Music
6.8k voters

The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30

Updated December 31, 2019 35.6k votes 6.8k voters 192.9k 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
    1,690
    546

    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
    1,765
    569

    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
    1,516
    555

    Jim Morrison

    Blues-rock, Rock music

    AlbumsParis Jim, Dionysus

    Died at 27 (1943-1971)
  • Buddy Holly4
    953
    344

    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
    1,113
    489

    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
    919
    379

    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)
  • Ritchie Valens7
    681
    306

    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)
  • Tupac Shakur8
    1,427
    654

    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
    476
    218

    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
  • Ronnie Van Zant10
    665
    356

    Ronnie Van Zant

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

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  • Selena11
    949
    501

    Selena

    Mexican cumbia, Pop music

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

    Died at 23 (1971-1995)
  • Avicii12
    613
    172

    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 Winehouse13
    1,149
    650

    Amy Winehouse

    Doo-wop, Pop music

    AlbumsFrank, Back to Black

    Died at 27 (1983-2011)
    Spotify buy button

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  • The Notorious B.I.G.14
    929
    483

    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
    532
    336

    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
    402
    123

    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
    528
    337

    Randy Rhoads

    Glam metal, Heavy metal
    Died at 25 (1956-1982)
  • Aaliyah18
    865
    583

    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
    409
    287

    Brian Jones

    Blues-rock, Pop music

    AlbumsBrian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka

    Died at 27 (1942-1969).

  • Robert Johnson20
    436
    282

    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
    389
    284

    Cliff Burton

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

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  • Juice WRLD22
    208
    90

    Juice WRLD

    Hip hop, Emo rap

    AlbumsGoodbye & Good Riddance

    Died at 21 (1998-2019)

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  • Marc Bolan23
    268
    240

    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)

  • Gram Parsons24
    286
    269

    Gram Parsons

    Rock music, Country rock

    AlbumsGP, Grievous Angel, The Gilded Palace of Sin, Sweetheart of the Rodeo, Safe at Home

    Died at 26 (1946-1973)

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  • Christina Grimmie25
    249
    226

    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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