On This Day

Musicians Who Died in May 1981

  • May 7 Mieczyslaw Kolinski, composer, dies at 79

Person of interestBob Marley

May 11 Bob Marley, Jamaican reggae musician (One Love), dies of brain and lung cancer at 36

Reggae Musician Bob Marley
Reggae Musician
Bob Marley
  • May 13 Carl Weinrich, American organist and composer, dies at 76
  • May 16 Ernie Freeman, American musician (Raunchy), pianist and arranger, dies at 58
  • May 17 Hugo Friedhofer, American composer, dies at 80
  • May 25 Rosa Ponselle, American singer (Metropolitan Opera), dies at 84
  • May 25 Roy Brown, American boxer/rocker, dies of a heart attack at 55
  • May 28 Mary Lou Williams, US jazz pianist and composer (Zodiac Suite), dies at 71