Top 10 Rock Stars Who Died Young

Many well-known rock stars have died at a young age. Research undertaken in the UK indicated that there were 100 deaths of famous rock stars between 1956 and 2005. Lives of over 1000 rock stars were examined in the study. 25% of these 100 people died owing to drug abuse and alcohol. Some famous rock stars that died young include:

1. Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley was a white southerner who is also credited as being the first real rock and roll star. The hip swiveling sexuality that accompanied his music made him an instant teen idol and a role model for the younger generation. He was considered a bad influence and was also dismissed as being incompetent and vulgar. He died on 16, August, 1977 in Memphis, Tennessee at the age of 42.

His is the only rock star ever to enjoy prolonged success on the big screen. Elvis Presley was a phenomenon the likes of whom will never be seen again unless you are a conspiracy theorist. His impact remains incalculable, and it could easily be argued that no figure of the postwar era could have had such greater, far-reaching influence on popular culture. It is fashionable to criticize his 31 feature films,. However, his greater influence on rock & roll in film — not only as a subject matter but also as an essential component of soundtracks and scores — seems unbelievable had Presley not first made the music both commercially viable and culturally palatable. His movies were made and marketed solely for his fans, and they responded in droves.


2. Sid Vicious

An English musician, Sid Vicious was best known for the bassist of the punk group “Sex Pistols”. He died at the age of 21 owing to heroin overdose on February 2, 1979.

The Sex Pistols was created in 1975. One of the leading forces in punk music, the band played fast-paced short songs, expressing angst and frustration some of social and political issues at that time. Unlike music acts from previous generations, the group had no interest in producing hit records or pleasing anyone, except themselves Even before Vicious joined, the Sex Pistols were known for causing quite a stir. During a live television interview in 1976, they spewed so many profanities that had them dropped by their own record company.

Vicious was on board, however, for some of the group’s biggest sensations. On the single “God Save the Queen,” singer John Rotten (the stage name of John Lyndon) insulted Queen Elizabeth II, saying that she “ain’t no human being” and had a “fascist regime.” This upset Britons, especially since 1977 was  the Queen’s Jubilee to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 25 years as the reigning monarch. As a result, the band was physically attacked several times and unable to find places to play in the United Kingdom.

Still The Sex Pistols managed to sell a lot of records, especially considering the single was banned and many retailers refused to sell the resulting album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols. There was no denying that they struck a chord with punk music fans.

3. Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia

Jerome John “Jerry” Garcia was an American musician. He became popular for his work with the brand the Grateful dead. Garcia was considered to be the “spokesman” of the group. He died on August 9, 1995 at the age of 53 of a heart attack after recuperation from a drug addiction.

I would say that Jerry’s impact on mankind is quite broad and his influence on my music is much more significant than he is ever given credit for. Not only the music of which his guitar phrasing is hard for us to avoid in our own heads. Or in his vocal style that has absorbed into our minds forever until we die. The vulnerability in his voice made people connect with him and understood him, and that they were on the same trip, although they never met.

4. Johnny Ramone
Johnny Ramone

John William Cummings popularly known as Johnny Ramone was a leading guitarist for the rock punk group “The Ramones”. He was a founding member of the band and was a part of it all through his career. He died in Los Angeles on September 15, 2004 at the age of 55 after battling with prostate cancer.

5. Carl Wilson

Carl Wilson

An American rock and roll star, Carl Dean Wilson was well known as a lead guitarist of “The Beach Boys”. In 1988, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. On February 6, 1998 he died at the age of 51.

6. Jim Morrison

Jim Morrison

An American songwriter, singer, film maker and poet, James Douglas Morrison was best known as the lyricist and lead singer of “The Doors”. He was regarded as the most charismatic front men in rock music. He died on July 3, 1971 at the age of 27.

Jim Morrison was indeed one of those normal people glorified by the spotlight of popularity up until today. At times, Morrison lived for the glorified life of stardom. But it seems during the final days of The Doors, Morrison wanted to leave his fame behind and make his way back to reality. If only we could have let him do that.

