Each of the rock stars and musicians on this list had bright futures that they didn’t get to see, as they all died at the age of 28—just a year older than those in the Forever 27 Club. Rock stars on this list include Steve Gaines and Bradley Nowell, among others. They may be from different rock genres, but each death left an empty spot in rock, one that fans still feel to this day.
Perhaps one of the most tragic 28-year-old rock star deaths was that of Bradley Nowell of Sublime, who made a range of great songs. He founded the band, played guitar, and was the lead singer of the ska group, which hailed from California. However, he had drug abuse problems that lead to his eventual death by heroin overdose in 1996. This was shortly before the release of their debut album, Sublime. Nowell, as a rock star who died at 28, never got to see his band become a breakout success.
Of course, not all rock stars who die at 28 miss out on success. James Owen Sullivan, better known as The Rev, was a co-founder of Avenged Sevenfold, the widely popular heavy metal band. He was 20 when the band recorded Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, which was praised by most critics. The music ended for The Rev, however, in 2009 when he overdosed on a variety of drugs, including oxycodone and diazepam (Valium).
No matter whether they got to see their fame, all of the rock stars on this list contributed to the world of music in lasting ways. It is a tragedy that these musicians died at 28, but none of them will be forgotten any time soon.
Tim Buckley experimented with many musical styles during his career, including jazz, funk, rock, soul, and folk. Buckley died of heroin and ethanol intoxication in 1975, before he achieved commercial success.
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Produce and DJ Tim Bergling, primarily known by his stage name Avicii, passed away unexpectedly on April 20, 2018 at the age of 28. Bergling's rep released a statement confirming the death, but requested privacy for the sake of Bergling's family and did not release details regarding the cause of death.
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Shannon Hoon is remembered by fans as the lead singer of the alternative rock/folk rock group Blind Melon. In 1995, Hoon’s life was cut short when he overdosed on cocaine before a gig in New Orleans.
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Bradley Nowell, a guitarist and singer, was the founding frontman of the ska rock group Sublime. He tragically did not live to see the success of the band’s best-known album, Sublime, having overdosed on heroin in 1996 before it was released.
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