On This Day

Musicians Who Died in 2016

  • Jan 4 Robert Stigwood, Australian-British music entrepreneur (RSO Records), stage (Jesus Christ Superstar) and film (Saturday Night Fever; Grease; Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band) producer, , dies at 81
  • Jan 5 Elizabeth Swados, American theater composer playwright (Runaways), and author, dies from complications after surgery for esophageal cancer at 64
  • Jan 5 Pierre Boulez, French composer (La Visage Nuptial), conductor (BBC Symphony, 1970-77; New York Philharmonic, 1971-77), and new music advocate (IRCAM, Ensemble intercontemporain)dies at 90
  • Jan 5 Nicholas Caldwell, American R&B and soul singer (The Whispers - "And The Baet Goes On"; "It's A Love Thing"), dies of congestive heart failure at 71
  • Jan 6 Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros, Cuban jazz trumpeter (Orchestra Harlow; Eddie Palmieri), dies of prostate cancer at 79 
  • Jan 7 Troy Shondell, American singer (This Time (We’re Really Breaking Up)), dies from complications of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease at 76
  • Jan 7 Kitty Kallen, American singer ("Little Things Mean a Lot"), dies at 94

David Bowie

Jan 10 David Bowie [David Robert Jones], English rock singer-songwriter ("Space Oddity"; "Changes"; "Ziggy Stardust", dies of cancer at 69

  • Jan 11 Gilberto Mendes, Brazilian composer, dies at 93
  • Jan 14 René Angélil, Canadian music executive, actor and director (Omertà, L'apparition), and husband of Céline Dion, dies of throat cancer at 73
  • Jan 16 Gary Loizzo, American rock guitarist and singer (American Breed - "Bend Me, Shape Me"), dies of pancreatic cancer at 70
  • Jan 17 Mic Gillette, American trumpet, trombone, and flugelhorn player (Tower of Power, Cold Blood, The Sons of Champlin), dies of a heart attack at 64
  • Jan 17 Dale "Buffin" Griffin, English rock drummer (Mott The Hoople - "All Young Dudes"), dies at 67

Glenn Frey

Jan 18 Glenn Frey, American Grammy Award-winning guitarist, singer-songwriter (The Eagles - "Take it Easy"; "Heartache Tonight";"Tequila Sunrise"; solo - "Smuggler's Blues"; "The Heat Is On"), and Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame member, dies from complications of rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia at 67

