Music
6.9k voters

The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30

Updated December 31, 2019 34.8k votes 6.9k voters 194.9k views44 items

List RulesThe 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, Jim Morrison, and Kurt Cobain. Janis Joplin and Amy Winehouse are among the female singers who have died at 27. 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 best artists who died 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.

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  • Jimi Hendrix1
    1,654
    531

    Jimi Hendrix

    Blues-rock, Rock music

    AlbumsFirst Rays of the New Rising Sun, Band of Gypsys, Voodoo Child: The Jimi Hendrix Collection, Live at the Fillmore East, Live at Woodstock

    Died at 27 (1942-1970)

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  • Kurt Cobain2
    1,724
    560

    Kurt Cobain

    Grunge, Alternative rock

    Albums1993-09-08: Rock Against Rape Benefit, Club Lingerie, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA

    Died at 27 (1967-1994)

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  • Jim Morrison3
    1,484
    539

    Jim Morrison

    Blues-rock, Rock music

    AlbumsParis Jim, Dionysus

    Died at 27 (1943-1971)

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  • Buddy Holly4
    932
    336

    Buddy Holly

    Lubbock sound, Rock music

    AlbumsBuddy, 20 Golden Greats, What You Been A-Missin': What You've Been A-Missin', The Buddy Holly Story, That'll Be The Day

    Died at 22 (1936-1959)

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  • Janis Joplin5
    1,087
    476

    Janis Joplin

    Blues-rock, Rock music

    AlbumsPearl, Big Brother & The Holding Company, Greatest Hits, I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!, The Essential Janis Joplin

    Died at 27 (1943-1970)

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  • Otis Redding6
    895
    365

    Otis Redding

    Southern soul, Soul blues

    AlbumsPain in My Heart, King & Queen, Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul, The Soul Album, The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads

    Died at 26 (1941-1967)

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  • Ritchie Valens7
    667
    299

    Ritchie Valens

    Chicano rock, Rock music

    AlbumsThe Complete Ritchie Valens, The Very Best Of Richie Valens, Greatest Hits, The Very Best of Ritchie Valens, La Bamba

    Died at 17 (1941-1959)

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  • Tupac Shakur8
    1,391
    640

    Tupac Shakur

    Hip hop music, Political hip hop

    Albums2Pacalypse Now, Strictly 4 My Niggaz, Thug Life: Volume 1, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, Me Against the World

    Died at 25 (1971-1996)

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  • Hank Williams9
    461
    215

    Hank Williams

    Outlaw country, Western music

    AlbumsCold, Cold Heart, Beyond the Sunset, Three Hanks: Men With Broken Hearts, Hillbilly Hero

    Died at 29 (Sep. 1923-Jan. 1953)
    Spotify buy button

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  • Selena10
    924
    489

    Selena

    Mexican cumbia, Pop music

    AlbumsSelena, Ven Conmigo, Entre a Mi Mundo, Amor Prohibido, Dreaming of You

    Died at 23 (1971-1995)

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  • Avicii11
    602
    173

    Avicii

    House, Techno

    AlbumsBom, Collide, Avicii et al: Swedish House Collection - Taken from Superstar, Avicii Presents Strictly Miami, True

    Died at 28 (1989-2018)

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  • Amy Winehouse12
    1,119
    632

    Amy Winehouse

    Doo-wop, Pop music

    AlbumsFrank, Back to Black

    Died at 27 (1983-2011)
    Spotify buy button

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  • Ronnie Van Zant13
    649
    348

    Ronnie Van Zant

    Rock music, Southern rock
    Died at 29 (1948-1977)

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  • The Notorious B.I.G.14
    902
    475

    The Notorious B.I.G.

    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop

    AlbumsReady to Die, Life After Death

    Died at 24 (1972-1997)

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  • Duane Allman15
    514
    325

    Duane Allman

    Blues-rock, Rock music

    AlbumsDuane Allman: An Anthology, Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective, Ton-Ton Macoute!, Duane & Greg Allman, Duane Allman: An Anthology

    Died at 24 (1946-1971)

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  • Mac Miller16
    390
    126

    Mac Miller

    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop

    AlbumsWatching Movies with the Sound Off, Macadelic, In the Air, But My Mackin Aint Easy, On and On and Beyond

    Died at 26 (1992-2018)

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  • Randy Rhoads17
    516
    328

    Randy Rhoads

    Glam metal, Heavy metal
    Died at 25 (1956-1982)

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  • Aaliyah18
    842
    565

    Aaliyah

    Hip hop music, Pop music

    AlbumsAge Ain't Nothing but a Number, One in a Million, Aaliyah

    Died at 22 (1979-2001)

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  • Brian Jones19
    394
    285

    Brian Jones

    Blues-rock, Pop music

    AlbumsBrian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka

    Died at 27 (1942-1969).

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  • Robert Johnson20
    425
    274

    Robert Johnson

    Rock music, Blues

    AlbumsFrom Four Till Late, Hellhound on My Trail, Sweet Home Chicago, Kind Hearted Woman Blues

    Died at 27 (1911-1938)

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  • Cliff Burton21
    376
    280

    Cliff Burton

    Thrash metal, Progressive metal
    Died at 24 (1962-1986)

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  • Juice WRLD22
    235
    94

    Juice WRLD

    Hip hop, Emo rap

    AlbumsGoodbye & Good Riddance

    Died at 21 (1998-2019)

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  • Marc Bolan23
    259
    234

    Marc Bolan

    Psychedelic folk, Protopunk

    Albums20th Century Boy, The Beginning of Doves, Christmas Box, Billy Super Duper, Love and Death

    Died at 29 (1947-1977)

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  • Ian Curtis24
    292
    263

    Ian Curtis

    New Wave, Gothic rock

    AlbumsUnknown Pleasures, Closer

    Died at 23 (1956-1980)

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  • Christina Grimmie25
    239
    221

    Christina Grimmie

    Hip hop music, Pop music

    AlbumsWith Love, Find Me, How To Love (The Voice Performance), Hold On, We're Going Home (The Voice Performance)

    Died at 22 (1994-2016)

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