Music legend deaths that changed the world began when the roots of rock and roll first began to shape the industry. Many of the iconic music legends that met an untimely end were just getting started with only one hit under their belt. Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens made headlines on February 3, 1959 when the three young men died tragically in a small plane crash as they were en-route to their next gig. Forever remembered as “The Day the Music Died”, that moment in time has been immortalized with films, tributes and was the inspiration of Don McLean’s “American Pie”.
Funerals of these fallen music legends are massive, televised events. Millions of people mourn their beloved artists and people add on to their wooden caskets with pictures, roses or any other items that represent those that have passed.
The 1960′s ushered in a wave of British and American artists, many of which died before they reached thirty years old. Bass player Stuartt Sutcliffe died in 1962 of a cerebral paralysis and was the first official member of The Beatles to pass away. Drummer Pete Best was replaced by Ringo Starr, and the Fab Four that would make musical history was born.
By the 1970′s, rock and roll had made its mark on the music industry and gave us that classic rock sound that is unequaled today. However many of the early artists were reckless with drugs and alcohol, often taking out at least one vital member of some of the best bands in history. When Led Zeppelin lost their talented drummer, John Bonham, the group refused to continue without him and disbanded. The world will never know how far Led Zeppelin could have pushed their creativity and continued to crank out the hits. Other notable names that left an empty void in their wake include Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Keith Moon, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Croce, Cass Elliot, Sid Vicious and dozens more.
The 1980′s music scene slipped into New Wave and club mixes geared for the dance floor. Innovated and wonderfully creative, the 1980′s music scene was shaped by individual artists that used their own name branding to separate themselves from their bands. The decade lost John Lennon in 1980 and other independent music notables to follow include Bob Marley, Harry Chapin, and John Belushi from the Blues Brothers.
Music artists that die in the prime of life leave behind a question mark as to what might have been. Often when a band mate dies, a group is no longer able to write and record. When the solo artist departs, the industry must adjust to the loss. Remembering a legend’s death helps a new generation to shape the music industry with nostalgic lyrics, revamping a certain sound and keeping the music icons up on the pedestal where they belong.