Music
6.7k voters

The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30

Updated December 31, 2019 34.6k votes 6.7k voters 188.5k 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.

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    Jimi Hendrix
    1,660
    526

    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)

    More Jimi Hendrix 

    Wild Stories From The Guitar-Shredding Life Of Jimi HendrixThe Best Jimi Hendrix Songs of All Time

  • 2
    Kurt Cobain
    1,721
    551

    Kurt Cobain

    Grunge, Alternative rock

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

    Died at 27 (1967-1994)

    More Kurt Cobain 

    15 Crazy But True Stories About NirvanaBehind-The-Scenes Stories From Kurt Cobain's Childhood That Shed Light On The Enigmatic Frontman

  • 3
    Jim Morrison
    1,483
    541

    Jim Morrison

    Blues-rock, Rock music

    AlbumsParis Jim, Dionysus

    Died at 27 (1943-1971)
  • 4
    Buddy Holly
    923
    331

    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)

    More Buddy Holly 

    What Actually Happened The Day The Music Died?The Best Buddy Holly Songs

  • 5
    Janis Joplin
    1,082
    471

    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)

    More Janis Joplin 

    The Tortured, Painful Life of Janis Joplin, The Baddest Woman In Rock History#4 of 29 Members of The 27 Club

  • 6
    Otis Redding
    899
    370

    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)
  • 7
    Ritchie Valens
    662
    292

    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)
  • 8
    Tupac Shakur
    1,389
    634

    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)
  • 9
    Ronnie Van Zant
    647
    343

    Ronnie Van Zant

    Rock music, Southern rock
    Died at 29 (1948-1977)
  • 10
    Hank Williams
    459
    204

    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

    More Hank Williams 

    The Best Hank Williams Songs#676 of 2,443 The Most Influential People of All Time

  • 11
    Selena
    923
    485

    Selena

    Mexican cumbia, Pop music

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

    Died at 23 (1971-1995)
  • 12
    Avicii
    594
    152

    Avicii

    House, Techno

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

    Died at 28 (1989-2018)

    More Avicii 

    The Best Avicii Songs and Remixes#1259 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

  • 13
    The Notorious B.I.G.
    904
    469

    The Notorious B.I.G.

    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop

    AlbumsReady to Die, Life After Death

    Died at 24 (1972-1997)

    More The Notorious B.I.G. 

    A Timeline Of How Biggie And Tupac's Friendship Turned Into An Infamous Feud#3 of 223 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

  • 14
    Amy Winehouse
    1,115
    634

    Amy Winehouse

    Doo-wop, Pop music

    AlbumsFrank, Back to Black

    Died at 27 (1983-2011)
    Spotify buy button

    More Amy Winehouse 

    ‘Amy’ Is A Deeply Upsetting Documentary That Forced Us To Re-Examine Her TragedyThe Best Amy Winehouse Songs

  • 15
    Aaliyah
    846
    569

    Aaliyah

    Hip hop music, Pop music

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

    Died at 22 (1979-2001)

    More Aaliyah 

    The Best Songs Feat. Aaliyah#109 of 602 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

  • 16
    Mac Miller
    380
    103

    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)

    More Mac Miller 

    The Best Songs On Mac Miller's Album 'Circles'The Best Songs Feat. Mac Miller

  • 17
    Duane Allman
    510
    335

    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)
  • 18
    Randy Rhoads
    500
    334

    Randy Rhoads

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

    More Randy Rhoads 

    #24 of 542 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time#263 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

  • 19
    Brian Jones
    395
    284

    Brian Jones

    Blues-rock, Pop music

    AlbumsBrian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka

    Died at 27 (1942-1969).

  • 20
    Robert Johnson
    423
    278

    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)

    More Robert Johnson 

    Robert Johnson Is An Early Member Of The 27 Club, And His Death May Be Due To A Deal With The Devil#11 of 225 The Best Blues Artists of All Time

  • 21
    Cliff Burton
    368
    283

    Cliff Burton

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

    More Cliff Burton 

    #136 of 154 The Druggiest Rock Stars of All Time#5 of 186 The All-Time Best Rock Bassists

  • 22
    Juice WRLD
    191
    70

    Juice WRLD

    Hip hop, Emo rap

    AlbumsGoodbye & Good Riddance

    Died at 21 (1998-2019)

    More Juice WRLD 

    The Best Juice WRLD Songs Ever, Ranked#4 of 147 The Best Young Rappers and New School Rappers

  • 23
    Marc Bolan
    259
    236

    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)

  • 24
    Gram Parsons
    279
    265

    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)

    More Gram Parsons 

    #272 of 363 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame#1053 of 1,357 The Greatest Minds of All Time

  • 25
    Ian Curtis
    290
    268

    Ian Curtis

    New Wave, Gothic rock

    AlbumsUnknown Pleasures, Closer

    Died at 23 (1956-1980)