Music
8.8k voters

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

Updated July 6, 2020 187.3k votes 8.8k voters 48.4k views525 items

List RulesVote 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.

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  • Freddie Mercury1
    3,692
    1,546

    Freddie Mercury

    The Solo Collection, Barcelona

    Genres (Music)Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly, Heavy metal, Pop rock

    Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara; 5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) was a British...  more

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  • John Lennon2
    3,227
    1,635

    John Lennon

    Imagine, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band

    Genres (Music)Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock, Pop rock

    John Winston Ono Lennon (born John Winston Lennon, 9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an...  more

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  • Ludwig van Beethoven3
    2,308
    1,422

    Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphony Edition, Classical Anthology

    Genres (Music)Opera, Classical music

    Ludwig van Beethoven ( (listen); German: [ˈluːtvɪç fan ˈbeːthoːfn̩] (listen); baptised 17...  more

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    18 Grim Facts About The Life Of Beethoven You Never Learned As A Kid#115 of 347 The Most Important Leaders In World History

  • Jimi Hendrix4
    2,458
    1,575

    Jimi Hendrix

    First Rays of the New Rising Sun, Band of Gypsys

    Genres (Music)Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock, Psychedelia, Heavy metal

    James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942 – September 18,...  more

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  • David Bowie5
    2,568
    1,747

    David Bowie

    The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Hunky Dory

    Genres (Music)Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music, Protopunk, Glam rock

    David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie (,...  more

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    David Bowie and His Mysterious Connections to the Occult and Paganism#8 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

  • Prince6
    2,450
    1,689

    Prince

    Purple Rain, Sign 'O' the Times

    Genres (Music)Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

    Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter,...  more

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    Everything The World Should Know About Prince From His Band, The Revolution#8 of 193 Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely

  • Michael Jackson7
    2,718
    1,988

    Michael Jackson

    Thriller, Bad

    Genres (Music)Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music, Dance-pop, New jack swing

    Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter,...  more

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  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart8
    1,269
    973

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Symphony Edition, Classical Anthology

    Genres (Music)Opera, Ballet, Art song, Chamber music, Classical music

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791), baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus...  more

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    17 Bizarre, Mind-Blowing Facts and Stories About Mozart#8 of 16 16 Famous Bodies From History Found In Inconspicuous Places

  • Ella Fitzgerald9
    1,004
    766

    Ella Fitzgerald

    Côte d'Azur Concerts on Verve, Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas

    Genres (Music)Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz, Jazz

    Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996) was an African-American jazz singer...  more

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    How Marilyn Monroe And Ella Fitzgerald's Friendship Gave Them Both Their Careers#138 of 164 The Greatest Jazz Pianists of All Time

  • Kurt Cobain10
    2,354
    1,916

    Kurt Cobain

    1993-09-08: Rock Against Rape Benefit, Club Lingerie

    Genres (Music)Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock

    Kurt Donald Cobain (February 20, 1967 – April 5, 1994) was an American singer, songwriter, and...  more

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    15 Crazy But True Stories About Nirvana#174 of 196 The Greatest Male Pop Singers of All Time

  • Johnny Cash11
    1,952
    1,623

    Johnny Cash

    American V: A Hundred Highways, American IV: The Man Comes Around

    Genres (Music)Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana, Rock music, Rockabilly

    John R. "Johnny" Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American...  more

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    The Best Johnny Cash Songs of All Time#103 of 310 The Coolest Actors Ever

  • Bob Marley12
    1,921
    1,601

    Bob Marley

    Sun Is Shining, One Love

    Genres (Music)Reggae

    Robert Nesta Marley, (6 February 1945 – 11 May 1981) was a Jamaican singer and songwriter....  more

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  • Tom Petty13
    1,580
    1,370

    Tom Petty

    Full Moon Fever, Wildflowers

    Genres (Music)Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music, Country rock, Rock and roll

    Thomas Earl Petty (October 20, 1950 – October 2, 2017) was an American singer-songwriter,...  more

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    #150 of 309 Famous People Most Likely to Live to 100#43 of 178 The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band

  • Elvis Presley14
    1,778
    1,660

    Elvis Presley

    Jailhouse Rock, The Sun Sessions

    Genres (Music)Christian music, Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly, Country rock

    Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), also known mononymously as Elvis, was...  more

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    The Best Elvis Presley Songs of All Time#131 of 162 1970s Christian Pop Artists

  • Ricky Nelson15
    1,064
    983

    Ricky Nelson

    Rick Sings Nelson, Rudy the Fifth

    Genres (Music)Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly, Folk music, Rock and roll

    Eric Hilliard Nelson (May 8, 1940 – December 31, 1985) was an American pop star, musician, and...  more

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    The Best Ricky Nelson Albums of All Time#51 of 139 Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums

  • Jim Morrison16
    1,510
    1,450

    Jim Morrison

    Paris Jim, Dionysus

    Genres (Music)Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock, Rock and roll, Psychedelic rock

    James Douglas Morrison (December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971) was an American singer, songwriter...  more

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    #24 of 119 The Best American Poets#262 of 439 Famous Men You'd Want to Have a Beer With

  • George Harrison17
    1,352
    1,317

    George Harrison

    All Things Must Pass, Cloud Nine

    Genres (Music)Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock, World music, Experimental music

    George Harrison (25 February 1943 – 29 November 2001) was an English musician,...  more

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  • Stevie Ray Vaughan18
    883
    860

    Stevie Ray Vaughan

    Couldn't Stand the Weather, In Step

    Genres (Music)Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock, Electric blues, Jazz fusion

    Stephen Ray Vaughan (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990) was an American musician, singer,...  more

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    The Best Stevie Ray Vaughan Songs of All Time#67 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

  • Marvin Gaye19
    1,309
    1,349

    Marvin Gaye

    What's Going On, Here

    Genres (Music)Doo-wop, Motown Sound, Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

    Marvin Gaye (born Marvin Pentz Gay Jr.; April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984) was an American singer,...  more

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    The Best Marvin Gaye Songs of All Time#29 of 816 These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time

  • Karen Carpenter20
    751
    776

    Karen Carpenter

    Karen Carpenter

    Genres (Music)Pop music, Soft rock

    Karen Anne Carpenter (March 2, 1950 – February 4, 1983) was an American singer and drummer who...  more

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    #107 of 532 The Best Drummers Of All Time#29 of 152 The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 40

  • chris cornell21
    924
    962

    chris cornell

    Carry On, You Know My Name

    Genres (Music)Rock music, Grunge, Psychedelic pop, Heavy metal, Rhythm and blues

    Christopher John Cornell (né Boyle; July 20, 1964 – May 18, 2017) was an American musician,...  more

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  • Whitney Houston22
    1,404
    1,478

    Whitney Houston

    The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album, Whitney Houston

    Genres (Music)Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B, Dance music, Rhythm and blues

    Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer and...  more

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  • Aretha Franklin23
    432
    450

    Aretha Franklin

    Lady Soul, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You

    Genres (Music)Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Pop rock, Jazz

    Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American singer, songwriter,...  more

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    The Best Aretha Franklin Albums of All Time#78 of 225 The Best Blues Artists of All Time

  • Buddy Holly24
    1,022
    1,098

    Buddy Holly

    Buddy, 20 Golden Greats

    Genres (Music)Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly, Pop rock, Rock and roll

    Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959), known professionally as Buddy...  more

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  • Janis Joplin25
    1,087
    1,180

    Janis Joplin

    Pearl, Big Brother & The Holding Company

    Genres (Music)Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music, Acid rock, Soul music

    Janis Lyn Joplin (January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970) was an American rock, soul, and blues...  more

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