Musicians Who Died In 2022

The music industry mourns the lives of countless musicians throughout 2022, all of whom we lost way too soon. Consisting of classic rockstar Meat Loaf, Bon Jovi cofounder Alec John Such, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, Grammy Award-winning country singers Loretta Lynn and Naomi Judd, Hollywood actress and pop icon Olivia Newton John, rappers Coolio and PnB Rock, R&B singer Jesse Powell, Y2K heartthrob Aaron Carter, Migos member Takeoff, rock n' roll icon Jerry Lee Lewis, and the Ronettes' lead vocalist Ronnie Spector, this year's musician death roster contains some of the greatest artists of all time. This list of deceased singers, rappers, instrumentalists, composers, and producers will serve as your reference for all of the music artists who have passed away throughout 2022, from the musicians who died today to those who recently died. 

To honor these musical geniuses' inspirational legacies, let's continue listening to their incredible music and keeping their influence alive. Check back weekly for the most recent deaths of every famous person who left an unparalleled mark on the music world. 

  • Terry Hall passed away from pancreatic cancer on December 18, 2022. He was 63.

    Terry Hall was famously known for being the lead vocalist and frontman of the English 2 tone and ska revival band, The Specials. With humble beginnings in Coventry, England in 1977, The Specials eventually found success in the late ‘70s and early ’80s when their self-titled album debuted. Known for tracks like “Gangsters” and “Ghost Town,” the latter of which spent three weeks at number one on the UK charts, The Specials were quite popular in their heyday. 

    Gorillaz and Blur frontman Damon Albarn tweeted a sweet tribute to his frequent collaborator. The tweet had footage of him playing a piano version of The Specials' “Friday Night, Saturday Morning,” and was accompanied by a caption that said, ““Terry, you meant the world to me. I love you.”

    Read More: The Guardian, Pitchfork 

  • Angelo Badalamenti
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain

    Angelo Badalamenti passed away on December 11, 2022. He was 85.

    Badalamenti was a famous composer, well-known for his work on Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, Mulholland Drive, Cabin Fever, Nightmare on Elm Street, and more. The composer also had famously collaborated with David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Nina Simone, Isabella Rosselini, Eli Roth, and most closely with director David Lynch. His creative partnership with Lynch led to some of the most creative, visceral scores in both cinema and television. 

    In a tribute to the late composer, Tim Booth of James tweeted, “Tonight I will raise my glass to my beautiful friend, the Bad Angel, Angelo Badalamenti. He taught me many things but primarily how to Enjoy the recording process. We laughed from the beginning to the end of the record we made together, never had a disagreement. I love him.”

    Read More: THR, NYT

  • Christine McVie
    Photo: user uploaded image

    Christine McVie passed away on November 30, 2022. She was 79. 

    McVie was a British singer-songwriter and a member of Fleetwood Mac, one of the most famous rock bands of the world in the 1970s and 1980s. She joined the group at the start of the 1970s and was the writer behind hits like “Little Lies,” “Everywhere,” “Don't Stop,” “Say You Love Me,” and “Songbird.”  McVie was married to bassist John McVie, and their breakup alongside that of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, inspired the 1977 album “Rumours." “Rumours” went onto becoming one of the best selling albums of all time with 40 million copies sold worldwide. With Fleetwood Mac, McVie would go on to earn five gold, one platinum, and seven multiplatinum albums. Years later, McVie, along with eight other members of Fleetwood Mac, was inducted into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. That same year she left the band, but returned in 2014. 

    Her bandmate and best friend, Stevie Nicks, penned an emotional letter that she posted on Instagram saying: 

    “A few hours ago I was told that my best friend in the whole world since the first day of 1975 had passed away. I didn’t even know she was ill… until late Saturday night. I wanted to be in London; I wanted to get to London — but we were told to wait. So, since Saturday, one song has been swirling around in my head, over and over and over. I thought I might possibly get to sing it to her, and so, I’m singing it to her now. I always knew I would need these words one day.”

    Nicks then wrote the lyrics to “Hallelujah” by HAIM in tribute, before concluding, “See you on the other side, my love. Don’t forget me — Always, Stevie.”

    Read More: NYT, NPR 

  • Irene Cara
    Photo: Unidisc Music

    Irene Cara passed away on November 25, 2022. She was 63.

    Cara was an Academy Award-winning actress and singer was widely known for her role in the 1980 musical film Fame, of which she also sang the titular song that reached number one in countries all over the world.  The songs she recorded for the movie led to her being nominated for a Golden Globe and two Grammys. A few years later, Cara co-wrote the smash hit “Flashdance… What a Feeling” for the film Flashdance, which led to her winning an Oscar for Best Original Song and a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Cara also saw success with songs like “Why Me” and “Breakdance.”

    Cara started out acting in the kids tv show Electric Company before moving onto teenage roles in Aaron Loves Angela. Prior to her breakout role in Fame, Cara also played the titular role in the 1976 musical Sparkle. Some of Cara's other roles include City Heat alongside Burt Reynolds and Clint Eastwood, D.C. Cab, and Certain Fury. 

    Read More: CNN, NYT

  • Mimi Parker

    Mimi Parker
    Photo: user uploaded image

    Mimi Parker passed away from ovarian cancer on November 5, 2022. She was 55.

    Parker was a vocalist and drummer for critically-acclaimed rock band, Low, formed in the ‘90s alongside her husband, Alan Sparhawk. They were pioneers of what was dubbed “slowcore” music due in part to Parker’s haunting vocals and distinct drumming. The band's debut album “I Could Live In Hope” was released in 1994, and for the next 27 years, they went on to release 13 more albums. The band's last album was the well-loved “HEY WHAT.”

    Robert Plant and his group, Saving Grace, paid tribute to Parker with a cover of Low's 2005 song “Monkey.” According to Yahoo!, he said, “We’ve been drawn to the music of the great duo Low from Duluth, Minnesota, and sadly tonight, we know that unfortunately we’ve lost one of those two people.”

    Read More: NPR, Slate

  • Aaron Carter passed away on November 5, 2022. He was 34.

    Carter rose to fame as a prominent popstar for preteens and teens across America in the late ‘90s and early ’00s. He began performing at seven years old and in 1997, he released his self-titled debut album at nine years old. His second album “Aaron's Party (Come Get It)” sold millions of copies and led to appearances as himself on Nickelodeon. Shortly after the album's release, he also joined his big brother Nick Carter and the Backstreet Boys on tour. In 2001, his next album “Oh Aaron” went platinum, and “Another Earthquake” followed a year later. He didn't release another album until fifteen years later in 2017. 

    Nick Carter wrote in a heartbreaking Instagram caption: “My heart is broken. Even though my brother and I have had a complicated relationship, my love for him has never ever faded. I have always held on to the hope that he would somehow, someday want to walk a healthy path and eventually find the help that he so desperately needed. Sometimes we want to blame someone or something for a loss, but the truth is that addiction and mental illness is the real villain here. I will miss my brother more than anyone will ever know. I love you Chizz. Now you can finally have the peace you could never find here on earth….God, Please take care of my baby brother.”

    Read More: NYT, TMZ