Music

Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?  

Mick Jacobs
119k votes 6.2k voters 29k views 515 items

List Rules Vote up the artists you would love to see do one final song.

Many of the world's greatest musicians remain highly respected even in death. The world often mourns the loss of the artist and the songs that the artist never got to write. If you go looking through your iTunes or Spotify libraries, you will likely find dozens of those dead musicians. You'll probably want to bring back more than a few, even if it's just so that they can write one more song.

In the whirlwind world of music, numerous rock stars die before their prime. Their untimely demises pose a difficult question, one that needs an answer.

We asked you, our audience, "Which artist would you bring back from the dead to write one more song?" And your answers have been both surprising and satisfying. Artists who died before ever reaching thirty, from Kurt Cobain to Aaliyah, are among your choices but a few prolific artists who had time on their side, such as Johnny Cash and Leonard Cohen, also showed up in your responses. Some people believed that these legends were still capable of genius even in their old age.

While no one determined for certain which dead artist needs to make one more song, each answer still reminds us of how much these musicians continue to impact the world.

list ordered by
1
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
The Solo Collection, Barcelona, Mr. Bad Guy
Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara; 5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) was a British singer, songwriter, record producer, and lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. Regarded as one of the ...more
2
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
Imagine, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Double Fantasy
John Winston Ono Lennon (born John Winston Lennon, 9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an English singer, songwriter and peace activist who gained worldwide fame as the rhythm guitarist for ...more
3
Ludwig van Beethoven is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
Symphony Edition, Classical Anthology, Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (feat. piano: Cyprien Katsaris)
Ludwig van Beethoven ( (listen); German: [ˈluːtvɪç fan ˈbeːthoːfn̩] (listen); baptised 17 December 1770 – 26 March 1827) was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the ...more
4
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
Thriller, Bad, Off the Wall
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Dubbed the "King of Pop", he is regarded as one of the most significant ...more
5
Prince is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
Purple Rain, Sign 'O' the Times, 1999
Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, dancer, actor, and filmmaker. With a career spanning four decades, Prince was ...more
6
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
Valdave added Symphony Edition, Classical Anthology, Eternal Classics
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791), baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a prolific and influential composer of the classical era. Born in ...more
7
Ricky Nelson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
Dimos Dicoudis added Rick Sings Nelson, Rudy the Fifth, The Rock 'n' Roll Era: Ricky Nelson: 1957-1972
Eric Hilliard Nelson (May 8, 1940 – December 31, 1985) was an American pop star, musician, and singer-songwriter. From age eight he starred alongside his family in the radio and television ...more
8
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
Valdave added Côte d'Azur Concerts on Verve, Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas, Ella Fitzgerald's Christmas
Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996) was an African-American jazz singer sometimes referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella. She was noted for her ...more
9
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Hunky Dory, Diamond Dogs
David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie (, BOH-ee), was an English singer-songwriter and actor. He was a leading figure in the music industry ...more
10
Luciano Pavarotti is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
Valdave added The Tenors, Tutto Pavarotti, Rigoletto (Luciano Pavarotti
Luciano Pavarotti (, also US: , Italian: [luˈtʃaːno pavaˈrɔtti]; 12 October 1935 – 6 September 2007) was an Italian operatic tenor who also crossed over into popular music, eventually becoming ...more
11
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
First Rays of the New Rising Sun, Band of Gypsys, Voodoo Child: The Jimi Hendrix Collection
James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. His mainstream career lasted ...more
12
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
1993-09-08: Rock Against Rape Benefit, Club Lingerie, Hollywood
Kurt Donald Cobain (February 20, 1967 – April 5, 1994) was an American singer, songwriter, and musician, best known as the guitarist and frontman of the rock band Nirvana. He is remembered as ...more
13
Karen Carpenter is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
Valdave added Karen Carpenter
Karen Anne Carpenter (March 2, 1950 – February 4, 1983) was an American singer and drummer who was part of the duo the Carpenters alongside her brother Richard. She was praised for her contralto ...more
14
Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
Sun Is Shining, One Love, Rainbow Country
Robert Nesta Marley, (6 February 1945 – 11 May 1981) was a Jamaican singer and songwriter. Considered one of the pioneers of reggae, his musical career was marked by blending elements of reggae, ...more
15
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
American V: A Hundred Highways, American IV: The Man Comes Around, At Folsom Prison
John R. "Johnny" Cash (born J. R. Cash; February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author. He is one of the best-selling music ...more
16
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album, Whitney Houston, My Love Is Your Love
Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer and actress. She was cited as the most awarded female artist of all time by Guinness World Records and ...more
17
Elvis Presley is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
Dimos Dicoudis added Jailhouse Rock, The Sun Sessions, From Nashville to Memphis: The Essential '60s Masters
Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), also known mononymously as Elvis, was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th ...more
18
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
Full Moon Fever, Wildflowers, Highway Companion
Thomas Earl Petty (October 20, 1950 – October 2, 2017) was an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. He was the lead singer of Tom Petty and the ...more
19
Tupac Shakur is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
All Eyez on Me, Me Against the World, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory
Tupac Amaru Shakur ( TOO-pahk shə-KOOR; born Lesane Parish Crooks, June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996), also known by his stage names 2Pac and Makaveli, was an American rapper and actor. He is ...more
20
Marvin Gaye is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
What's Going On, Here, My Dear
Marvin Gaye (born Marvin Pentz Gay Jr.; April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984) was an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. He helped to shape the sound of Motown in the 1960s, first as an ...more
21
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
Paris Jim, Dionysus
James Douglas Morrison (December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971) was an American singer, songwriter and poet, who served as the lead vocalist of the rock band the Doors. Due to his poetic lyrics, ...more
22
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
Dimos Dicoudis added All Things Must Pass, Cloud Nine, Living in the Material World
George Harrison (25 February 1943 – 29 November 2001) was an English musician, singer-songwriter, and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the ...more
23
Nicolette Larson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
Valdave added Nicolette, All Dressed Up and No Place to Go, Radioland
Nicolette Larson (July 17, 1952 – December 16, 1997) was an American pop singer. She is perhaps best known for her work in the late 1970s with Neil Young and her 1978 hit single of Young's ...more
24
Spike Jones is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
Valdave added It's a Spike Jones Christmas, Spike Jones in Stereo, Spike Jones and His City Slickers
Lindley Armstrong "Spike" Jones (December 14, 1911 – May 1, 1965) was an American musician and bandleader specializing in satirical arrangements of popular songs and classical music. ...more
25
The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
Ready to Die, Life After Death, Born Again
Christopher George Latore Wallace (May 21, 1972 – March 9, 1997), known professionally as The Notorious B.I.G., Biggie Smalls, or Biggie, was an American rapper. He is widely considered to be ...more