Taken from this world too soon, this list of the greatest rock stars who died before they reached the age of 30 profiles talented artists who died young. While many of these rock stars are the most celebrated musicians in rock’s history, their fame, wealth, and talent weren’t enough to guarantee them longevity. Some died in tragic yet unpreventable accidents, while others lost their lives after struggles with drugs and alcoholism. These rock stars who passed away before reaching 30 all have one thing in common, though: They left the world too soon, leaving fans wanting more.
Many of the artists on this list of rock stars who died young are members of the 27 Club, a nickname given to a cadre of musicians who died at the age of 27, usually in horrific circumstances, often drug-related. A quintessential 27 Club member is Janis Joplin, who died of a heroin overdose in 1970. Her music was enough to gain her lasting fame, but her lifestyle and early death cemented her legend as a musician who tragically died too young — not even reaching 30 years old.
Of course, not all rock stars who’ve died before 30 did so because of drugs or alcohol. Who can forget the awful plane crash that took rock legends Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, and Cassie Gaines, all of Lynyrd Skynyrd? According to authorities, the plane ran out of gas — and the world lost, in one fell swoop, three amazing rock performers who had so much music left to give.
On this list you’ll find all of the rock stars the world sill mourns, the rock stars who died far too young. While no one can say how they would’ve changed music had they lived, most will agree that even their short lives on Earth were a gift. Whether your favorites are from the 1960s or 2000s, you’ll find them all here, on this list of the greatest rock stars who died before 30.
Genres (Music): Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock, Psychedelia, Heavy metalDied at 27 (1942-1970)
Genres (Music): Blues-rock, Rock music, Acid rock, Rock and roll, Psychedelic rockDied at 27 (1943-1971)
Genres (Music): Grunge, Alternative rock, Punk rockDied at 27 (1967-1994)
Genres (Music): Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music, Acid rock, Soul musicDied at 27 (1943-1970)
Genres (Music): Rock music, Southern rockDied at 29 (1948-1977)
Genres (Music): Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly, Pop rock, Rock and rollDied at 22 (1936-1959)
Genres (Music): Glam metal, Heavy metal, Neo-classical metal, Hard rockDied at 25 (1956-1982)
Genres (Music): Chicano rock, Rock music, Rock and rollDied at 17 (1941-1959)
Genres (Music): Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz fusion, Jazz, Soul musicDied at 24 (1946-1971)
Genres (Music): Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Power metal, Heavy metal, Punk rockDied at 24 (1962-1986)
Genres (Music): Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music, World music, Rhythm and bluesDied at 27 (1942-1969)
Genres (Music): Rock musicDied at 25 (1956-1982)
Genres (Music): Rock music, Rockabilly, Rock and rollDied at 21 (1938-1960)
Genres (Music): Rock music, Punk rockDied at 21 (1957-1979)
Genres (Music): Rock music, Rockabilly, Rock and roll, CountryDied at 28 (1930-1959)
Genres (Music): Doo-wop, Pop music, Rock music, Swing music, Rhythm and blues
Died at 25 (1942-1968)
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Genres (Music): Punk blues, Punk rock, Blues, Hardcore punkDied at 27 (1965-1993)
Genres (Music): Rock music, Folk music, Grunge, Folk rock, Neo-psychedeliaDied at 28 (1967-1995)
Genres (Music): Traditional music, Folk music, Experimental rock, Jazz fusion, Soul music
Died at 23 (1956-1980)
Genres (Music): Psychedelic folk, Protopunk, Pop rock, Glam rock, Psychedelic rockDied at 29 (1947-1977)
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Genres (Music): Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Ska punk, Ska, Rock musicDied at 28 (1968-1996)
Genres (Music): Pop music, Rock musicDied at 27 (1947-1975)
Genres (Music): Funk metal, Alternative rock, Punk rock, Punk funk, Funk rockDied at 26 (1962-1988)