Musicians Who Died in 2020

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 2020 were the unsurprising result of old age or long-term health issues, other singer deaths of 2020 came as a shock.

If you are finding it hard to keep track of musicians who died in 2020, 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 in memoriam list of 2020 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 20192018, and 2017 to refresh your memory.

  • Johnny Nash
    Photo: Joda Records / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain

    Reggae-pop singer-songwriter Johnny Nash passed away on October 7. He was 80. 

    Nash was most well known as the singer of hit songs like “I Can See Clearly Now,” “Stir It Up” and “Hold Me Tight.” “I Can See Clearly Now” in particular has been featured in endless films and TV shows, including Thelma & Louise,  Grosse Pointe Blank, Antz, Crooklyn, The Wonder Years and The Boondocks. Nash himself also had some on-screen appearances, acting in films such as Key Witness,  Take a Giant Step, and Love Is Not a Game.

    • Genres (Music): Pop music, Reggae
    • Albums: I Can See Clearly Now: Johnny Nash's Greatest Hits, Here Again, The Best of Johnny Nash, Tears on My Pillow, Hold Me Tight
    • Nationality: United States of America
  • Ian Mitchell

    Ian Mitchell, bassist for the band Bay City Rollers, passed away on September 2nd at the age of 62. Mitchell joined the Scottish pre-punk 1970s band rather late in '76, but remained a key part of the group as they broke into the US market. He eventually separated from them in '77, but still participated in the much later 80's incarnation of the band.

    Said the group in a post on their official Facebook page: "We are deeply saddened by the news of Ian Mitchell’s death. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Wendy, and their family and friends. Rest In Peace, Ian." 

  • Lil Marlo

    30-year-old Lil Marlo, birth name Rudolph Johnson, was shot and killed on the evening of July 11th. His body was discovered after police responded to a call about a supposed car accident on an Atlanta highway. Page Six reported that "He is believed to have been shot while driving," and he was pronounced dead at the scene. His body was then brought to the The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office the following morning for inspection.

    The circumstances were still being investigated at the time of the report, and neither suspects nor motive were revealed. 

    • Genres (Music): rap
    • Nationality: American
  • Rapper Huey, best known for Billboard-topping megahit "Pop, Lock & Drop It," has died following a shooting outside St. Louis. Lawrence Franks Jr., Huey's birth name, was 32 years old, according to the police report (some news stories listed his age as 31). Another man, whom news sources kept anonymous, was shot and wounded. The investigation is currently ongoing. William “Quayshaun” Carter, CEO of Que Records and Que Global Entertainment, released a statement:

    We send our condolences to Huey’s daughter and to his family and friends. We ask that everyone keeps us in their prayers and not let his vision and dreams die with us. Let’s continue on the path of Black excellence.

    • Genres (Music): Hip-Hop
    • Albums: Notebook Paper, Redemption, Strickly Business, 24/7 - 365, Tell Me This (G-5) [Tha Remix] {feat. MeMpHiTz & T-Pain}
    • Nationality: United States of America
  • Tray Savage

    On June 19th, E! News reported that rapper Tray Savage had been shot dead in Chicago. He was 26. In the article, they write that "Multiple outlets report that Tray was driving his girlfriend to her house in the area at the time of the shooting." and noted the statement from the Chicago PD that he had been "shot in the neck and shoulder." There were no suspects at the time of the report, and an investigation was being held.

    Savage is known not just for solo ventures but also for being a member of Chief Keef's Glo Gang.

    • Genres (Music): Rap, Hip hop
    • Nationality: American
  • Bonnie Pointer, Grammy award-winning co-founder of the Pointer Sisters, died of cardiac arrest at 69-years-old. Her sister, Anita Pointer, made the following statement:

    "It is with great sadness that I have to announce to the fans of the Pointer Sisters that my sister, Bonnie died this morning. Our family is devastated, on behalf of my siblings and I and the entire Pointer family, we ask for your prayers at this time."

    The Pointer Sisters were known for their hits, such as, "I'm So Excited!," "Heaven Must Have Sent You," and "Jump." June Pointer, the group's youngest sister, passed in 2006. “Bonnie was my best friend and we talked every day,” Anita said. “We never had a fight in our life. I already miss her and I will see her again one day.”

    • Genres (Music): Disco, Rhythm and blues, Soul music
    • Albums: Bonnie Pointer (Purple Album), Bonnie Pointer, Free Me From My Freedom / Tie Me to a Tree (Handcuff Me)
    • Nationality: United States of America