Deaths in Music in 2018

  • Jan 1 Robert Mann, American composer and violinist (String Quartet 1952), dies at 97
  • Jan 3 Bra Willie [Keorapetse Kgositsile], South African poet and political activist (Point of Departure: Fire Dance Fire Song), dies at 79
  • Jan 4 Ray Thomas, English rock vocalist and flautist (Moody Blues-Legend Of A Mind), dies at 76
  • Jan 5 José Molina [Quijada], Spanish-born American flamenco dancer, dies of lung cancer at 81
  • Jan 7 Isabelle "France" Gall, French pop singer (Donner Pour Donner, Sacré Charlemagne), dies from cancer at 70
  • Jan 8 Denise LaSalle [Ora Denise Allen], American blues and R&B singer recognized as the "Queen of the Blues" (Trapped by a Thing Called Love), dies from complications from surgery at 78
  • Jan 9 Karin von Aroldingen, German ballet dancer (NYC Ballet Co), dies at 76
  • Jan 10 "Fast" Eddie Clarke, British guitarist (Fastway, Motörhead), dies from pneumonia at 67
  • Jan 12 Danny Woods, American musician (CEO of the Board), dies at 75
  • Jan 14 Marlene VerPlanck [Pampinella], American jazz and pop vocalist, dies of pancreatic cancer at 84
  • Jan 15 Dolores O’Riordan, Irish musician and singer-songwriter (The Cranberries, Zombie, Linger), drowns in the bath at 46
  • Jan 15 Edwin Hawkins, American gospel musician, choir master and composer (Oh Happy Day), dies of pancreatic cancer at 74
  • Jan 16 Dave Holland, English heavy metal rocker (Judas Priest-Breakin' the Law), dies at 69
  • Jan 20 James "Jim" Rodford, English rock vocalist and bassist (The Kinks, Argent, Zombies), dies after a fall at 76
  • Jan 23 Hugh Masekela, South African trumpeter, anti-apartheid activist (I Am Not Afraid), described as the "father of South African jazz," dies at 78
  • Jan 23 Lari White, American country music singer and actress (You Can Be a Star winner- 1988), dies of peritoneal cancer at 52

  • Jan 24 Mark E. Smith, British rock vocalist (The Fall, The Post-Nearly Man), dies after a long illness at 60
  • Jan 25 John Morris, American film and Broadway composer who commonly worked alongside Mel Gibson and Gene Wilder, dies of a respiratory infection at 91
  • Jan 30 Mark Salling, American actor and musician (Glee), commits suicide at 35
  • Feb 3 Dennis Edwards, American lead singer of The Temptations (Papa was a Rollin' Stone), dies following a stroke at 74
  • Feb 7 Mickey Jones, American musician and actor (Home Improvement, Justified), dies at 76
  • Feb 11 Vic Damone [Vito Farinola], American singer (On the Street Where You Live), entertainer, actor and TV presenter (Vic Damone Show), dies at 89
  • Feb 28 Harvey Schmidt, American musical theatre composer and illustrator (The Fantasticks), dies of complications of congestive heart failure at 88
  • Mar 2 Van McLain [McElvain], American rock guitarist (Shooting Star), dies at 62 from West Nile virus
  • Mar 3 Patrick Doyle, English drummer (Veronica Falls, Boys Forever), dies at 32
  • Mar 6 Arthur Foote, American classical composer, and a member of the "Boston Six" (Suite for Strings in E), dies at 83
  • Mar 7 Gary Burden, American artist and one of the pioneers for the concept of album cover art (designed covers for Neil Young, Nash, The Doors), dies at 84
  • Mar 11 Ken Dodd, British singer and comedian described as "the last great music hall entertainer," dies of complications from a chest infection at 90
  • Mar 12 Nole "Nokie" Edwards, American surf-rock guitarist (The Ventures) and actor (Deadwood), dies of complications following a surgery at 82
  • Mar 12 Craig Mack, American rapper (Flava In Ya Ear), dies of heart failure at 47
  • Mar 12 Olly Wilson, American composer and founder of TIMARA, dies of complications of dementia at 80
  • Mar 22 Morgana King, American jazz singer and actress (The Godfather, The Godfather Part II), dies of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at 87
  • Apr 5 Cecil Taylor, American pianist, poet, and one of the pioneers of free jazz, dies at 89
  • Apr 20 Avicii [Tim Bergling], Swedish musician, DJ, remixer and record producer (Levels, Wake Me Up, Sunshine), commits suicide at 28
  • Apr 26 Charles Neville, American vocalist and saxophonist (Neville Brothers), dies of pancreatic cancer at 79
  • May 1 Max Berrú, Ecuadorian-Chilean musician, dies at 74
  • May 1 John "Jabo" Starks, American drummer (James Brown, The J.B.'s), dies at 79
  • May 1 Wanda Wiłkomirska, Polish violinist and teacher, dies at 89
  • May 2 Tony Cucchiara, Italian folk singer and songwriter (Cain and Abel), dies at 80
  • May 2 Herman Krebbers, Dutch violinist, dies at 94
  • May 4 Naser Cheshm Azar, Iranian composer, dies of a heart attack at 67

