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Musicians Who Died Young

Based on the clues, name these musicians who died before or at the age of 45.
We are looking for stage names, not birth names
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: December 6, 2018
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First submittedJanuary 22, 2014
Times taken77,766
Average score52.4%
Rating4.27
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Age
Time and Place
How
Song
Musician
27
2011, London
Alcohol poisoning
Rehab
Amy Winehouse
24
1997, Los Angeles
Drive-by shooting
Ready to Die
The Notorious B.I.G.
25
1996, Las Vegas
Drive-by shooting
California Love
Tupac Shakur
23
1995, Texas
Shot by fan club president
Amor Prohibido
Selena
27
1994, Seattle
Suicide
Heart-Shaped Box
Kurt Cobain
45
1991, London
AIDS complications
Bohemian Rhapsody
Freddie Mercury
35
1990, Wisconsin
Helicopter crash
Texas Flood
Stevie Ray Vaughan
44
1984, Los Angeles
Shot by father
Sexual Healing
Marvin Gaye
40
1980, New York
Shot by Mark David Chapman
Imagine
John Lennon
33
1980, London
Alcohol poisoning
Let There be Rock
Bon Scott
21
1979, London
Heroin overdose, possibly murder
Anarchy in the U.K.
Sid Vicious
42
1977, Memphis
Heart attack
Hound Dog
Elvis Presley
27
1971, Paris
Probable heroin overdose
The End
Jim Morrison
27
1970, Los Angeles
Heroin overdose
Piece of My Heart
Janis Joplin
27
1970, London
Asphyxiation after taking
sleeping pills
Purple Haze
Jimi Hendrix
26
1967, Wisconsin
Plane crash
Respect
Otis Redding
17
1959, Iowa
Plane crash
La Bamba
Ritchie Valens
28
Chantilly Lace
The Big Bopper
22
Peggy Sue
Buddy Holly
29
1953, West Virginia
Drug and alcohol complications
Your Cheatin' Heart
Hank Williams
35
1791, Vienna
Fever
Requiem
Wolfgang Amadeus
Mozart
+5
Level 77
Jan 22, 2014
Never knew Otis Redding died in a plane crash.
+7
Level 67
Mar 3, 2014
I think it was just before Sitting On the Dock of the Bay was released too. It was a posthumous #1.
+7
Level 37
Mar 7, 2014
I probably would have gotten it if "Dock of the Bay" was listed as the song.
+4
Level 75
Jan 13, 2015
It was, Redding didn't like the song so he never released it. The famous whistled verse was written because he couldn't be bothered to write lyrics to the verse. He never saw any of the money it raised, despite being (probably) his most successful song.
+1
Level 67
Feb 8, 2024
IMO, it's at least his most beautiful one. It also was the song played to my marriage
+3
Level 65
Jan 12, 2017
I wonder if the song would have been as popular if he hadn't died.
+6
Level 75
Apr 24, 2017
I'm another who would have gotten it if the clue had been Dock of the Bay. The song had a unique mood and feel, and it's sad he didn't enjoy the profits. I think Aretha is better known for Respect.
+3
Level 72
Apr 24, 2017
I wouldn't call it crappy. I recently learned that he wrote "respect" because I've been playing dock of the bay lately and decided to learn more about the artist. I was happy when I saw respect there because I immediately knew the answer. challenging, yes. crappy, no
+2
Level 38
Sep 8, 2016
Neither
+13
Level 59
Mar 3, 2014
I was really shocked to see that Aaliyah wasn't on this list. Either way good (however sad) quiz!
+6
Level 88
Jul 8, 2018
I am too. Aaliyah and Lisa Lopes were both very well known. Keith Moon and John Bonham were giants as well. Randy Rhoads, the non-drinking, no drugging mama's boy who skyrocketed Ozzy Osbourne's career in the short 2 years he had in the spotlight.
+4
Level 67
Mar 3, 2014
Heroine? Come on now.
+2
Level ∞
Mar 3, 2014
Fixed
+13
Level 86
Mar 3, 2014
I know you don't want to clutter up a good quiz with obscure information, but for anyone interested, here are some classical composers and jazz artists who died young:

Franz Schubert (age 31)

