Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely Bands/Musicians
Ultimate List
83  items 48,743 votes 4,863 voters 219,129 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.
  • 55 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
The List
Comment
Embed
Options
rerank list
  1. 1
    Up 1699
    Down 376

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

    open
  2. 2
    Up 1526
    Down 451

    England Died 1980, age 40

    open
  3. 3
    Up 1218
    Down 421

    United States of America Died 1971, age 27

    open
  4. 4
    Up 1477
    Down 422

    Zanzibar, United Kingdom Died 1991, age 45

    open
  5. 5
    Up 1245
    Down 616

    often listed & ranked high on reranks United States of America Died 1994, age 27

    open
  6. 6
    Up 943
    Down 240

    United States of America Died 1959, age 22

    open
  7. 7
    Up 960
    Down 289

    United States of America Died 1990, age 35

    open
  8. 8
    Up 1016
    Down 362

    Jamaica Died 1981, age 36

    open
  9. 9
    Up 894
    Down 328

    England Died 1980, age 32

    open
  10. 10
    Up 848
    Down 404

    United States of America Died 1970, age 27

    open
  11. 11
    Up 668
    Down 318

    England Died 1978, age 32

    open
  12. 12
    Up 751
    Down 259

    United States of America Died 1984, age 44

    open
  13. 13
    Up 845
    Down 286

    United States of America Died 1982, age 25

    open
  14. 14
    Up 707
    Down 332

    Scotland, Australia Died 1980, age 33

    open
  15. 15
    Up 767
    Down 366

    United States of America Died 1977, age 42

    open
  16. 16
    Up 618
    Down 227

    United States of America Died 1967, age 26

    open
  17. 17
    Up 766
    Down 304

    England Died 2001, age 58

    open
  18. 18
    Up 591
    Down 279

    United States of America Died 1971, age 24

    open
  19. 19
    Up 567
    Down 278

    United States of America Died 1977, age 29

    open
  20. 20
    Up 670
    Down 317

    United States of America Died 1986, age 24

    open
  21. 21
    Up 475
    Down 295

    United States of America Died 2004, age 38

    open
  22. 22
    Up 496
    Down 178

    United States of America Died 1959, age 17

    open
  23. 23
    Up 568
    Down 282

    United States of America Died 1993, age 52

    open
  24. 24
    Up 502
    Down 337

    United States of America Died 2002, age 34

    open
  25. 25
    Up 404
    Down 220

    United States of America Died 1964, age 33

    open
  26. 26
    Up 410
    Down 202

    United States of America Died 1983, age 32

    open
  27. 27
    Up 391
    Down 130

    United States of America Died 1973, age 30

    open
  28. 28
    Up 383
    Down 289

    United States of America Died 1997, age 30

    open
  29. 29
    Up 213
    Down 122

    United States of America Died 1938, age 27

    open
  30. 30
    Up 385
    Down 283

    United States of America Died 2001, age 49

    open
  31. 31
    Up 255
    Down 154

    United Kingdom, England Died 1969, age 27

    open
  32. 32
    Up 376
    Down 226

    United States of America Died 1983, age 70

    open
  33. 33
    Up 362
    Down 277

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

    open
  34. 34
    Up 228
    Down 128

    United States of America Died 1959, age 28

    open
  35. 35
    Up 422
    Down 522

    England Died 2011, age 27

    open
  36. 36
    Up 333
    Down 294

    United States of America Died 1995, age 53

    open
  37. 37
    Up 192
    Down 264

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

    open
  38. 38
    Up 297
    Down 134

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

    open
  39. 39
    Up 243
    Down 256

    often listed & ranked high on reranks England Died 2002, age 57

    open
  40. 40
    Up 234
    Down 123

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

    open
  41. 41
    Up 184
    Down 96

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

    open
  42. 42
    Up 160
    Down 212

    United States of America Died 1973, age 26

    open
  43. 43
    Up 125
    Down 62

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

    open
  44. 44
    Up 226
    Down 294

    United Kingdom, England Died 1979, age 21

    open
  45. 45
    Up 217
    Down 203

    United Kingdom, England Died 1977, age 29

    open
  46. 46
    Up 214
    Down 201

    Turkey, United Kingdom, England Died 2002, age 50

    open
  47. 47
    Up 162
    Down 287

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

    open
  48. 48
    Up 113
    Down 82

    Jeff Healey Died 2008, age 41

    open
  49. 49
    Up 167
    Down 151

    Ireland, United Kingdom Died 1986, age 36

    open
  50. 50
    Up 145
    Down 221

    often listed & ranked high on reranks United States of America Died 1996, age 28

    open
84 +

Something missing? Add it!

think you can do better?

Rerank This List

got a blog or website?

embed this list

viewers of this list also saw...

more popular lists