  • Jan 24 Yvonne Chouteau, Native American dancer (one of the "five Moons" of Oklahoma), dies at 86
  • Jan 25 Denise Duval, French soprano (music of Francis Poulenc), dies at 94
  • Jan 25 Leif Solberg, Norwegian organist, choral conductor and composer, dies at 101
  • Jan 25 Frank Collett [Taglieri], American jazz pianist and bandleader, dies of liver failure at 75
  • Jan 26 Colin Vearncombe, British singer-songwriter (Black - "Wonderful Life"), dies from injuries in a car accident at 53
  • Jan 28 Paul Kantner, American rock singer and guitarist (Jefferson Airplane - "Volunteers"), dies following a heart attack at 74
  • Jan 28 Signe Toly Anderson, American singer, founding member of Jefferson Airplane, dies of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at 74
  • Jan 29 Aurèle Nicolet, Swiss flautist (Berlin Philharmonic), and educator, dies at 90
  • Jan 29 Alden Ashforth, American composer and professor of ethnomusicology, dies at 82
  • Feb 3 Saulius Sondeckis, Lithuanian violinist, conductor, orchestra leader (Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, 1960-2004), dies at 87
  • Feb 4 Maurice White, American singer-songwriter (Earth, Wind & Fire - "Shining Star"), dies at 74
  • Feb 4 Leslie Bassett, American classical composer (Variations for Orchestra - Pulitzer Prize, 1966), and educator (University of Michigan, 1952-92), dies at 93
  • Feb 4 Jimmie Haskell [Sheridan Pearlman], American arranger (Ricky Nelson; Chicago; Sheryl Crow), and film and television score composer, dies at 89
  • Feb 4 Ulf Söderblom, Finnish conductor (Finnish National Opera, 1973-93), dies at 85
  • Feb 6 Dan Hicks, American singer and songwriter (Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks), dies at 74
  • Feb 8 Violetta Verdy, French ballerina and teacher, dies at 82
  • Feb 14 Steven Stucky, American composer (Los Angeles Philharmonic), dies of cancer at 66
  • Feb 15 Vanity [Denise Matthews], Canadian R&B singer, Prince protege ("Nasty Girl"), actress (52 Pick Up), and evangelist dies of kidney failure at 57
  • Feb 15 George Gaynes, Dutch-Finnish-American singer, stage and screen actor (Tootsie; Police Academy; General Hospital), dies at 98
  • Feb 15 Louis Lane, American conductor (Akron, 1959-83; Lake Erie Opera, 1964-72), and educator (Cleveland Institute, 1982-2004) dies at 72
  • Feb 16 Gwyneth George, Welsh cellist and teacher, dies at 95
  • Feb 21 Pascal Bentoiu, Romanian composer, dies at 88
  • Feb 22 Sonny James [James Loden], American country music singer-songwriter (Young Love), dies at 87
  • Feb 23 Lennie Baker, American rock saxophonist musician (Sha Na Na, 1970-99), dies at 69
  • Feb 24 Miguel Ángel Coria, Spanish composer of classical music, dies at 78
  • Feb 25 John Chilton, English jazz trumpeter (Feetwarmers), dies at 83
  • Feb 26 Howard Quilling, American classical composer (From Quiet Beginnings), and educator, dies at 80
  • Feb 26 Eri Klas, Estonian conductor (Netherlands Radio Symphony; Aarhus Symphony; Estonian National Opera, 1975-95), and educator, dies at 76
  • Feb 29 Aron Burton, American electric and Chicago blues bass guitarist, singer, and songwriter, dies of heart disease and diabetes at 77
  • Mar 1 Martha Wright [Wiederrecht;], American stage, concert and radio singer and actress (South Pacific; The Sound Of Music)), dies at 92
  • Mar 5 Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Austrian conductor (Early Music Movement), dies at 86
  • Mar 9 Robert Horton [Meade Howard Horton Jr.], American actor and singer (Kings Row, Wagon Train, Arena), dies at 91
  • Mar 9 Juvenal "Naná' Vasconcelos, Brazilian jazz and world music percussionist, and berimbau player (Pat Metheny, Björk, Milton Nascimento), dies of lung cancer at 71
  • Mar 10 Keith Emerson, English rock keyboardist (Emerson, Lake & Palmer), commits suicide at 71
  • Mar 10 Gogi Grant [Myrtle Audrey Arinsberg], American singer ("The Wayward Wind"), dies at 91
  • Mar 10 Ernestine Anderson, American jazz vocalist and blues singer, dies at 87
  • Mar 14 Peter Maxwell Davies, British composer (Prolation, Taverner), dies at 81
  • Mar 16 Frank Sinatra, Jr. , American singer and bandleaderr, dies at 72
  • Mar 20 Peter Williams, British organist and musicologist, dies at 78
  • Mar 22 Phife Dawg [Malik Taylor] American rapper (A Tribe called Quest), dies from diabetes complications at 45
  • Mar 23 Gegham Grigorian, Armenian operatic tenor, and artistic director (Yerevan Opera, 2000-07), dies at 65
  • Mar 26 David Baker, American jazz trombonist and cellist, jazz and classical composer (Reflections), and educator (Indiana University), dies at 84
  • Mar 30 Gianmaria Testa, Italian singer-songwriter, dies of cancer at 57
  • Mar 30 Bram Beekman, Dutch organist, composer and teacher (Brabants Conservatory, 1980-2012), dies at 66
  • Mar 30 Howard Cable, Canadian conductor, arranger, and composer, dies at 95
  • Apr 2 Gato Barbieri, Argentinian Latin jazz musician (Last Tango in Paris), dies at 83
  • Apr 2 Mike Gibbons, American rocker (Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods - "Billy Don't Be A Hero"), dies at 71
  • Apr 3 Donald "Don" Francks, Canadian actor, singer and musician (Terminal Choice; Finian's Rainbow), dies at 84
  • Apr 4 Carlo Mastrangelo, Italian-American rocker (Dion & The Belmonts), dies of cancer at 78
  • Apr 5 Leon Haywood, American funk and soul singer, and keyboardist ("It's Got To Be Mellow"; "I Want'a Do Something Freaky To You"), dies at 74

