Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely Bands/Musicians
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originally by  tags 56,532 votes 5,756 voters 255,011 views 101 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.

  • 57 ReRanks
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2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 1972
    - 450

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

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 1796
    - 539


    England Died 1980, age 40

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 1425
    - 495


    United States of America Died 1971, age 27

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 1765
    - 481


    Zanzibar, United Kingdom Died 1991, age 45

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 1114
    - 289


    United States of America Died 1959, age 22

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 1480
    - 700


    United States of America Died 1994, age 27

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 1116
    - 339


    United States of America Died 1990, age 35

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 978
    - 449


    United States of America Died 1970, age 27

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 1022
    - 380


    England Died 1980, age 32

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 1174
    - 416


    Jamaica Died 1981, age 36

    ) open buy now
  11. 11
    + 769
    - 364

    often listed
    England Died 1978, age 32

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 865
    - 304


    United States of America Died 1984, age 44

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 941
    - 326


    United States of America Died 1982, age 25

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 805
    - 372


    Scotland, Australia Died 1980, age 33

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 899
    - 420


    United States of America Died 1977, age 42

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 713
    - 261


    United States of America Died 1967, age 26

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 680
    - 315


    United States of America Died 1971, age 24

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 652
    - 307


    United States of America Died 1977, age 29

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 888
    - 344


    England Died 2001, age 58

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 733
    - 358


    United States of America Died 1986, age 24

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 570
    - 210


    United States of America Died 1959, age 17

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 543
    - 343


    United States of America Died 2004, age 38

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 642
    - 320


    United States of America Died 1993, age 52

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 474
    - 256


    United States of America Died 1964, age 33

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 565
    - 378


    United States of America Died 2002, age 34

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 459
    - 155

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

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 477
    - 228


    United States of America Died 1983, age 32

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 428
    - 324


    United States of America Died 1997, age 30

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 300
    - 182


    United Kingdom, England Died 1969, age 27

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 255
    - 151


    United States of America Died 1938, age 27

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 431
    - 313


    United States of America Died 2001, age 49

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 425
    - 253


    United States of America Died 1983, age 70

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 258
    - 156


    United States of America Died 1959, age 28

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 510
    - 582

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

    ) open buy
  35. 35
    + 448
    - 345

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

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 267
    - 150

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

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 385
    - 321


    United States of America Died 1995, age 53

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 346
    - 163

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

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 276
    - 287


    England Died 2002, age 57

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 215
    - 292


    United Kingdom Died 1980, age 23

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 251
    - 225


    United Kingdom, England Died 1977, age 29

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 185
    - 238

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

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 213
    - 130

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

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 279
    - 323

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

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 242
    - 225


    Turkey, United Kingdom, England Died 2002, age 50

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 154
    - 84

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

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 179
    - 311

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

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 131
    - 91


    Australia Died 1997, age 37

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 142
    - 104


    Jeff Healey Died 2008, age 41

  50. 50
    + 200
    - 169


    Ireland, United Kingdom Died 1986, age 36

    ) open
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