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Musicians Who Died in 2015

Updated January 3, 2019 709.5k views40 items

This list of famous musicians who have died in 2015 is a complete list of singers, songwriters, and performers who will now be making sweet music for the angels. This is a list of the celebrity musicians who have passed so far this year, a round-up that is continuously updated as musicians die and includes all the musicians who have ODed, the singers who died in accidents, and the performers that died of natural causes in 2015. Their songs will live on forever, even if their careers on Earth have come to an end.

If you're wondering what famous musicians died in 2014, check out famous musicians who died in 2014. For the complete list of recent musician deaths in 2015, you’ll find them all here. If a notable singer or performer dies this year, they'll be on the list.

This list will be updated along with the Celebrity Deaths 2015 as more people leave this world. RIP, musical greats. You will be missed, along with the musicians we lost in 2019.

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  • June 11, 2015: Jazz great Ornette Coleman passed away at the age of 85 from cardiac arrest. The alto saxophonist was a legend for his innovative style. His 1960 album, Free Jazz, was an experimental landmark that featured two quartets on two separate stereo channels of the LP. That meant the listener could hear two different groups playing jazz at the same time. In 2007, Coleman won a Pulitzer Prize for the album Sound Grammar.

    More Ornette Coleman obituaries:
    Billboard, The New York Times

    More Ornette Coleman 

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  • Chinx

    May 17, 2015: Rapper Chinx was shot and killed in Queens, NY. The up-and-comer,  whose real name was Lionel Pickens, was riding in a car in the early hours of the morning when another vehicle pulled up and opened fire. He was hit in the torso and chest, and died later at a Queens hospital.

    Chinx, 31, was part of French Montana's Coke Boys group. No arrests were made immediately following the murder, but an investigation was underway.

    More Chinx obituaries:
    CNN, Fox News

  • Ortheia Barnes-Kennerly

    May 15, 2015: R&B and jazz singer Ortheia Barnes-Kennerly passed away from heart failure in the US Virgin Islands, where she was visiting for a performance. She was 70 years old.

    Although a star in her own right, Ortheia spent much of her career touring with and opening for some of Motown's biggest acts, including Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Gladys Knight. Her friend, bass player Ralphe Armstrong said that if Aretha Franklin was the Queen of Soul, "Ortheia was the empress."

    More Ortheia Barnes-Kennerly obituaries:
    AP, Detroit Free Press
  • May 14, 2015: Blues legend B.B. King passed away at the age of 89. Known for bringing the blues into the mainstream, the expert guitarist got his start in music after hitchhiking to Memphis in 1947. He landed a job as a disc jockey for radio station WDIA-AM, where he settled on his nickname, "Beale Street Blues Boy," which was eventually shortened to "B.B."

    In 1948, he got his big break playing on Sonny Boy Williamson's radio program. By 1951, his record, Three O'Clock Blues, was at the top of the charts. Over his career, King garnered dozens of awards and honors, ranging from his 30 Grammy nominations to a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom. He won his first Grammy for the song, "The Thrill is Gone."

    King continued to perform well into his 80s, until his struggle with Type II diabetes finally kept him from touring. He passed away in Las Vegas, and is survived by his daughter, Patty King, and his beloved guitar, Lucille. 

    More B.B. King obituaries:
    CNN, The New York Times, BBC

     

    More B.B. King 

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