Pop and Rock Star Deaths in 2018

More Musicians Who Passed Away in 2018:

• Ray Sawyer - Dec. 31;  Sang lead on Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show's biggest hits: "Sylvia's Mother" (No, 5, 1972), "Sexy Eyes" (No. 5, 1979), "The Cover of Rolling Stone" (No. 6, 1972), "Only Sixteen" (No. 6, 1975), "Sharing the Night Together" (No. 6, 1978), "When You're in Love with a Beautiful Woman" (No. 6, 1979), "A Little Bit More" (No, 11, 1976) and "Better Love Next Time" (No. 12, 1979); cause undisclosed; was 81.

Galt MacDemott - Dec. 17; composed the music for Hair, Two Gentlemen of Verona and other plays; cause undisclosed; was 89.

Joe Osborn - Dec. 14; session bassist played on "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" and "California Dreamin'"  and other classic songs as a member of the "Wrecking Crew"; suffered from pancreatic cancer; was 81.

Perry Robinson - Dec. 2; New York-born jazz clarinetist; cause undisclosed; was 80.

Jody Williams - Dec. 1; Chicago-based blues guitarist; suffered from Parkinson's disease; was 83.

Roy Clark - Nov. 15; Country & Western singer had No. 19 hit with "Yesterday When I Was Gone" in 1969 and hosted the TV show Hee Haw from 1969 to 1997; suffered from pneumonia; was 85.

Hardy Fox - Oct. 30; founding member of the performance-art rock group, the Residents; suffered from brain cancer; was 73.

Todd "Youth" Schofield - Oct. 27; New York-born guitarist played with Murphy's Law, Danzig and Agnostic Front, among others; cause undislosed; was 47.

Freddie Hart - Oct. 27; country singer known for his hit song, "Easy Loving" (No. 68. 1971); cause undisclosed; was 91.

Melvin Ragin (nee Wah Wah Watson) - Oct. 24; recorded with a who's who of soul and jazz artists, including Michael Jackson, the Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Quincy Jones and Herbie Hancock; cause undisclosed; was 67.

Andy Goessling - Oct. 12; the multi-instrumentalist (he played a number of string instruments) co-founded Railroad Earth; suffered from cancer; was 59. 

Hamiet Blueiett - Oct. 4; played baritone  in the World Saxophone Quartet; had suffered several strokes and seizures; was 78.

Geoff Emerick - Oct. 2: Served as the chief studio engineer for Beatles albums Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The White Album and Abbey Road; suffered a heart attack; was 72

Charles Aznavour - Oct. 1: Famous French pop singer; passed away of natural causes; was 94.

Jerry Gonzalez - Oct. 1: One of the leaders of the latin-jazz movement in the '70s, the trumpeter and percussionist co-founded the Fort Apache Band with his bassist brother Andy; died from smoke inhalation during a house fire in Madrid, where he lived; he was 69.

Kim Larsen - Sept. 30: Danish singer-songwriter; suffered from prostate cancer; was 72.

Otis Rush - Sept. 29: In 1956, the Chicago blues singer/guitarist had a No. 1 R&B hit with Willie Dixon's "I Can't Quit You Baby," which Led Zeppelin later covered on their debut album; suffered from a stroke; was 84.

DJ Overlord (Donnell Robinson) - Sept. 12; Austin-basaed rapper; cause undisclosed; was 49.

Paul Curcio - Sept. 10; produced Metallica's debut album, Kill 'Em All, in 1983; suffered a heart attack; was 74.

Mac Miller (Malcolm McCormick) - Sept. 7; Pittsburgh-born rapper debuted in 2011 with the No. 1 album, Blue Slide Park; suffered a prescription drug overdose; was 26.

Randy Weston - Sept. 1;  Brooklyn-born jazz pianist; cause undisclosed; was 92.

Elda Stilletto (Elda Gentile) - Aug. 6; lead singer of New York '70s punk band; cuase undisclozsed; she was 68.

Richard Swift - July 3; multi-instrumentalist played with the Black Keys, the Shins and the Arcs; suffered from alcohol addiction; was 41.

Henry Butler - July 2; New Orleans jazz and blues pianist; suffered from cancer; was 68.

Alan Longmuir - July 2; co-founder/bassist of the Bay City Rollers; became ill after a trip to Mexico; was 70.

Joe Jackson - June 27; father of Michael, Janet, Jermaine and the other Jackson performers; cause undisclosed; was 89.

Steve Soto - June 26; founder/bassist of SoCal punk band the Adolescents; died of natural causes; was 54.

XXXTentacion (Jahseh Onfroy) - June 18; rapper murdered in Florida; four men have been charged with his death; was 20.

Nick Knox - June 15; the Cramps' drummer; cause undisclosed; was 60.

