Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely Bands/Musicians
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Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely

List Criteria: Vote and rerank based on how much great music they would have produced had they lived a longer life. People only - not bands.

Dead rock stars, ranked in order of how much potential great music was lost to this world by their untimely passing. The key criteria for this list is to guess "how much greatness they left behind" - in other words, it would be very difficult to justify, for example, Syd Barrett on this list, because although he is a dead rockstar, he died long after he had stopped making music at all. Similarly, although Elvis Presley died an untimely early death, if you were equally a fan of Kurt Cobain and Elvis Presley, you would only rank them equally if you thought Elvis's post-77 output would equal Cobain's post-94 output (although you might still keep Elvis somewhere on your list - he was still playing live and could certainly have cleaned up and made a comeback).

To keep the spirit of this list, your ranking should reflect a combination of a) musical talent (as a performer, songwriter, and recording artist) and b) how much of that talent you think the world missed, based on how early in their career the artist was takenf rom us, and what you think their output would have been had they lived a full life. Please note that this list is focused on ROCK artists, so while you aren't going to be prohibited from adding Hank Williams or Billie Holiday, most would argue that country, jazz, and even blues greats aren't rock musicians (people have been including soul and hip-hop, however). Lastly, this list is about individual musicians, not bands – so Ronnie Van Zandt counts but Lynyrd Skynrd does not. Ranking this list requires some thinking - while most rock stars tend to have a finite time of peak talent (particularly with songwriting and recording), certainly there are examples today of artists who have had career resurgences and done some of their finest work into their 50s and 60s. This list includes solo artists as well as the lead singers to some of the best rock bands responsible for some of the best albums of all time - and many who had illustrious careers as both. 

This is a list where we hope to see lots of people making their own ranked lists, because ranked lists can be aggregated far more accurately than just votes. See this Forever 27 list for an eye opener about how many of these untimely rock deaths happened at age 27.
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  1. 1
    Up 1738
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    the people's #1 & most listed United States of America Died 1970, age 27

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  2. 2
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    England Died 1980, age 40

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  3. 3
    Up 1250
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    United States of America Died 1971, age 27

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  4. 4
    Up 1511
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    Zanzibar, United Kingdom Died 1991, age 45

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  5. 5
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks United States of America Died 1994, age 27

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  6. 6
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    United States of America Died 1959, age 22

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  7. 7
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    United States of America Died 1990, age 35

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  8. 8
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    Jamaica Died 1981, age 36

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  9. 9
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    England Died 1980, age 32

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  10. 10
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    United States of America Died 1970, age 27

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  11. 11
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    England Died 1978, age 32

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  12. 12
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    United States of America Died 1984, age 44

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  13. 13
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    United States of America Died 1982, age 25

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  14. 14
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    United States of America Died 1977, age 42

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  15. 15
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    Scotland, Australia Died 1980, age 33

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  16. 16
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    United States of America Died 1967, age 26

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  17. 17
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    England Died 2001, age 58

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  18. 18
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    United States of America Died 1971, age 24

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  19. 19
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    United States of America Died 1977, age 29

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  20. 20
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    United States of America Died 1986, age 24

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  21. 21
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    United States of America Died 2004, age 38

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  22. 22
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    United States of America Died 1959, age 17

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  23. 23
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    United States of America Died 1993, age 52

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  24. 24
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    United States of America Died 2002, age 34

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  25. 25
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    United States of America Died 1964, age 33

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  26. 26
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    United States of America Died 1983, age 32

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  27. 27
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    United States of America Died 1973, age 30

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  28. 28
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    United States of America Died 1997, age 30

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  29. 29
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    United States of America Died 1938, age 27

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  30. 30
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    United States of America Died 2001, age 49

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  31. 31
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    United Kingdom, England Died 1969, age 27

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  32. 32
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    United States of America Died 1983, age 70

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  33. 33
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    added by R20X United States of America Died 2009, age 50

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  34. 34
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    United States of America Died 1959, age 28

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  35. 35
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    England Died 2011, age 27

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  36. 36
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    United States of America Died 1995, age 53

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  37. 37
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks United Kingdom Died 1980, age 23

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  38. 38
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    ranked low on reranks United States of America Died 1997, age 53

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  39. 39
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks England Died 2002, age 57

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  40. 40
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    added by marl United States of America Died 1974, age 32

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  41. 41
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    ranked low on reranks & added by MadameLil Australia, England Died 1988, age 30

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  42. 42
    Up 167
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    United States of America Died 1973, age 26

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  43. 43
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    added by JamesJohnson1 United States of America Died 2005, age 54

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  44. 44
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    United Kingdom, England Died 1979, age 21

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  45. 45
    Up 222
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    United Kingdom, England Died 1977, age 29

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  46. 46
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    Turkey, United Kingdom, England Died 2002, age 50

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  47. 47
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks United States of America Died 2003, age 34

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  48. 48
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    Jeff Healey Died 2008, age 41

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  49. 49
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    Ireland, United Kingdom Died 1986, age 36

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  50. 50
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks United States of America Died 1996, age 28

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