Felix Mendelssohn (38)

George Bizet (36)

Charlie Christian (25)

Clifford Brown (25)

Jaco Pastorius (35)

Bix Beiderbecke (28)

Charlie Parker (34)

+4
Level 73
Mar 3, 2014
Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Mozart died young from our perspective, but Vienna and Germany were positively filthy places at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and their life expectancy was a lot lower- at times down to the upper 30s.
+30
Level 74
May 22, 2014
Life expectancy rates are based on averages, so the high infant mortality rate would have skewed the statistics. Generally someone surviving early childhood pre the industrial revolution could be expected to live into their 50s
+7
Level 77
Oct 8, 2021
Grantdon is correct. The upper class, or people who entertained the upper class, generally lived much longer than the average life expectancy.
+3
Level 52
Nov 29, 2020
Don’t forget Chopin (39)
+4
Level 63
Feb 3, 2022
Sam Cooke was 33 when he was shot to death in a motel.
+2
Level 62
Feb 3, 2022
Another exclusion is Johann Schobert, an 18th century composer who's most notable for dying (along with most of his family) after eating poisonous mushrooms despite two restaurants refusing to cook them for him.
+7
Level 90
Mar 3, 2014
While I generally disagree with spouting off all the names that a quiz SHOULD have included (as long as the clues line up, it doesn't matter), I would suggest for completeness' sake that Brian Jones, the only generally-accepted member of the "27 Club" that you're missing, should be included.
+27
Level 92
Mar 3, 2014
Others likely to have died from a "heroine overdose":

Flynn Rider

Peeta Mellark

Fitzwilliam Darcy

Wolverine.

+1
Level 42
May 5, 2015
Heroin!!
+3
Level 53
Jan 24, 2017
It took me a good two minutes to get that.
+7
Level 79
Mar 3, 2014
Note to self...Do NOT fly over Wisconsin.
+2
Level 66
Jan 10, 2015
And don't make friends with Jim Carroll.
+6
Level 88
Jan 7, 2017
I just took a job in Iowa. I'll be flying over WI. I think I'll quit playing music until my next job.
+4
Level 75
Mar 3, 2014
Some other notables from my era: Keith Moon, John Bonham, Mama Cass Elliot, Brian Wilson.
+20
Level 65
Dec 16, 2019
This comment is almost 6 years old now, and Brian Wilson is still alive and well.
+6
Level 46
Jan 8, 2020
Are you thinking of Dennis Wilson?
+2
Level 84
Feb 3, 2022
The original comment was probably referring to Dennis (died at 39) or maybe Carl Wilson (died at 51). As of February 2022, Brian is still alive (age 79).
+2
Level 74
Feb 7, 2024
Fun (or not-so-fun) fact: Keith Moon died in the same bedroom as Cass Elliot, four years later but at the same age.
+1
Level 36
Feb 15, 2024
https://www.jetpunk.com/user-quizzes/1518980/singers-who-died-young
+2
Level 27
Mar 3, 2014
I thought amy winehouse was drugs? obviously wrong and how ironic about B.I.G
+10
Level 58
Mar 3, 2014
Jeff Buckley (30), accidental drowning in the Mississippi River.
+7
Level 83
Mar 6, 2014
There's a whole freaky conspiracy theory that if you map where all the musicians died in plane crashes, it creates the shape of a guitar over Wisconsin and Iowa, and that same area had Native Americans who made effigy mounds in the shape of lizards and resemble guitars. And people believe there's some kind of supernatural cause, so musicians better be wary. Of course, there are a lot of famous musicians from Wisconsin and Iowa who fly all the time without being sucked in by the Guitar Ghost beam of death.
+4
Level 58
Apr 29, 2014
Jeff Buckley and Brian Jones get no love?
+2
Level 43
Dec 4, 2019
Yes thank you !

And what about nick drake and elliott smith ?

