music Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely

99k votes 9.6k voters 293k views 315 items Embed

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.

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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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John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
John Lennon England - Died 1980, age 40

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

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

5
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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
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Buddy Holly United States of America - Died 1959, age 22

7
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Janis Joplin United States of America - Died 1970, age 27

8
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Otis Redding is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Otis Redding United States of America - Died 1967, age 26

14
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Duane Allman is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Duane Allman United States of America - Died 1971, age 24

15
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Randy Rhoads is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Randy Rhoads United States of America - Died 1982, age 25

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Elvis Presley is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Elvis Presley United States of America - Died 1977, age 42

17
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Ronnie Van Zant is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Ronnie Van Zant United States of America - Died 1977, age 29

18
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Bon Scott is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Bon Scott Scotland, Australia - Died 1980, age 33

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

20
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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

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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

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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

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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

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Sam Cooke is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Sam Cooke United States of America - Died 1964, age 33

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Layne Staley United States of America - Died 2002, age 34

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Dimebag Darrell United States of America - Died 2004, age 38

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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

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Robert Johnson is listed (or ranked) 28 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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Brian Jones is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Brian Jones United Kingdom, England - Died 1969, age 27

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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

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David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
David Bowie England

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

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

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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

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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

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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

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John Denver is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
John Denver United States of America - Died 1997, age 53

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Prince is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Prince United States of America

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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

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

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Andy Gibb is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Andy Gibb Australia, England - Died 1988, age 30

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Marc Bolan is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Marc Bolan United Kingdom, England - Died 1977, age 29

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Gram Parsons is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Gram Parsons United States of America - Died 1973, age 26

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John Entwistle is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
John Entwistle England - Died 2002, age 57

45
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Sid Vicious is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Sid Vicious United Kingdom, England - Died 1979, age 21

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Joe Strummer is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Joe Strummer Turkey, United Kingdom - Died 2002, age 50

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Ian Curtis is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Ian Curtis United Kingdom - Died 1980, age 23

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Michael Hutchence is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Michael Hutchence Australia - Died 1997, age 37

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Jeff Healey is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Jeff Healey Canada - Died 2008, age 41

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Phil Lynott is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely
Phil Lynott Ireland, United Kingdom - Died 1986, age 36