63,836 votes 6,657 voters 274,139 views 144 items tags 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 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.

Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely Bands/Musicians
  • 58 ReRanks
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    • Men
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    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 2238
    - 506

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

    ;
  2. 2
    + 2022
    - 620


    England Died 1980, age 40

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1644
    - 558


    United States of America Died 1971, age 27

    ;
  4. 4
    + 2042
    - 525


    Zanzibar, United Kingdom Died 1991, age 45

    ;
  5. 5
    + 1254
    - 340


    United States of America Died 1959, age 22

    ;
  6. 6
    + 1687
    - 776

    often listed
    United States of America Died 1994, age 27

    ;
  7. 7
    + 1247
    - 384


    United States of America Died 1990, age 35

    ;
  8. 8
    + 1099
    - 493

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    United States of America Died 1970, age 27

    ;
  9. 9
    + 1165
    - 419


    England Died 1980, age 32

    ;
  10. 10
    + 1306
    - 463

    ranked low on reranks
    Jamaica Died 1981, age 36

    ; buy now
  11. 11
    + 879
    - 403

    often listed
    England Died 1978, age 32

    ;
  12. 12
    + 959
    - 344


    United States of America Died 1984, age 44

    ;
  13. 13
    + 1038
    - 362


    United States of America Died 1982, age 25

    ;
  14. 14
    + 905
    - 402


    Scotland, Australia Died 1980, age 33

    ;
  15. 15
    + 1012
    - 471


    United States of America Died 1977, age 42

    ;
  16. 16
    + 779
    - 295


    United States of America Died 1967, age 26

    ;
  17. 17
    + 755
    - 339


    United States of America Died 1971, age 24

    ;
  18. 18
    + 976
    - 393


    England Died 2001, age 58

    ;
  19. 19
    + 726
    - 335


    United States of America Died 1977, age 29

    ;
  20. 20
    + 802
    - 398


    United States of America Died 1986, age 24

    ;
  21. 21
    + 627
    - 241


    United States of America Died 1959, age 17

    ;
  22. 22
    + 606
    - 384

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    United States of America Died 2004, age 38

    ;
  23. 23
    + 704
    - 355


    United States of America Died 1993, age 52

    ;
  24. 24
    + 618
    - 408

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    United States of America Died 2002, age 34

    ;
  25. 25
    + 514
    - 286


    United States of America Died 1964, age 33

    ;
  26. 26
    + 507
    - 179

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

    ;
  27. 27
    + 522
    - 258


    United States of America Died 1983, age 32

    ;
  28. 28
    + 345
    - 204


    United Kingdom, England Died 1969, age 27

    ;
  29. 29
    + 477
    - 345


    United States of America Died 1997, age 30

    ;
  30. 30
    + 301
    - 168


    United States of America Died 1938, age 27

    ;
  31. 31
    + 471
    - 342


    United States of America Died 2001, age 49

    ;
  32. 32
    + 452
    - 279


    United States of America Died 1983, age 70

    ;
  33. 33
    + 580
    - 626

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    England Died 2011, age 27

    ;
  34. 34
    + 281
    - 183


    United States of America Died 1959, age 28

    ;
  35. 35
    + 427
    - 349


    United States of America Died 1995, age 53

    ;
  36. 36
    + 513
    - 408

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

    ;
  37. 37
    + 297
    - 175

    ranked low on reranks & added by marl
    United States of America Died 1974, age 32

    ;
  38. 38
    + 288
    - 244


    United Kingdom, England Died 1977, age 29

    ;
  39. 39
    + 386
    - 192

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

    ;
  40. 40
    + 316
    - 308


    England Died 2002, age 57

    ;
  41. 41
    + 244
    - 318

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    United Kingdom Died 1980, age 23

    ;
  42. 42
    + 204
    - 263

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    United States of America Died 1973, age 26

    ;
  43. 43
    + 245
    - 161

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

    ;
  44. 44
    + 318
    - 363

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    United Kingdom, England Died 1979, age 21

    ;
  45. 45
    + 269
    - 246


    Turkey, United Kingdom, England Died 2002, age 50

    ;
  46. 46
    + 238
    - 183


    Ireland, United Kingdom Died 1986, age 36

    ;
  47. 47
    + 175
    - 108

    added by JamesJohnson1
    United States of America Died 2005, age 54

    ;
  48. 48
    + 156
    - 113


    Australia Died 1997, age 37

    ;
  49. 49
    + 162
    - 119


    Canada Died 2008, age 41

    ;
  50. 50
    + 197
    - 330

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    United States of America Died 2003, age 34

    ;
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