Merle Haggard

Apr 6 Merle Haggard, American country music singer-songwriter ("Mama Tried"; "If We Make It Through December"; "Okie from Muskogee"), dies on his 79th birthday

  • Apr 6 Dennis Davis, American drummer (David Bowie, 1974-80, 2003-04), dies of cancer at 66
  • Apr 11 Emile Ford, Caribbean-born British singer and engineer (first black male singer to top UK charts), dies at 78
  • Apr 12 Alan Loveday, New Zealand and British violinist, dies at 88
  • Apr 13 Jeremy Steig, American jazz flutist ("Howlin' for Judy"; "Wayfaring Stranger"), dies of cancer at 73
  • Apr 16 Peter Tolson, English rock guitarist (Pretty Things), dies at 64
  • Apr 18 [Julia Liane] Aleah Stanbridge, South African metal musician (Trees of Eternity), dies of cancer at 39
  • Apr 18 Brian Asawa, Japanese-American countertenor, dies of liver failure at 49

Prince Rogers Nelson

Apr 21 Prince [Rogers Nelson], American funk, rock, R&B singer-songwriter and musician ("1999"; "Purple Rain"), dies from an accidental overdose of painkillers at 57

  • Apr 21 Lonnie Mack, American rocker ("Baby What's Wrong"), dies at 74
  • Apr 24 Papa Wemba [Wembadio Kikumba], Congolese singer, known as the "King of Rumba Rock", dies after collapsing on stage at 66
  • Apr 24 Billy Paul [Paul Williams], American soul singer ("Me & Mrs Jones"), dies of pancreatic cancer at 81
  • Apr 24 Jan Henrik Kayser, Norwegian concert pianist (Grieg Prize, 1978), dies at 83
  • Apr 25 Mei Baojiu, Chinese opera performer and director (Mei Lanfang Peking Opera), dies at 82
  • Apr 29 Dmytro Hnatyuk, Ukrainian baritone (1951-88), opera director State Opera, 1975-88), and parliamentarian, dies at 91
  • Apr 30 Phil Ryan, Welsh keyboardist and composer (Man; Pete Brown), dies at 69
  • May 4 Ursula Mamlok, German-American avant-garde composer, and teacher, dies at 93
  • May 12 Julius La Rosa, American singer (fired by Arthur Godfrey on the air), dies at 86
  • May 17 Guy Clark, American folk and country singer-songwriter (Heartbroke), dies of lymphoma at 74
  • May 21 Nick Menza, American musician and drummer (Megadeth), dies at 51
  • May 31 Corry Brokken, Dutch pop singer (1957 Eurovision), dies at 83
  • Jun 2 Freddie Wadling, Swedish actor and musician (The Leather Nun, Fleshquartet), dies at 64
  • Jun 3 Dave Swarbrick, British folk fiddler, and songwriter (Fairport Convention; Martin Carthy), dies pneumonia at 75
  • Jun 5 Phyllis Curtin, American soprano (NYC Opera), dies at 94
  • Jun 10 Christina Grimmie, American singer and contestant on "The Voice", dies of a gunshot wound at 22
  • Jun 11 Alberto Remedios, British opera and concert singer, dies at 81
  • Jun 13 Oleg Karavaichuk, Russian pianist and composer, dies at 88
  • Jun 13 Ofelya Hambardzumyan, Armenian folk singer, dies at 91
  • Jun 14 Henry McCullough, Irish guitarist (Wings), dies at 72
  • Jun 15 Ladislaw Kupkovic, Slovak composer, dies at 80
  • Jun 17 Prince Be [Attrell Cordes], American rapper (PM Dawn), dies from diabetes complications at 46
