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

Updated July 6, 2020 186.6k votes 8.5k voters 46.1k 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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  • 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?
    3,808
    1,564

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 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?
    3,344
    1,634

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 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?
    2,395
    1,400

    Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphony Edition, Classical Anthology

    Genres (Music)Opera, Classical music

    Ludwig van Beethoven ( (listen); German: [ˈluːtvɪç fan ˈbeːthoːfn̩] (listen); baptised 17... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
    2,519
    1,601

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
    2,636
    1,787

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    Prince is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
    2,523
    1,714

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
    2,812
    2,002

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 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?
    993
    704

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
    1,249
    937

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
    2,443
    1,952

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
    2,036
    1,659

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 12
    Bob Marley is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
    1,995
    1,631

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 13
    Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
    1,640
    1,393

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Ricky Nelson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
    1,096
    963

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Elvis Presley is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
    1,857
    1,676

    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 on Wikipedia

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    13 Conspiracy Theories About Elvis Being Alive That People Still Believe#131 of 162 1970s Christian Pop Artists

  • 16
    Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
    1,548
    1,480

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Stevie Ray Vaughan is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
    902
    856

    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 on Wikipedia

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    The Best Stevie Ray Vaughan Songs of All Time#80 of 739 The Best Singers of All Time

  • 18
    Karen Carpenter is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
    761
    722

    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 on Wikipedia

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    #2 of 602 The Best Female Vocalists Ever#146 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive

  • 19
    George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
    1,378
    1,341

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
    1,478
    1,482

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Marvin Gaye is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
    1,362
    1,365

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 22
    chris cornell is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
    933
    974

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
    403
    407

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 24
    Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
    1,053
    1,113

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 25
    Lemmy Kilmister is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?
    171
    164

    Lemmy Kilmister

    Lemmy, Slim Jim & Danny B

    Genres (Music)Rock music, Rockabilly, Space rock, Heavy metal, Rock and roll

    Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister (24 December 1945 – 28 December 2015), was an English singer,... more on Wikipedia

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    #319 of 603 The Best Rock Vocalists#1 of 13 Rockers Who Were Fired From Hard-Partying Bands For Partying Too Damn Hard

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