+3
Level 69
Jun 5, 2014
RIP Michael Hutchence.
+2
Level 37
Jul 4, 2014
Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan
+1
Level 42
May 5, 2015
Loads of the above, plus John Denver.
+9
Level 75
Jan 7, 2017
John Denver died at age 53. Too soon, but not within the parameters of this quiz.
+2
Level 56
May 20, 2016
Of the five I didn't get, I'd only heard of one! Here in the UK some of these artists aren't as successful as in the States.
+3
Level 64
Aug 24, 2016
Aaliyah (plane crash, 22) and Sam Cooke (murder, 33) should also be on this list...
+8
Level 71
Jun 23, 2021
And maybe Avicii?
+5
Level 42
Jan 7, 2017
Sid died in New York
+5
Level 82
Apr 25, 2019
Indeed, Sid Vicious was born in London but didn't die there.
+2
Level 66
Jan 7, 2017
I can still remember when Stevie Ray Vaughan died. I was very depressed and it didn't seem real. Listened to his music with my friends all day...
+5
Level 33
Jan 8, 2017
Jeff Buckley should be in this list, he was 30 when he died
+5
Level 84
Jan 8, 2017
This quiz would be overwhelming id we listed every one of them I bet. There's probably a wikipedia page or web site that lists them all. My contribution: Shannon Hoon, lead singer of Blind Melon, age 29, cocaine overdose.

Robert Johnson - who sold his soul to the devil in exchange for being a blues master - died at 27 in Mississippi.

+1
Level 74
May 6, 2019
Agreed. If anyone isn't acquainted with Lhasa de Sela, please check her out. You won't regret it! She died at 37 sadly.
+5
Level 68
Jan 8, 2017
Jeff Buckley RIP
+3
Level 40
Jan 9, 2017
Please accept JP Richardson in the place of The Big Bopper. I typed JP Richardson eight different ways and then finally tried his nickname. Richardson is his real name......I only know that to watching "The Buddy Holly Story" a million times when I was young.....thanks Dad:)
+4
Level 62
Jan 9, 2017
It doesn't accept The Big Bopper's actual name: J. P. Richardson
+1
Level 40
Aug 3, 2021
Thank you both for noticing this also. I suspect the same may be true for Notorious B.I.G. though...
+1
Level 53
Feb 4, 2022
I got Notorious B.I.G. by typing in "Smalls."
+1
Level 68
Jan 22, 2017
03.02.1959 - the day the music died...
+3
Level 75
Apr 24, 2017
I barely remember that day. My older brothers were so sad, and we played their 45s over and over on our suitcase-type record player with the sound so scratchy we could hardly understand the lyrics, except for Big Bopper. His booming voice always came through.
+5
Level 28
Apr 24, 2017
You forgot the best guitarist in the history of Rock and Roll. Duane Allman dead at 24.
+2
Level 61
Nov 5, 2017
No Dimebag?
+2
Level 65
Nov 16, 2017
Where's the Elliott Smith love?
+1
Level 62
Nov 26, 2017
No Randy Rhoads? Blasphemy.
+2
Level 27
Jun 22, 2018
time to put xxx in
+4
Level 88
Jul 8, 2018
I'm surprised at the portion who don't know Hendrix, probably the most often mentioned of the 27 club.
+2
Level 72
Apr 25, 2019
Never heard of Selena, Stevie Ray Vaughan or Bon Scott.
+3
Level 65
Jun 14, 2021
you never heard of selena?!
+4
Level 76
May 5, 2019
Any thoughts on adding Bob Marley?
+2
Level 60
May 26, 2019
damn i typed "quintanilla" and didn't think to try with her first name...
+2
Level 84
Jun 25, 2019
Aww, was expecting "ham sandwich" as a clue for Mama Cass.
+2
Level 74
Feb 7, 2024
She died in her sleep. Maybe it's time for the fat-shaming rumor (rumour, since you're British) to die too.
+7
Level 82
Jul 2, 2019
Karen Carpenter, 32......Mama Cass, 32......Bob Marley, 36
+5
Level 87
Aug 2, 2019
Jim Croce died at 30, younger than some in this quiz.
+3
Level 62
Aug 3, 2019
Why isn’t GG Allin on this list?
+3
Level 74
Aug 26, 2019
Just for pedantic purposes, Franz Schubert died at 30, STD-aggravated pneumonia.I know

Mozart is more widely know but still this guy was rocking it in a shamefully short career.