  • Jun 18 Peter Feuchtwanger, German piano teacher, musicologist, and composer (Studies in Eastern Idiom; Introduction and Ragas for 8 Violas and cello), dies at 85
  • Jun 20 Bill Ham [Billy Mack Ham], American music impresario and manager (ZZ Top), dies at 79
  • Jun 21 Wayne Lamar Jackson, American soul and R&B trumpeter ( Mar-Keys; The Memphis Horns), dies of congestive heart failure at 74
  • Jun 23 Ralph Stanley, American bluegrass musician, dies at 89
  • Jun 24 Bernie Worrell, American keyboardist (Funkadelic-Cosmic Slop), dies at 72
  • Jun 27 Mack Rice, American musician and songwriter ("Mustang Sally"; "Respect Yourself"), dies at 82
  • Jun 27 Harry Halbreich, German-Belgian musicologist (Arthur Honegger, Bohuslav Martinů), dies at 85
  • Jun 28 Scotty Moore, American guitarist (for Elvis), dies at 84
  • Jun 28 Sergei Cortez, Chilean-Belarusian composer (Jubilee and The Bear; Giordano Bruno), dies at 81
  • Jun 29 Rob Wasserman, American jazz and rock double bassist, and composer (RatDog; Duets), dies at 64
  • Jul 4 Geoffrey Shovelton, English opera singer, dies at 80
  • Jul 5 Alirio Díaz, Venezuelan guitarist, composer, and musicologist, dies at 92
  • Jul 7 Rokusuke Ei, Japanese author and lyricist (Sukiyaki), dies at 83
  • Jul 12 Gregg Smith, American choral conductor and composer, dies at 84
  • Jul 16 Bonnie Brown, American country singer (The Browns), dies at 77
  • Jul 16 Alan Vega [Bermowitz] American punk rock vocalist (Suicide - "Ghost Rider"; "Dream Baby Dream"; Cubist Blues), and visual artist, dies at 78
  • Jul 17 Gary S. Paxton [Larry Wayne Stevens], American musician and songwriter ("Monster Mash"; "Alley Oop"), dies at 77
  • Jul 20 Wayne Carson, American country musician and songwriter ("Always On My Mind"; "The Letter"), dies at 73
  • Jul 24 (Margaret) "Marni" Nixon [McEathron], American soprano singer and film 'ghost voice' (for Audrey Hepburn in "My Fair Lady"; Natalie Wood in "West Side Story**"; Deborah Kerr in "The King And I"), dies at 86
  • Jul 26 Einojuhani Rautavaara, Finnish composer (Kaivos), dies at 87
  • Jul 30 Gloria DeHaven, American musical actress (Step Lively), dies at 91
  • Aug 6 Pete Fountain [Pierre LaFontaine], American jazz and Dixieland clarinetist (Lawrence Welk, 1957-59), dies at 86
  • Aug 15 Bobby Hutcherson, American jazz vibraphone and marimba player ("Little B's Poem"; SFJAZZ Collective), dies of emphysema at 75
  • Aug 20 Irving Fields [Yitzhak Schwartz], American lounge pianist and composer (Ilona Massey Show; Bagels & Bongos), dies at 101
  • Aug 20 Matt Roberts, American rock guitarist (3 Doors Down - "When I'm Gone") dies of prescription drug overdose at 38
  • Aug 22 (Jean-Baptiste) "Toots" Thielemans, Belgian-American jazz harmonica player, guitarist, whistler, and composer, dies at 94
  • Aug 22 Roberto Cassan, Italian-American jazz and folk accordionist, dies of a heart attack at 53
  • Aug 25 Rudy Van Gelder, American recording engineer (Miles Davis, John Coltrane), dies at 91
  • Aug 28 Juan Gabriel [Alberto Aguilera Valadez], Mexican singer, dies at 66