  • May 25 Piet Kee, Dutch organist and composer, dies at 90
  • May 27 Russell Nype, American singer and actor (The Stuff, Call Me Madam, Dorothy), dies at 98
  • May 28 María Dolores Pradera, Spanish melodic singer and actress, dies at 93
  • Jun 1 Eddy Clearwater [Edward Harrington], American blues musician (West Side Strut), dies of heart failure at 83
  • Jun 3 Clarence Fountain, American Grammy Award winning gospel singer (The Blind Boys of Alabama), dies of complications of diabetes at 88
  • Jun 8 Danny Kirwan, British musician, singer and songwriter (Fleetwood Mac- "Albatross"), dies at 68
  • Jun 9 Lorraine Gordon [Stein], American jazz music advocate and owner of Village Vanguard jazz club, dies at 95
  • Jun 12 Jon Hiseman, English drummer (Colosseum), dies at 73
  • Jun 18 XXXTentacion [Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy], American rapper, singer, and songwriter, dies in a drive-by shooting at 20
  • Jun 20 Alan Longmuir, Scottish pop-rock musician (Bay City Rollers), dies at 70
  • Jun 29 Liliane Montevecchi, French-Italian actress, dancer, and singer (Nine, Grand Hotel), dies of colon cancer at 85
  • Jul 1 Dame Gillian Lynne [Pyrke], British dancer, choreographer and actress, known for Broadway work on "Cats" and "The Phantom of the Opera," dies at 92
  • Jul 3 William "Bill" Watrous, American jazz trombonist, dies at 79
  • Jul 3 Richard Swift, American singer and songwriter, dies at 41
  • Jul 8 Tab Hunter [Arthur Andrew Kelm], American actor (Tab Hunter Show, Lust in the Dust) and singer (Young Love), dies of complications of deep vein thrombosis at 86
  • Jul 8 Oliver Knussen, British composer (Where the Wild Things Are, Chicara), dies at 66
  • Jul 8 Alan Johnson, American 3-time Emmy Award winning choreographer (Springtime for Hitler, West Side Story), dies at 81

Person of interestAretha Franklin

Aug 16 Aretha Franklin, American singer-songwriter known as "The Queen of Soul" (Respect) and first female performer inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1987), dies of pancreatic cancer at 76

Soul Singer Aretha Franklin
Soul Singer
Aretha Franklin
  • Aug 22 Edward "Ed" King, American psychedelic rock musician (Strawberry Alarm Clock, Lynyrd Skynyrd), dies of cancer at 68
  • Aug 23 George Theophilus Walker, African-American pianist, composer and teacher (Lilacs; In Praise Of Folly), dies at 96
  • Sep 27 Marty Balin [Buchwald], American singer (Jefferson Airplane/Starship), dies at 76
  • Sep 29 Otis Rush, American blues musician (Right Place, Wrong Time), dies from complications from an earlier stroke at 83
  • Oct 1 Charles Aznavour [Shahnour Vaghinag Aznavourian], French-Armenian singer (Monsieur Carnavel, Tin Drum), dies at 94