Singers The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30  

Ranker Music
Originally by
33.1k votes 5.2k voters 145.7k views 44 items

List Rules The best musicians and singers who didn't make it to thirty

List of the greatest musicians who died before they reached the age of 30. On this list you’ll find all of the musicians who had the misfortune to die before turning 30 — from all time periods and including rock stars who died young and singers from other genres. Some died in horrific ways, others were the victims of unfortunate accidents or genetics, but they all left the world a little too soon, earning them a place on this, the list of the most amazing musicians who died before 30.

This list includes members of The 27 Club — those young and rising stars who died at the age of 27. Tragically, many died of overdose or under drug-related circumstances, including Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse, and Kurt Cobain. Other musicians on this list died from poisoning (Robert Johnson), plane crashes (Otis Redding, Buddy Holly, and the Big Bopper), and even murder (Mia Zapata). In the hip-hop world, both Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. were killed outright, both having been shot repeatedly. No one knows for certain who murdered the two rap legends, but it is beyond a doubt that the musicians died too young. The two rappers may be gone, but they live on in fans’ memories.

On this list you can find all of the musicians who died too young, never reaching the age of 30. The list contains rock musicians, rappers, guitar players, drummers, singers, jazz musicians, and more, but the musical style differences aren’t important. Fans still mourn these great artists, often wondering what might have been had these musicians lived.

Ranker may collect a commission from links on this page. Prices & inventory are accurate as of publish date.

1
1,565 462
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
krazykids1011 added Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock
Died at 27 (1942-1970)

2
1,478 488
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
krazykids1011 added Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock
Died at 27 (1943-1971)

3
1,545 515
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
krazykids1011 added Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rock
Died at 27 (1967-1994)

4
1,002 408
Janis Joplin is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
krazykids1011 added Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music
Died at 27 (1943-1970)

5
897 324
Otis Redding is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Southern soul, Soul blues, Rock music
Died at 26 (1941-1967)

6
849 270
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
ConnorRichardson added Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly
Died at 22 (1936-1959)

7
1,136 640
Tupac Shakur is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Gangsta rap
Died at 25 (1971-1996)

8
944 607
Amy Winehouse is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Doo-wop, Pop music, Neo soul
Died at 27 (1983-2011)

9
460 283
Duane Allman is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
FireMonkey added Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz fusion
Died at 24 (1946-1971)

10
766 570
Aaliyah is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul
Died at 22 (1979-2001)

11
565 292
Ronnie Van Zant is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
FireMonkey added Rock music, Southern rock
Died at 29 (1948-1977)

12
769 446
Selena is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Mexican cumbia, Pop music, Latin American music
Died at 23 (1971-1995)

13
565 249
Ritchie Valens is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
Chicano rock, Rock music, Rock and roll
Died at 17 (1941-1959)

14
340 240
Brian Jones is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
TracyDrane added Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

15
465 289
Randy Rhoads is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
FireMonkey added Glam metal, Heavy metal, Neo-classical metal
Died at 25 (1956-1982)

16
707 482
The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop
Died at 24 (1972-1997)

17
321 123
Hank Williams is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
kingbee63 added Outlaw country, Western music, Folk music
Died at 29 (Sep. 1923-Jan. 1953)

18
399 283
Robert Johnson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
Rock music, Blues, Country blues
Died at 27 (1911-1938)

19
337 252
Cliff Burton is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
FireMonkey added Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Power metal
Died at 24 (1962-1986)

20
178 75
Sam Cooke is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

21
351 381
Sid Vicious is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
miriam added Rock music, Punk rock
Died at 21 (1957-1979)

22
297 319
Tammi Terrell is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music
Died at 24 (1945-1970)

23
238 217
Marc Bolan is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
TracyDrane added Psychedelic folk, Protopunk, Pop rock

24
240 215
Bradley Nowell is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
ryanjjjj8 added Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Ska punk

25
227 283
Shannon Hoon is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
FireMonkey added Rock music, Folk music, Grunge
Died at 28 (1967-1995)