Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely Bands/Musicians
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originally by  tags 58,865 votes 6,041 voters 259,175 views 108 items f p @

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.

  • 58 ReRanks
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2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 2053
    - 471

    the people's #1 & most listed
    United States of America Died 1970, age 27

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 1871
    - 565

    England Died 1980, age 40

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 1505
    - 517

    United States of America Died 1971, age 27

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 1862
    - 495

    Zanzibar, United Kingdom Died 1991, age 45

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 1159
    - 304

    United States of America Died 1959, age 22

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 1544
    - 732

    United States of America Died 1994, age 27

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 1158
    - 356

    United States of America Died 1990, age 35

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 1068
    - 394

    England Died 1980, age 32

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 1014
    - 467

    United States of America Died 1970, age 27

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 1221
    - 430

    Jamaica Died 1981, age 36

    ) open buy now
  11. 11
    + 802
    - 379

    often listed
    England Died 1978, age 32

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 896
    - 318

    United States of America Died 1984, age 44

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 971
    - 339

    United States of America Died 1982, age 25

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 839
    - 383

    Scotland, Australia Died 1980, age 33

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 939
    - 440

    United States of America Died 1977, age 42

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 736
    - 273

    United States of America Died 1967, age 26

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 702
    - 326

    United States of America Died 1971, age 24

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 680
    - 317

    United States of America Died 1977, age 29

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 920
    - 358

    England Died 2001, age 58

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 759
    - 370

    United States of America Died 1986, age 24

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 590
    - 222

    United States of America Died 1959, age 17

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 565
    - 358

    United States of America Died 2004, age 38

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 659
    - 332

    United States of America Died 1993, age 52

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 492
    - 266

    United States of America Died 1964, age 33

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 584
    - 387

    United States of America Died 2002, age 34

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 474
    - 162

    ranked low on reranks
    United States of America Died 1973, age 30

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 492
    - 236

    United States of America Died 1983, age 32

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 444
    - 332

    United States of America Died 1997, age 30

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 315
    - 189

    United Kingdom, England Died 1969, age 27

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 270
    - 158

    United States of America Died 1938, age 27

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 446
    - 323

    United States of America Died 2001, age 49

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 433
    - 259

    United States of America Died 1983, age 70

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 264
    - 163

    United States of America Died 1959, age 28

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 530
    - 596

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    England Died 2011, age 27

    ) open buy at  
  35. 35
    + 465
    - 367

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

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 279
    - 157

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

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 396
    - 329

    United States of America Died 1995, age 53

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 358
    - 171

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

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 288
    - 294

    England Died 2002, age 57

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 225
    - 302

    United Kingdom Died 1980, age 23

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 259
    - 231

    United Kingdom, England Died 1977, age 29

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 225
    - 139

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

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 191
    - 246

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    United States of America Died 1973, age 26

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 290
    - 338

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    United Kingdom, England Died 1979, age 21

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 250
    - 234

    Turkey, United Kingdom, England Died 2002, age 50

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 162
    - 90

    ranked low on reranks & added by JamesJohnson1
    United States of America Died 2005, age 54

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 140
    - 96

    Australia Died 1997, age 37

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 213
    - 172

    Ireland, United Kingdom Died 1986, age 36

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 150
    - 107

    Canada Died 2008, age 41

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 185
    - 318

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

    ) open
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