Music

The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30  

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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, 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.

list ordered by
1
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)

More Jimi Hendrix

#9 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing The Best Jimi Hendrix Songs of All Timelisted on Famous Left Handed People

2
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)

More Jim Morrison

#38 of 1,066 The Best Singers of All Timefeaturing Wild Jim Morrison Stories, From Riots To Arrestslisted on Members of The 27 Club

3
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)

More Kurt Cobain

#49 of 455 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Yearsfeaturing 12 Kurt Cobain Conspiracy Theorieslisted on Famous Left Handed People

4
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)

More Janis Joplin

#55 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing Fascinating Stories From Janis Joplin's Personal Lifelisted on Members of The 27 Club

5
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
ConnorRichardson added Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly
Died at 22 (1936-1959)

More Buddy Holly

#87 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #101 of 1,066 The Best Singers of All Timefeaturing The Best Buddy Holly Songs

6
Otis Redding is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Southern soul, Soul blues, Rock music
Died at 26 (1941-1967)

More Otis Redding

#61 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #57 of 1,066 The Best Singers of All Timefeaturing The Best Otis Redding Albums of All Time

7
Amy Winehouse is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
8
Tupac Shakur is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
9
Selena is listed (or ranked) 9 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)

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#148 of 455 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #380 of 1,066 The Best Singers of All Timefeaturing Everything The J. Lo Movie Got Wrong About The Meteoric Rise And Tragic End Of Selena Quintanilla

10
Duane Allman is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
FireMonkey added Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz fusion
Died at 24 (1946-1971)

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#16 of 655 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time #427 of 931 People We Wish Were Still Alive #593 of 1,472 The Greatest Minds of All Time

11
Aaliyah is listed (or ranked) 11 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)

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#269 of 455 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #1,012 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing The Best Songs Feat. Aaliyah

12
The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 12 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)

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#238 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #413 of 465 The Best Current Pop Groups/Singersfeaturing A Timeline Of How Biggie And Tupac's Friendship Turned Into An Infamous Feud

13
Ronnie Van Zant is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
FireMonkey added Rock music, Southern rock
Died at 29 (1948-1977)

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#83 of 715 The Best Rock Vocalists #487 of 931 People We Wish Were Still Alive #986 of 1,472 The Greatest Minds of All Time

14
Randy Rhoads is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
FireMonkey added Glam metal, Heavy metal, Neo-classical metal
Died at 25 (1956-1982)

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#1,835 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #670 of 2,219 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #15 of 655 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

15
Ritchie Valens is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
Chicano rock, Rock music, Rock and roll
Died at 17 (1941-1959)

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#1,388 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #247 of 1,066 The Best Singers of All Time #169 of 715 The Best Rock Vocalists

16
Hank Williams is listed (or ranked) 16 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)

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#175 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing The Best Hank Williams Songslisted on Musicians You May Not Know Are Republican

17
Brian Jones is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
TracyDrane added Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

Died at 27 (1942-1969).

More Brian Jones

#178 of 283 Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame #281 of 715 The Best Rock Vocalistslisted on Famous Accordionists

18
Robert Johnson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
19
Sid Vicious is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
miriam added Rock music, Punk rock
Died at 21 (1957-1979)

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#2,107 of 3,789 The Best Movie Characters of All Time #495 of 1,069 The Worst Bands of All Timefeaturing Sid Vicious's Life Was Just As Messed Up As His Death

20
Cliff Burton is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
FireMonkey added Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Power metal
Died at 24 (1962-1986)

More Cliff Burton

#357 of 931 People We Wish Were Still Alive #12 of 193 The All-Time Best Rock Bassists #20 of 208 Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely

21
Tammi Terrell is listed (or ranked) 21 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)

More Tammi Terrell

#574 of 1,066 The Best Singers of All Time #230 of 986 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #773 of 931 People We Wish Were Still Alive

22
Avicii is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
House, Techno, Electro House

Died at 28 (1989-2018)

More Avicii

#960 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #434 of 931 People We Wish Were Still Alivefeaturing The Best Avicii Songs and Remixes

23
Bradley Nowell is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
ryanjjjj8 added Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Ska punk

Died at 28 (1968-1996)

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#344 of 715 The Best Rock Vocalists #583 of 655 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time #807 of 931 People We Wish Were Still Alive

24
Marc Bolan is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
TracyDrane added Psychedelic folk, Protopunk, Pop rock

Died at 29 (1947-1977)

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#345 of 1,066 The Best Singers of All Time #170 of 715 The Best Rock Vocalists #148 of 655 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

25
Christina Grimmie is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30
Thunderwing added Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

Died at 22 (1994-2016)

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#480 of 931 People We Wish Were Still Alive #183 of 208 Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely #115 of 200 The Female Singer You Most Wish You Could Sound Like