Matt "Guitar" Murphy – June 15; Chicago-based blues guitarist played Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf and in the band in The Blues Brothers movie; cause undisclosed; was 88.

Dominic "D.J." Fontana - June 13; Elvis Presley's drummer; suffered heart failure; was 87.

Lorraine Gordon – June 9; owner of New York's famous jazz club, the Village Vanguard; suffered a stroke; was 95.

Danny Kirwan – June 8; one of Fleetwood Mac's original guitarists; inducted with the band into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998; cause undisclosed; was 73.

Jalal Mansur Nurridim – June 4; member of The Last Poets, the New York-based '70s group that predated rap and hip-hop; suffered from lung cancer; was 73.

Eddie Clearwater – June 1; Chicago-based blues singer and guitarist; suffered heart failure; was 83.

Reggie Lucas – May 19; guitarist, producer and songwriter; played with Miles Davis, produced Madonna ("Borderline," "Lucky Star") and co-wrote "The Closer I Get to You" (No. 2, 1978) for Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway and "Never Knew Love Like This Before" (No. 6, 1980) for Stephanie Mills; suffered heart failure; was 65.

Glenn Branca - May 13; New York-based guitarist and avant-garde composer; suffered from throat cancer; was 69.

Scott Hutchison - May 8; Frightened Rabbit lead singer drowned near Edinburgh, Scotland; was 36.

John "Jabo" StarksMay 1; drummer with James Brown's band in the '60s and '70's; suffered from leukemia; was 79.

Lonnie "Lil Lonnie" Taylor – Apr. 29; Mississippi rapper shot and killed in Jackson; was 22.

Bob Dorough - Apr. 23; jazz singer, pianist and songwriter (Schoolhouse Rock); was 94.

Yvonne Staples - Apr. 10; member and manager of the Staple Singers; suffered from colon cancer; was 80.

Chuck Freeze (Charles Foushee) - Apr. 1; Bronx, NY rapper was part of the Jazzy Five; suffered from a heart condition; was 54.

Morgana King - Mar. 22; jazz singer and actress (she played Marlon Brando's with in The Godfather); suffered from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; was 87.

Craig Mack - Mar. 12; New York-born rapper had a No. 9 hit with "Flava in Your Ear" im 1994; suffered heart failure; wss 47

Norm Rogers - Feb. 19: drummer for Minnesota bands the Jayhawks and the Cows; suffered from cancer; was 61.

Vic Damone - Feb. 11; the Italian-American crooner had several Top 10 hits: "You're Breaking My Heart" (No. 1, 1949), "My Heart Cries for You" (No. 4, 1950), "Here Is My Heart" (No. 8, 1952)" and "On the Street Where You Live" (No. 4, 1956); he suffered from a respiratory illness; was 89.

Lovebug Starski (Kevin Smith) - Feb. 8; hip-hop pioneer from Bronx, NY; suffered a heart attack; was 57.

Pat Torpey - Feb. 7; drummer in Mr. Big and the Knack, also toured with Robert Plant and Belinda Carlisle; suffered from Parkinson's disease; was 64.

Leon "Ndugu" Chancler - Feb. 3; studio drummer who worked with Michael Jackson ("Billie Jean"), Santanta (Amigos) and many others; he received a Grammy nomination in 1982 for co-writing the Dazz Band's No. 5 song, "Let It Whip"; suffered from prostate cancer; was 65. 

Mike. E. Smith - Jan. 24; lead singer of the Fall; suffered from an undisclosed illness; was 60.

Lari White - Jan. 23; country singer won three Grammy awards and appeared in Castaway; suffered from peritoneal cancer; was 52. 

David Dickey - Jan. 20; America bassist from 1972-1980; cause undisclosed.

Jim Rodford - Jan. 20; bassist with the Zombies, the Kinks and Argent; died from complications after taking a fall; was 76.

Fredo Santana (Derrick Coleman) - Jan. 19; Chicago rapper and cousin of Chief Keef; suffered a seizure; was 27

Steve "Grizzly" Nisbitt - Jan. 18; Steel Pulse's drummer from 1977-2001; cause undisclosed; was 69.

David Holland - Jan. 16; Judas Priest's drummer from 1979-1989; cause of death undisclosed; was 69.

Eddie Clarke - Jan. 10; Motorhead guitarist; suffered from pneumonia; was 67.

Chris Tsangarides - Jan. 7; produced albums by Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy and others; suffered heart failure; was 61.

Ray Thomas - Jan. 4; Moody Blues co-founder and flute player who wrote "Legend of the Mind (Timothy Leary's Dead)"; cause undisclosed; was 76.

Rick Hall - Jan. 2; founder of FAME Studios in Alabama where rock and R&B stars created the "Musicle Shoals" sound; had prostate cancer; was 85.


Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.