+2
Level 67
Jan 18, 2020
eyyy 27 Club respect
+2
Level 40
Jan 22, 2020
Randy Rhoads, plane crash?
+2
Level 57
Apr 30, 2020
You should add Duane Allman (24) and Bradley Nowell (28) to the list
+3
Level 61
Jun 2, 2020
how about Aaliyah.
+3
Level 65
Aug 22, 2020
I'll never forget Bon Scott singing on Australian TV (fronting AC/DC) while dressed as a schoolgirl. He seemed so irrepressible yet died so far from home.
+3
Level 44
Nov 17, 2020
1. "Biggie Smalls" = "The Notorious B.I.G.": his real name was Christopher Wallace. Should be an alternate answer.

2. "Big Bopper": his real name was Jiles P. Richardson. Should be an alternate answer.

3. Sid Vicious joined the Sex Pistols in 1977. The song "Anarchy in the U.K." was released in 1976. The clue does not connect.

Thanks!

+4
Level 36
Nov 28, 2020
your missing Keith Moon, Brian Jones, Harry Chapin, John Bohnam, Duane Allman, Half of Lynard Skynyrd, Cass Elliot, Dennis Wilson and Bob Marley, too name a few.
+2
Level 53
Feb 28, 2021
Surprised at how low Selena is.
+5
Level 46
Mar 26, 2021
Where is Avicii?
+2
Level 42
Feb 3, 2022
Was he really a musician?
+2
Level 11
Apr 27, 2021
You forgot Aaliyah
+3
Level 37
Oct 27, 2021
Suggestion to add Chester Bennington (Linkin Park singer) who died age 41, and Avicii, who died age 29.
+1
Level 65
Dec 13, 2021
Patsy Cline? Rick Nelson?
+1
Level 79
Feb 3, 2022
I thought of Patsy Cline as well..
+2
Level 86
Feb 3, 2022
From the comments, it's obvious this could be a series and probably still wouldn't capture everyone. Personally, I was hoping for Jim Croce. One of my earliest memories is seeing Sonny and Cher eulogize him on their show.
+2
Level 90
Feb 3, 2022
If you're looking for a challenge related to "The Day the Music Died," see if you can name all 868 lyrics to Don McLean's tribute song,"American Pie."
+2
Level 85
Feb 3, 2022
Ronnie Van Zant is a fairly prominent potential addition.
+2
Level 65
Feb 3, 2022
Sid Vicious was a musician?!!?
+1
Level 68
Feb 4, 2022
I don't know if this is a reference to Sid Vicious's poor bass playing skills or to the professional wrestler of the same name, but either way, I like it.
+1
Level 55
Feb 3, 2022
I spelt Janis Joplin's name wrong!
+2
Level 89
Feb 3, 2022
I come back from a funeral to see this quiz on the front page. Coincidence?
+1
Level 24
Feb 6, 2022
i snorted when poor Mozart appeared, that took me so off-guard.
+2
Level 46
Apr 13, 2022
How about Michael Jackson? He was 50....if you consider that young
+2
Level 76
Mar 11, 2023
The quiz parameters sets the cutoff at 45.
+3
Level 83
Apr 13, 2022
Cliff Burton of Metallica .
+2
Level 83
Jun 14, 2022
Chester Bennington was 41
+1
Level 56
Oct 4, 2022
Eazy-E, Lil Peep, George Gershwin, Frederic Chopin, Aaliyah, Pop Smoke
+1
Level 56
Oct 26, 2022
I forgot to add Mac Miller
+2
Level 66
Feb 1, 2024
You should add Sam Cooke
+1
Level 50
Feb 6, 2024
What the heck? Only three died of natural causes. AIDS complications, heart attack, and fever! The rest were mostly drug overdoses or murder! I didn't realize America sucked this much. (And some other countries suck a little bit as well.)
+2
Level 65
Feb 6, 2024
Harsh to not accept other spellings of Selena.

Sid Vicious didn’t play on Anarchy in the UK.

+1
Level 46
Feb 11, 2024
Daniel Balavoine, 33 years, died in helicopter crash
+1
Level 36
Feb 15, 2024
I've got a better version with WAY more artists of all different genres here.

https://www.jetpunk.com/user-quizzes/1518980/singers-who-died-young