Music

Musicians Who Died in 2019  

Celebrity Lists
January 3, 2019 134.8k views 20 items

Music plays a key part in so many people's lives, and there is always sadness when a beloved musician passes away. Recent musician deaths leave quiet spots in the world where powerful forces once stood, and it's always sad when people who were important parts of music history are no longer a part of this world. When a name you recognize from your favorite albums is listed among famous people who died today, it can be deeply upsetting. Even if some rocker passings of 2019 were the unsurprising result of old age or long-term health issues, other singer deaths of 2019 came as a shock.

If you are finding it hard to track of musicians who died in 2019, this complete list - in chronological order, starting with most recent - of recently deceased singers, rappers, and other band members or recording artists will help. Although their beautiful voices and talents were lost this year, this list of 2019 helps us remember them. If you're having trouble recalling all the musical talents that were recently lost, check out these lists of departed musicians of 2018, 2017 and 2016 to refresh your memory.

Ric Ocasek is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Musicians Who Died in 2019
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/CC-BY

Ric Ocasek died in New York at age 75 on September 15, 2019. His death was due to hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease as well as pulmonary emphysema, according to the city’s medical examiner. There has been some confusion about Ocasek's age at his death. The NYPD said he was 75, but public records list him as 70. 

Read more:

NBC New York, People

Genres (Music): Bubblegum pop, New Wave, Rock music, Garage rock, Protopunk, + more

Albums: Fireball Zone, Nexterday, This Side of Paradise, Quick Change World, Troublizing, + more

Nationality: United States of America

More Ric Ocasek

#97 of 297 on The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #98 of 446 on The Best Frontmen in Rock #37 of 497 on Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song? #28 of 32 on Celebrity Couples You Miss The Most In 2018

see more on Ric Ocasek
Eddie Money is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Musicians Who Died in 2019
Photo:  Rob Kim/Getty Images

Eddie Money passed on September 13, 2019, in Los Angeles, California, after battling stage 4 esophageal cancer. His family confirmed the sad news in a statement to Rolling Stone, writing, "It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to our loving husband and father. We cannot imagine our world without him. We are grateful that he will live on forever through his music."

In July 2019, Money cancelled his summer tour after developing pneumonia following a heart valve surgery. 

Read more:

Rolling Stone, People

Genres (Music): New Wave, Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock, Hard rock

Albums: Nothing to Lose, The Best of Eddie Money, Good as Gold, Love and Money, Where's the Party?, + more

Nationality: United States of America

More Eddie Money

#61 of 501 on Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song? #445 of 468 on Celebrities You Didn't Know Use Stage Names #72 of 644 on Every Band & Musician Who Has Performed on Saturday Night Live featuring The Best Eddie Money Albums of All Time

see more on Eddie Money
Daniel Johnston is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Musicians Who Died in 2019
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/CC-BY-SA-2.0

Daniel Johnston passed on September 10, 2019, after suffering a heart attack. The news was confirmed by his manager, Jeff Tartakov.

His sister, Margy Johnston, said he had been hospitalized frequently in the last year, due to falling as well as reactions to adjustments made to his medication. Johnston's struggle with schizophrenia and manic-depression were covered in the 2005 documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston.

Read more:

Austin Chronicle, Rolling Stone

Genres (Music): Outsider music, Folk rock, Alternative rock, Lo-fi music, Reggaeton

Albums: Yip/Jump Music, 1990, Hi, How Are You, The Late Great Daniel Johnston: Discovered Covered, + more

Nationality: United States of America

More Daniel Johnston

#66 of 68 on Artists Who Have Inspired the Best Covers #66 of 75 on The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia #4 of 102 on Celebrities Who Died In 2019 #7 of 117 on The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists

see more on Daniel Johnston
Roky Erickson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Musicians Who Died in 2019
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/CC-BY

Roky Erickson passed away at the age of 71 in Austin, Texas on May 31, 2019. The late musician's passing was confirmed by his brother Mikel, who said, "Roky lived in so many worlds, you couldn't keep up with him. He lived so much, and not always on this planet." 

Roky Erickson was known for his time with psychedelic band, the 13th Floor Elevators, where he created original music that was often inspired by his favorite horror movies. The band later folded, due in large part to Erickson's struggle with drugs and mental illness. However, he continued to tour as a solo artist, and could always be found performing on his favorite holiday, Halloween.

A 2007 documentary, titled You're Gonna Miss Me after one of Erickson's most famous songs, chronicled his struggle with mental illness. 

Read more:

Variety, Huffpost, USA Today

Genres (Music): Rock music, Garage rock, Outsider music, Psychedelic rock, Psychedelic music

Albums: True Love Cast Out All Evil, Don't Slander Me / Starry Eyes, You're Gonna Miss Me: The Best of Roky Erickson, Don't Slander Me, Never Say Goodbye, + more

Nationality: United States of America

More Roky Erickson

#92 of 501 on Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song? #54 of 114 on The Best Musical Artists From Texas featuring 'You're Gonna Miss Me' Is A Harrowing Documentary About Mental Illness And Abuse The Best Roky Erickson Albums of All Time

see more on Roky Erickson