  • Aug 31 Jacques Leduc, Belgian composer, dies at 84
  • Sep 1 Raymond Daveluy, Canadian organist (St. Joseph's Montreal, 1960-2002), composer and educator, dies at 89
  • Sep 6 Lewis Merenstein, American record producer (Miriam Makeba; Van Morrison's Astral Weeks; Glass Harp), dies of pneumonia at 81
  • Sep 8 Prince Buster [Cecil Bustamente Campbell], Jamaican singer-songwriter and producer ("Al Capone"; "Madness", "Whine and Grine"), dies at 78
  • Sep 8 Johan Botha, South African operatic tenor, dies of liver cancer at 51
  • Sep 10 Knut Wiggen, Norwegian computer music pioneer and composer, dies at 89
  • Sep 21 John D. Loudermilk, American country singer and songwriter ("Tobacco Road"), dies at 82
  • Sep 24 Buckwheat Zydeco [Stanley Dural, Jr.], American B-3 organist, accordionist and singer ("Where There's Smoke, There's Fire"), dies of lung cancer at 68
  • Sep 25 Jean Shepard, American country singer (Ozark Jubilee), dies of Parkinson's disease at 82
  • Sep 25 Rod Temperton, British pop musician and songwriter ("Boogie Nights"; "Thriller"; "Give Me the Night"; "Yah Mo B There"), dies of cancer at 66
  • Sep 30 Oscar Brand, Canadian-born American folk vocalist (Draw Me a Laugh), dies at 96
  • Oct 1 Edda Heiðrún Backman, Icelandic stage and screen actress, singer, theater director, and painter, dies of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at 58
  • Oct 2 Neville Marriner, English conductor and violinist (Academy of St Martin in the Fields), dies at 92
  • Oct 2 Thomas Round, British tenor (Gilbert and Sullivan For All), dies at 100
  • Oct 3 Joan Marie Johnson, American pop singer (The Dixie Cups - "Chapel Of Love"; "Iko Iko"), dies of congestive heart failure at 72
  • Oct 4 Donald H. White, American composer (Lyric Suite for Euphonium and Winds; Tuba Sonata) and educator, dies at 95
  • Oct 4 Caroline Crawley, British alt-rock singer (Shelleyan Orphan; Babacar), dies at 53
  • Oct 5 Pompeiu Hărăşteanu, Romanian basso profondo singer (Opera Bonn, 1968-72; Romanian National Opera, 1972-2012), dies at 81
  • Oct 13 Gerhard Wimberger, Austria composer (Glove), dies at 93
  • Oct 16 Stuart Edwards, British guitarist (Edison Lighthouse - "Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes"), dies of cancer at 73
  • Oct 19 Yvette Chauviré, French ballerina, dies at 99
  • Oct 24 Pete Burns, English singer (Dead or Alive, "Spin Me Round"), dies of a cardiac arrest at 57
  • Oct 24 Bobby Vee [Velline], American pop singer ("Devil Or Angel"; "Take Good Care Of My Baby"), dies at 73
  • Oct 29 Roland Dyens, French classical guitarist, composer, and arranger (Libra Sonatine), dies at 61
  • Nov 1 (Martin) "Bap" Kennedy, Irish singer-songwriter ("Moonlight Kiss"; "Sailor's Revenge"), dies of pancreatic cancer at 54
  • Nov 3 Kay Starr [Katherine Starks], American pop singer ("Wheel of Fortune"), dies at 94
  • Nov 4 Eddie Harsch [Hawrysch], Canadian keyboardist (Bulldog; The Black Crowes - "Hard To Handle"), dies at 59
  • Nov 6 Zoltan Kocsis, Hungarian pianist and conductor, dies of cancer at 64

