musicians The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30  

Ranker Music
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List Rules Rock stars who did not live to the age of 30.

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.

1
944 180
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Jimi Hendrix Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love, Electric Ladyland Died at 27 (1942-1970)

2
806 224
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Jim Morrison The Doors, Strange Days, Waiting for the Sun Died at 27 (1943-1971)

3
615 202
Janis Joplin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Janis Joplin Big Brother and the Holding Company, Cheap Thrills, I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! Died at 27 (1943-1970)

4
834 298
Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Kurt Cobain Bleach, Nevermind, In Utero Died at 27 (1967-1994)

5
558 181
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Buddy Holly The "Chirping" Crickets, Buddy Holly, That'll Be the Day Died at 22 (1936-1959)

6
405 191
Ronnie Van Zant is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Ronnie Van Zant (Pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'nérd), Second Helping, Nuthin' Fancy Died at 29 (1948-1977)

7
353 216
Randy Rhoads is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Randy Rhoads Quiet Riot, Quiet Riot II, The Randy Rhoads Years Died at 25 (1956-1982)

8
393 189
Ritchie Valens is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Ritchie Valens Ritchie Valens, Ritchie Died at 17 (1941-1959)

9
318 200
Duane Allman is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Duane Allman Duane & Greg Allman, Eat a Peach, Idlewild South Died at 24 (1946-1971)

10
271 209
Cliff Burton is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Cliff Burton Kill 'Em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets Died at 24 (1962-1986)

11
260 201
Brian Jones is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Brian Jones The Rolling Stones, 12 X 5, Aftermath Died at 27 (1942-1969)

12
181 188
Eddie Cochran is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Eddie Cochran Singin' to My Baby, Never to Be Forgotten, My Way Died at 21 (1938-1960)

29 Celebrities Who Quit Being Famous

13
255 265
Sid Vicious is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Sid Vicious Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, Sid Sings Died at 21 (1957-1979)

14
224 211
The Big Bopper is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added The Big Bopper Singin' and Swingin' Died at 28 (1930-1959)

15
175 205
Shannon Hoon is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Shannon Hoon Blind Melon, Soup Died at 28 (1967-1995)

16
159 202
Marc Bolan is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Marc Bolan The Beginning of Doves, You Scare Me to Death, Dance in the Midnight Died at 29 (1947-1977)

17
148 194
Bradley Nowell is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Bradley Nowell 40oz. to Freedom, Robbin' the Hood, Sublime Died at 28 (1968-1996)

25 Rock Stars Who Died Before Age 40

18
58 54
Frankie Lymon is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
MelanieScism-Martinez added Frankie Lymon Goody Goody / Creation of Love, Goody Goody, Goody Goody

Died at 25 (1942-1968)

19
119 166
Hillel Slovak is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Hillel Slovak The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Freaky Styley, The Uplift Mofo Party Plan Died at 26 (1962-1988)

20
95 167
Steve Gaines is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Steve Gaines One in the Sun, Street Survivors Died at 28 (1949-1977)

21
74 87
Ian Curtis is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
MCZi added Ian Curtis

Died at 23 (1956-1980)

22
58 142
Peter Ham is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Peter Ham 7 Park Avenue, Golders Green, The Keyhole Street Demos Died at 27 (1947-1975)

23
108 188
The Rev is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added The Rev Unfortunate Snort, Cougar Bait, Fistfight at the Wafflehouse Died at 28 (1981-2009)

24
74 153
James Honeyman-Scott is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added James Honeyman-Scott Pretenders, Pretenders II Died at 25 (1956-1982)

25
80 145
Bobby Fuller is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
Melissa Harr added Bobby Fuller KRLA King Of The Wheels, I Fought The Law Died at 23 (1942-1966)

26
11 39
Jan Paul Beahm is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
TommyLondo29 added Jan Paul Beahm Died at 22 (1958-1980)

27
4 5
Tim Buckley is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
Tim Buckley Goodbye and Hello, Sefronia, Tim Buckley

28
9 40
Chris Bell is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
TommyLondo29 added Chris Bell I Am the Cosmos, I Am the Cosmos / You and Your Sister

Died at 27 (1951-1978)

29
73 145
Mia Zapata is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Rock Stars Who Died Before 30
PJGoris added Mia Zapata Frenching the Bully, Enter: The Conquering Chicken, Kings and Queens Died at 27 (1965-1993)