A legend says Morrison that left America to be in the land of the artists, the land of the great revolution, Paris, France. He wanted to be free again, and live happily in Paris with his wife. But like many other legendary rock stars on this list, the Morrison’s story ended tragedy. Morrison supposedly died of heart failure in 1970, leaving behind a true artist’s legacy and the biggest potential yet.

Lets fly through time where the legend still haunts us today. People are now wondering if Morrison faked his own death. Can the legend really be alive? Is the poet alive and singing under a different name or an alias perhaps? The Jim Morrison legacy has just become even more mysterious.

7. Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix

James Marshall Hendrix was an American guitarist, singer and lyricist. He was popular as the most influential and important musician across an array of genres during his era. On September 18, 1970 he died at the age of 27. The singer had been conferred with many prestigious music awards during his lifetime, and many other awards have been conferred upon him posthumously.

8. Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain

An American musician, Kurt Donald Cobain became popular as the leading guitarist and lead singer of grunge and Nirvana. On 5th April, 1994, he died at the age of 27. Nirvana has sold over twenty-five million albums in the US alone since its debut and over 50 million copies have been sold worldwide, thus making Cobain one of the most successful songwriters and one of the most powerful and iconic individuals in the pop culture history.

9. John Lennon

John Lennon

John Winston Ono Lennon was an English song writer, singer, musician and peace activist who became famous worldwide after becoming the founding members of The Beatles. On December 8, 1980, Lennon died at the tender age of 40.

As a member of The Beatles and also as a solo artist, Lennon wrote numerous classic songs, including “Imagine” and “Give Peace a Chance.” He also illustrated to the world that rock ‘n’ roll could address serious subject areas and be far more than simple three-chord songs. He had an enormous impact, and still could have been an impact, if he was not shot by his fan.

10. Brian Jones

Brian Jones

An English musician, Lewis Brian Hopkin Jones was one of the founding members of the rock group, The Rolling Stones. The singer was well known for his rich attire, usage of multiple instruments an drug excesses. He died at the age of 27 on 3rd July, 1960.

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11 Responses

  1. alex

    young?????? some r over 50!!!!!! take them ut and put janis in, she was the greatest and died really young

  2. kevin

    Hendrix 7! and Kurt 8! Hendrix should be 1, and Cobain shouldn’t be on this list, Kurt sucked, and his band sucked/sucks.

  3. Jeff Condie

    What about John Bonham, Led Zeppelin is your greatest band ever and Bonham more than Page,Jones or Plant gave Zep its distintive groove.And if Jerry Garcia died young, how about Keith Moon,Bon Scott A/C D/C’s first frontman George Harrison, Miichael Hutchins INXS’s great singer, I admit he did’nt have the golden pipes of Sid Vicious but still desrved a spot. Besides teen spirit,which is not quite as good as A Day in the Life, Strawberry fields, Revolution,Imagine,Come Together and on and on or Never mind which falls just short of Sgt. Peppers, Double Fantasy, side one of Abbey Road (Lennons songs),Revolver, The White Album and on and on. What possible criteria could be used to have Kurt Cobain above John Lennon and right under Jimi Hendrix? Ugliest Wife? Kurt and Nirvana weren’t even the best grunge band, John and Jimi shook the world.

  4. MJfan

    Michael Jackson he should be at No 1. as he is the greatest of all time.

  5. dan

    Janis Joplin was also 27 when she died but I guess this is a sexist list so she doesn’t count.

  6. Rachel

    The Rev, Pete Steele, Ronnie James Dio, Paul Gray, Stuart Cable

    not all these were singers, but were still amazing!!!

  7. Kyle

    G.G. Allin, Dennis Dennell, Jason Thirsk? And how do you include Johnny Ramone without including Joey?

  8. Mike

    This list is pretty rubbish. I didn’t know Brian Jones was the singer of the Rolling Stones. Didn’t they have that other heaps famous guys at some point? He must have been the singer before 1960, when he apparently died.

    Why even publish this dribble?

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