Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely Bands/Musicians
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54  reranks 46,171 votes 4,610 voters 205,557 views more info

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.
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
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  1. 1
    Up 1613
    Down 354

    the people's #1 & most listed Day Tripper, Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix, The Best of... Died 1970, age 27

    open report item
  2. 2
    Up 1427
    Down 436

    Beatles Classic Hits, Unfinished Music No. 2: Life with the Lions, Imagine ... Died 1980, age 40

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  3. 3
    Up 1147
    Down 408

    Paris Jim, Poet Rock Musicians Of Desert, An American Prayer Died 1971, age 27

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  4. 4
    Up 1405
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    Solo, The Very Best, Guide Me Home Died 1991, age 45

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  5. 5
    Up 886
    Down 229

    25 All Time Greatest Hits, Rave On, Buddy Holly: Collection Died 1959, age 22

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  6. 6
    Up 1171
    Down 596

    1993-09-08: Rock Against Rape Benefit, Club Lingerie, Hollywood, Los ... Died 1994, age 27

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  7. 7
    Up 916
    Down 275

    Live From Austin, Box Set 3, The Real Deal: Greatest Hits, Volume 1 Died 1990, age 35

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  8. 8
    Up 853
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    Rock and Roll Highway Died 1980, age 32

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  9. 9
    Up 805
    Down 389

    Rare Pearls, The Woodstock Experience, Janis Died 1970, age 27

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  10. 10
    Up 943
    Down 353

    Sun Is Shining, Soul Shakedown Party, One Love: 20 Greatest Hits Died 1981, age 36

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  11. 11
    Up 638
    Down 309

    Two Sides of the Moon Died 1978, age 32

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  12. 12
    Up 718
    Down 249

    Live!, Trouble Man, I Heard It Through the Grapevine Died 1984, age 44

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  13. 13
    Up 812
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    Died 1982, age 25

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  14. 14
    Up 673
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    Round and Round and Round, With the Spektors and the Valentines, The Early ... Died 1980, age 33

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  15. 15
    Up 715
    Down 349

    I'm Yours / (It's a) Long Lonely Highway, As Recorded at Madison Square, ... Died 1977, age 42

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  16. 16
    Up 592
    Down 215

    The Ultimate Otis Redding, Dreams to Remember, Otis Redding The Platinum ... Died 1967, age 26

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  17. 17
    Up 569
    Down 268

    Duane & Greg Allman, Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective, Duane ... Died 1971, age 24

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  18. 18
    Up 728
    Down 289

    Got My Mind Set on You, Gone Troppo, Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth) ... Died 2001, age 58

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  19. 19
    Up 539
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    Died 1977, age 29

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  20. 20
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    Died 1986, age 24

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  21. 21
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    Died 2004, age 38

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  22. 22
    Up 476
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    Best of Ritchie Valens, Come On, Let’s Go / Framed, The Best of Ritchie ... Died 1959, age 17

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  23. 23
    Up 489
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    Died 2002, age 34

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  24. 24
    Up 386
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    The Two Sides of Sam Cooke, Mr. Soul, The Best Of Died 1964, age 33

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  25. 25
    Up 548
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    Threesome No. 1, Joe’s XMasage, 1980-05-24: Ahoy, Rotterdam, Netherlands ... Died 1993, age 52

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  26. 26
    Up 370
    Down 114

    Home Recordings: Americana, The Faces I've Been, Jim Croce Live: The Final ... Died 1973, age 30

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  27. 27
    Up 370
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    Karen Carpenter Died 1983, age 32

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  28. 28
    Up 362
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    The Rain Was Falling on That Day, Screaming Down From Heaven: Ultra Rare ... Died 1997, age 30

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  29. 29
    Up 367
    Down 272

    Don't Worry About Me, What a Wonderful World, Christmas Spirit... in My ... Died 2001, age 49

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  30. 30
    Up 235
    Down 143

    The Pipes of Pan at Jajouka, Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at ... Died 1969, age 27

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  31. 31
    Up 359
    Down 218

    Rollin' and Tumblin', Part 1 & 2, Trainfare Blues, Muddy Waters at ... Died 1983, age 70

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  32. 32
    Up 194
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    From Four Till Late, The Last of the Great Blues Singers, The Blues ... Died 1938, age 27

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  33. 33
    Up 336
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    added by R20X Man in the Mirror, Icon, You Are Not Alone Died 2009, age 50

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  34. 34
    Up 211
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    Chantilly Lace, Chantilly Lace Starring the Big Bopper, Purple People ... Died 1959, age 28

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  35. 35
    Up 397
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    Sessions, Pumps, Back to Black Died 2011, age 27

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  36. 36
    Up 319
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    Reflections, Hooteroll?, Been All Around This World Died 1995, age 53

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  37. 37
    Up 180
    Down 254

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Died 1980, age 23

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  38. 38
    Up 282
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    ranked low on reranks Take Me Home, Country Road, Higher Ground, Greatest Country Songs Died 1997, age 53

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  39. 39
    Up 225
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Music from Van-Pires, Thunderfingers: The Best of John Entwistle, Rigor ... Died 2002, age 57

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  40. 40
    Up 216
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    added by marl Beautiful Thing soundtrack, Bubblegum, Lemonade, And... Something for ... Died 1974, age 32

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  41. 41
    Up 165
    Down 88

    ranked low on reranks & added by MadameLil After Dark Limited, Andy Gibb, Shadow Dancing Died 1988, age 30

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  42. 42
    Up 145
    Down 205

    Love Hurts, The New Soft Shoe / She, Sleepless Nights Died 1973, age 26

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  43. 43
    Up 113
    Down 55

    ranked low on reranks & added by JamesJohnson1 Take You Out, Super Hits, Artist Collection: Luther Vandross Died 2005, age 54

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  44. 44
    Up 214
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    Live at the Electric Ballroom, Sid Sings, Sid Vicious & Friends Died 1979, age 21

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  45. 45
    Up 198
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    Dance in the Midnight, The Beginning of Doves, The Best of & The Rest ... Died 1977, age 29

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  46. 46
    Up 205
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    House of Blues, Earthquake Weather, Island Hopping Died 2002, age 50

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  47. 47
    Up 156
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks 2000-03-17: South by Southwest Music Festival, Austin, Texas, USA, Elliott ... Died 2003, age 34

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  48. 48
    Up 97
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    Jeff Healey Died 2008, age 41

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  49. 49
    Up 137
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Died 1996, age 28

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  50. 50
    Up 151
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    Solo in Soho, Yellow Pearl, The Man And His Music Update Died 1986, age 36

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