bands/musicians Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely  

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List Rules 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 dead 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 ordered by

1
3,410 916
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Jimi Hendrix United States of America - Died 1970, age 27

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2
3,101 1,085
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
John Lennon United Kingdom - Died 1980, age 40

3
3,523 861
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Freddie Mercury Zanzibar - Died 1991, age 45

4
2,601 926
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Jim Morrison United States of America - Died 1971, age 27

5
2,847 1,207
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Kurt Cobain United States of America - Died 1994, age 27

6
2,049 601
Ranker Video
Buddy Holly United States of America - Died 1959, age 22

7
1,796 789
Ranker Video
Janis Joplin United States of America - Died 1970, age 27

8
1,909 660
Stevie Ray Vaughan is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Stevie Ray Vaughan United States of America - Died 1990, age 35

9
1,715 727
John Bonham is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
John Bonham England - Died 1980, age 32

10
2,026 775
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Bob Marley Jamaica - Died 1981, age 36

11
1,307 677
Keith Moon is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Keith Moon England - Died 1978, age 32

12
1,455 590
Marvin Gaye is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Marvin Gaye United States of America - Died 1984, age 44

13
1,589 759
Elvis Presley is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Elvis Presley United States of America - Died 1977, age 42

14
1,261 506
Otis Redding is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Otis Redding United States of America - Died 1967, age 26

15
1,176 566
Duane Allman is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Duane Allman United States of America - Died 1971, age 24

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16
1,526 593
Randy Rhoads is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Randy Rhoads United States of America - Died 1982, age 25

17
1,354 629
Bon Scott is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Bon Scott Scotland, Australia - Died 1980, age 33

18
1,153 530
Ronnie Van Zant is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Ronnie Van Zant United States of America - Died 1977, age 29

19
1,461 662
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
George Harrison England - Died 2001, age 58

20
1,137 625
Cliff Burton is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Cliff Burton United States of America - Died 1986, age 24

21
1,048 430
Ritchie Valens is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Ritchie Valens United States of America - Died 1959, age 17

22
1,017 599
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Frank Zappa United States of America - Died 1993, age 52

23
891 361
Jim Croce is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Jim Croce United States of America - Died 1973, age 30

24
967 645
Ranker Video
Layne Staley United States of America - Died 2002, age 34

25
807 481
Sam Cooke is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Sam Cooke United States of America - Died 1964, age 33

26
921 661
Ranker Video
Dimebag Darrell United States of America - Died 2004, age 38

27
844 462
Karen Carpenter is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Karen Carpenter United States of America - Died 1983, age 32

28
603 414
Brian Jones is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Brian Jones England - Died 1969, age 27

29
542 362
Robert Johnson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Robert Johnson United States of America - Died 1938, age 27

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30
720 582
Jeff Buckley is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Jeff Buckley United States of America - Died 1997, age 30

31
559 171
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Alistair Fullarton added David Bowie United Kingdom, England

32
988 939
Amy Winehouse is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Amy Winehouse United Kingdom - Died 2011, age 27

33
937 750
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
R20X added Michael Jackson United States of America - Died 2009, age 50

34
481 353
The Big Bopper is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
The Big Bopper United States of America - Died 1959, age 28

35
647 567
Joey Ramone is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Joey Ramone United States of America - Died 2001, age 49

36
632 489
Muddy Waters is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Muddy Waters United States of America - Died 1983, age 70

37
387 137
Prince is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Mark Lanzarotta added Prince United States of America

38
608 386
John Denver is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
John Denver United States of America - Died 1997, age 53

39
615 554
Jerry Garcia is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Jerry Garcia United States of America - Died 1995, age 53

40
506 364
Cass Elliot is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
marl added Cass Elliot United States of America - Died 1974, age 32

41
352 410
Gram Parsons is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Gram Parsons United States of America - Died 1973, age 26

42
438 342
Andy Gibb is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
MadameLil added Andy Gibb Australia, England - Died 1988, age 30

43
461 479
John Entwistle is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
John Entwistle England - Died 2002, age 57

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44
433 415
Marc Bolan is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Marc Bolan United Kingdom, England - Died 1977, age 29

45
1,123 524
Chris Cornell is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
MichaelChoi added Chris Cornell United States of America - Died 2017, age 52

46
248 129
Ronnie James Dio is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
GiovanniCasoni added Ronnie James Dio United States of America

47
266 68
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Alistair Fullarton added Johnny Cash United States of America

48
511 576
Sid Vicious is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Sid Vicious United Kingdom - Died 1979, age 21

49
376 482
Ian Curtis is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Ian Curtis United Kingdom - Died 1980, age 23

50
383 405
Joe Strummer is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Joe Strummer Turkey, United Kingdom - Died 2002, age 50