On This Day

Musicians Who Died on December 25

  • 1765 Antonio Tonelli, Italian cellist and composer, dies at 79
  • 1788 John Logan, Scottish conductor (Ode to the Cuckoo), dies at about 40
  • 1842 Bedrich Divis Weber, Bohemian composer and musicologist, dies at 76
  • 1848 Johan Erik Nordblom, Swedish composer, dies at 60
  • 1883 Marek Konrad Sokolowski, Polish guitarist and composer, dies at 65
  • 1904 Vilhelm Svedbom, Swedish composer, dies at 61
  • 1921 Hans Huber, Swiss composer, dies at 69
  • 1921 Vladimir Korolenko, Russian writer (The Blind Musician), dies at 68
  • 1922 Alphonse Goovaerts, Belgian composer and musicologist (Histoire et Bibliographie de la Typographie Musicale dans les Pays-Bas), dies at 75
  • 1930 Harvey Worthington Loomis, American composer (Lyrics of the Red Man), dies at 65
  • 1936 Pierre Maurice, Swiss composer, dies at 68
  • 1942 Vojislav Vuckovic, composer, dies at 32
  • 1943 Ilona Durigo, Hungarian singer, dies at 62
  • 1943 Raymond Huntington Woodman, composer, dies at 82
  • 1954 Johnny Ace, American rhythm and blues singer, accidentally shoots himself in the head at 25
  • 1954 Rosario Scalero, composer, dies at 84

  • 1971 Byron Arnold, American composer, dies at 70
  • 1980 Louis Neefs, Belgian singer, dies at 43
  • 1985 George Rhodes, American pianist, composer, arranger, and music director (Sammy Davis, Jr. Show), dies of a heart attack at 66
  • 1989 Georgy Mushel, Uzbek pianist and composer, dies at 80

Person of interestDean Martin

1995 Dean Martin [Dino Paul Crocetti], American singer ("That's Amore"; "Everybody Loves Somebody"; "Sway"), comedian and actor (Martin and Lewis, The Dean Martin Show), dies of throat cancer at 78

Actor, Comedian and Singer Dean Martin
Actor, Comedian and Singer
Dean Martin
  • 1995 Nikolai [Nicolas Leonidovich] Slonimsky, musicologist, dies at 101
  • 1995 Nicolas Slonimsky, Russian-American pianist, conductor, musicologist (Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns; Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians), and composer, dies at 101
  • 1995 Marijan Lipovsek, Slovenian pianist, composer, and teacher, dies at 85
  • 1997 Giorgio Strehler, Italian opera and theatre director, dies at 76
  • 1998 Bryan MacLean, American singer, musician and songwriter (Love) (b. 1946)
  • 2005 Derek Bailey, English guitar virtuoso (b. 1930)
  • 2005 (Märta) Birgit Nilsson, Swedish operatic soprano (Elektra, Salome), dies at 87

Person of interestJames Brown

2006 James Brown, rhythm & blues, gospel, jazz, soul and funk singer or simply The Godfather of Soul (Genius of Love, Hot Pants) dies of heart failure at 73

Singer James Brown
James Brown
  • 2007 Mighty King Kong, Kenyan reggae musician. (b. 1973)
  • 2007 Hans Otte, German composer and pianist (The Book of Sounds, Book of Hours), dies at 81
  • 2008 Eartha Kitt, American singer (Santa Baby), dancer, comedian, actress and activist (Catwoman-Batman), dies at 81
  • 2009 Vic Chesnutt, American singer and songwriter (b. 1964)
  • 2009 Tony "T-Bone" Bellamy, American rock guitarist (Redbone), dies of liver failure at 63
  • 2011 Jim "Motorhead" Sherwood [Euclid James Sherwood], American rock musician (Mothers Of Invention), dies at 69
  • 2011 Israel Baker, American concert and session violinist (NBC Symphony; Paramount Studios Orchestra), dies at 92

Person of interestGeorge Michael

2016 George Michael [Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou], English singer-songwriter and pop superstar (Wham!, I Want Your Sex), dies of suspected heart failure at 53

Pop Superstar George Michael
Pop Superstar
George Michael
  • 2016 Alphonse Mouzon, American jazz musician (Weather Report, Tenacious Records), dies from cancer at 68
  • 2016 Valery Khalilov, Russian military conductor and composer, dies in a plane crash in the Black Sea, near Sochi, at 64
  • 2017 Vladimir Shainsky, Soviet and Russian composer, dies at 92
  • 2019 Peter Schreier, German tenor and conductor (Dresden State Opera, 1962-2000), dies at 84 [1]
  • 2020 Tony Rice, American bluegrass guitarist (J.D. Crowe and the New South), dies at 69 [1]
  • 2020 Jaan Rääts, Estonian pianist, orchestral and film score composer, dies at 88