Alive from the 1950s to the 2000s, each of these rock stars and musicians were tragically taken before they reached their 30th birthdays. They may be gone, but none are forgotten thanks to each of their places on this list of the greatest rock stars who passed at 29 years old and devoted fans who keep their music alive.
While it is always tragic when rock stars pass young, it is worsened when several of the greats pass at once. Such was the case in October of 1977, when the plane carrying Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, and Cassie Gaines of Lynyrd Skynyrd crashed in Mississippi. Both Van Zant and Cassie Gaines were 29 years old; Steve Gaines was only 28. The music ended far too soon for this trio of rock stars, but Lynyrd Skynyrd fans will never forget them.
Another great rock star who perished at a young age in a transportation accident is Marc Bolan. This star was frontman of T. Rex, the 1970s glam rock band from England. Bolan was riding as a passenger in an automobile when the car crashed and Bolan perished — only two weeks before he would have turned 30. While drugs do claim the lives many rock stars, transportation takes its toll as well. These are all people who passed at 29 years old.
They each died under different circumstances, but they were all tragedies. Their legacies live on, however, on this list of the greatest rock stars who passed at 29.
Shorty Long was more than an R&B and Motown musician, he was also an influential record producer and songwriter. He passed in 1969 when he drowned after his boat capsized.
Richard Farina is not only remembered for his folk music but also for his novel, Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me. He perished in a motorcycle crash in 1966.
Danny Whitten, who was born in Columbus, Georgia, is remembered for his tenure with Neil Young and Crazy Horse. With them, he contributed vocals to the hit “Cinnamon Girl” and other songs. While Whitten had suffered from heroin addiction, it was a lethal combination of Valium and alcohol that ended him in 1972.
Cassie Gaines was a part of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s backup trio, called The Honkettes. A plane crash in 1977 in Mississippi ended her and fellow band members Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines, who was also her brother.