It’s never an easy proposition to predict how the future generations will take the musical eras of today and the past since music is always evolving. Stars get forgotten, stars get worshiped. Perhaps it’s human nature. But it’s also in the human nature that when people look at the year of 2016, they will see the year as the year of death; it starts and ends with the death of famous musicians. We’ve lost too many music stars, and these are few prominent names who passed away in the year 2016.
David Bowie, January 10
Two days after releasing “Blackstar” on his 69th birthday, David Bowie died after battling cancer and illness. Having released 25 studio albums and won two Grammy awards and four Brit Awards, the Englishman is a rock icon, and his death has come as a shock to many rock fans.
Glenn Frey, January 18
After battling poor health, suffering from acute ulcerative colitis, pneumonia, and rheumatoid arthritis, Glenn Frey died at the age of 67. The co-founder and guitarists of Eagles, Frey has won six Grammy Awards, five American Music Awards as a member of Eagles, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Frey also had a successful solo career after the breakup of Eagles in 1980.
Paul Kantner, January 28
Co-founder of Jefferson Airplane, Paul Kantner died of multiple organ failures and heart attack at the age of 74. His psychedelic sound entranced the audience through the 70s and the 80s, while Jefferson Airplane was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
Maurice White, February 4
Earth Wind & Fire star, Maurice passed away after battling with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 74. His funky group was one of the first African American bands to capture a wide range of white audience.
Phife Dawg, March 22
Phife Dawg died at 45 after struggling with diabetes throughout his life. Birth name Malik Izaak Taylor, Dawg is a rapper from A Tribe Called Quest, then named Quest, which changed artistic vision of hip-hop during the late 80s and the early 90s. His album “The Low-End Theory” is an album of a singular sort in the entire hip-hop history.
Merle Haggard, April 6
Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Merle Haggard died after suffering from double pneumonia at his ranch in Northern California. Haggard is a country music legend and is known for his unique mix of steel guitar sound and vocal harmony with minimal words and rough edge during the hippie era.
Prince, April 21
Known mostly for his songs “Purple Rain” and “Little Red Corvette”, Prince Rogers Nelson died at the age of 57 at his recording studio in Minneapolis from an accidental overdose of powerful painkillers. He has sold more than hundred million records across the world and has won seven Grammy Awards. He was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
Leonardo Cohen, November 7
At the age of 82, Leonardo Cohen passed away having spent five decades in the industry, with his family burying him before releasing the sad news. He had just released “You Want It Darker” a week before his death. Known to be one of the prominent Canadian poet, songwriters, and singers, Cohen has released 14 studio albums and is considered to be a legend in the musical era.
Sharon Jones, November 18
Regarded as the female James Brown, Sharon Lafaye Jones died of cancer aged 60 at Cooperstown, New York. Only blooming at the later age, her soul and funk songs reignited the genres to the 21st century. She has about eight records and released 23 singles.
George Michael, December 25
“Last Christmas” singer, George Michael died peacefully at his residence on Christmas day at 53. With four decades in the industry, George Kyriacos Panayiotou has sold over 80 million records and is an iconic pop singer with top chart songs like “Careless Whispers”.