how much talent and quality people passed. But most of these people lived pretty long, amazing lives. We should be happy we got hear their songs at all and celebrate their lives.
    Pyy
    I'm so glad they mentioned Christina Grimmie. Such a great talent taken way too soon. Please go check out some of her videos. Beautiful person every possible way.
    Air_Stryker
    I agree with this, as horrible as it is to have lost proper legends like Bowie and Prince, its her actually her death on this list that upsets me most. Just way too young and for no good reason whatsoever.
    belceabarbara
    Same here. I never really paid much attention to her beyond a brief acknowledgement of her existence and abilities and yet her death upsets me more than any person on this list. It doesn't make any sense, I hate pop and yet her death actually angers me. Maybe it's that she was so close to my age, or maybe it's just that I'm tired of hearing about the aftermath every single time a gun-worshiping lunatic decides to take his frustrations out on the world.
    aozen
    Prince Genre: Prince So accurate. RIP to him and to all.
    paulstfu
    [deleted]
    paulstfu · Dec 24, 2016 05:27 PM
    aozen
    Didn't notice this one!.. I think it's especially accurate in the case of Bowie.
    1hepcat
    Kudos for including Pierre Boulez and Jean-Jacques Perrey... I was ready to point that out down here. Boulez (although very opinionated) is without a doubt one of the greatest musicians of concert music in the latter half of the 20th Century. A great conductor who many acknowledged as directing some of the best orchestral performances of Classical & Romantic era pieces - despite the fact that Boulez didn't particularly care for tonal music. Perrey-Kingsley influenced a 90's pop/rock hit with their "Swan's Splashdown" (Smash Mouth's "Walking on the Sun" lifts the main riff from the PK track) from their 1966 electronic music "The In Sound From Way Out" - the album took electronic music and made it more accessible for audiences as opposed to the more esoteric electronic music up to that point coming from concert music and academic circles.
    sovaso
    It's been a really sad year. I will always listen to their music and remember them peacefully and happily.
    mongoose018
    Also, RIP Erik Petersen (from the band Mischief Brew), didn't expect him to be on here but he really changed my life.
    supercurlygam1
    Two legends and a great drummer that should have been on this Prince Leonard Cohen Nick Menza Seriously they put in crappy rappers but leave these legends and an underrated drummer it really pisses me off
    englishgenealogy
    So impressed with your speedy inclusions I suggested.. This may be the most comprehensive list that will be made and as such, should be shared like crazy in preference to more lazy lackadaisical balls from other sources. Wonderful to see some of the people make this list and be honored as they should ♥ Well done U-G
    javier44
    I'm surprise many artist did not appear in this list for instance "Prince" from Minnesota, Juan Gabriel from Mexico, ect. Who made this list?????
    preceng
    B.E. Taylor died at age 65 after a 10 year battle with brain cancer. B.E. was a local Pittsburgh legend, but did reach the national charts in the 80"s with his band's "The B.E Taylor Group" song Vitamin L. You'll show you age if you remember that MTV video. All of us in Pittsburgh morn his loss
    tates54
    Hey WTMD 89.7, that can be streamed on line, located in Towson Maryland is paying tribute to a number of artist that passed away in 2016. From 6 AM until 7 PM tomorrow January 6th. Eastern Standard Time
    dennis.1960
    Pierre Boulez was cooler than many of us might have known. He conducted his own orchestra (The Ensemble InterContemporain) playing Zappa's "Naval Aviation in Art", "The Perfect Stranger" & "Dupree's Paradise" for Frank's 1984 The Perfect Stranger album RIP to all
    tates54
    Also Sharon Jones, the female James Brown, passed on after a long battle with cancer. She was 60 years old.
    TargetHHH101
    And 3 local guys for me and 3 of the best friends I had in Counterflux. Might not have been a national act but they still meant a lot to a lot of people.
    fotoman
    I can't believe that Keith Emerson took his own life, man, that is very sad to see. Rest in Peace.