Leonard Cohen

Nov 7 Leonard Cohen, Canadian writer and singer-songwriter ("Hallelujah"; "Death of Ladies Man"; Suzanne"), dies at 82

  • Nov 9 Al Caiola, American guitarist (Bonzanza theme), dies at 96
  • Nov 9 Zoltán Kocsis, Hungarian pianist, conductor and composer, dies of cancer at 64
  • Nov 11 Raynoma Singleton [Gordy], music producer and singer-songwriter (Motown), dies at 79
  • Nov 13 Leon Russell, American musician and singer-songwriter (Carny), dies at 74
  • Nov 14 Holly Dunn, American country singer (Daddy's Hands), dies of cancer at 59
  • Nov 15 Mose Allison, American jazz and blues piano player, singer, and composer ("Everybody's Cryin Mercy"; "Your Mind Is on Vacation"), dies at 89
  • Nov 15 Milt Okun, American music producer, conductor, and arranger (Peter, Paul and Mary; John Denver), dies at 92
  • Nov 15 Jules Eskin, American cellist (Boston Symphony, 1964-2016), dies of cancer at 85 [1]
  • Nov 18 Sharon Jones, American soul singer (Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings), dies of cancer at 60
  • Nov 23 Larry Hosford, American folk singer-songwriter (The King Takes The Queen), dies at 73
  • Nov 24 Pauline Oliveros, American composer (Sound Patterns), dies at 84
  • Nov 24 Florence Henderson, American actress (The Brady Bunch - "Carol"), and singer,dies at 82
  • Nov 25 Russell Oberlin, American countertenor (Pro Musica Antiqua, 1952-66) and educator (Hunter, 1966-94), dies at 88 [1]
  • Nov 25 Alexander Yossifov, Bulgarian conductor and composer (Back To The Beginning), dies at 76
  • Nov 28 Allan Zavod, Australian classical and jazz pianist and composer, dies of brain cancer at 71
  • Nov 28 Mark Taimanov, Russian pianist, dies at 90
  • Nov 30 Aleksei Maslennikov, Russian tenor (Bolshoi Theater, 1953-88), dies at 87
  • Dec 1 Elisabeth Carron, American soprano ("The Saint of Bleecker Street"; New York City Opera, 1958-73), dies at 94
  • Dec 3 Antonio Membrado, Spanish-French classical guitarist and composer, dies at 81
  • Dec 3 Gigliola Frazzoni, Italian operatic soprano, dies at 93
  • Dec 4 Radim Hladík, Czech guitarist (The Blue Effect), dies from lung illness at 69
  • Dec 7 Greg Lake, English rock vocalist and bassist (King Crimson; Emerson, Lake & Palmer), dies of cancer at 69
  • Dec 7 Junaid Jamshed, Pakistani singer (Vital Signs 1), dies in a plane crash at 52
  • Dec 13 Alan Thicke, Canadian actor (Growing Pains), host (Thicke of the Night), and theme song composer (Diff'rent Strokes; The Facts of Life), dies of an aortic dissection at 69
  • Dec 14 Karel Husa, Czech-American Pulitzer prize winning composer (Trojan Women), dies at 95
  • Dec 21 Weston Noble, American music educator and conductor (Luther College, 1948-2005), dies at 94
  • Dec 22 Bill Price, British audio engineer (Tom Jones; Wings: Sparks; Elton John), and record producer (The Clash; Sex Pistols; Waterboys), dies of cancer at 72
  • Dec 23 Heinrich Schiff, Austrian cellist and conductor, dies at 65
  • Dec 24 Jack Philip Cannon, British composer, dies at 87
  • Dec 24 Rick Parfitt, British pop guitarist and singer (Status Quo - "Wanderer"; "Pictures of Matchstick Men"), dies at 68

George Michael

Dec 25 George Michael [Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou], English singer-songwriter and pop superstar Wham! - "Careless Whisper"; "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"; solo - " I Want Your Sex"; "Faith")), dies of suspected heart failure at 53

  • Dec 25 Alphonse Mouzon, American jazz musician (Weather Report, Tenacious Records), dies from cancer at 68
  • Dec 25 Valery Khalilov, Russian military conductor and composer, dies in a plane crash in the Black Sea, near Sochi, at 64
  • Dec 26 George S. Irving [Shelasky], American broadway singer and actor (Dumplings), dies at 94
  • Dec 28 (Mary Frances) "Debbie" Reynolds, American actress and singer (Singin' In The Rain -"Kathy Selden"; The Unsinkable Molly Brown), dies of a stroke at 84 one day after her daughter Carrie Fisher passed away