Rock and Pop Star Deaths in 2019

More Musicians Who Passed Away in 2019 (July-December)

Neil Innes - Dec. 29 - the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band keyboardist from 1967-1972 became a Monty Pythom associate, appearing in and writing songs for Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) and The Rutles Beatles' parody album (1978) as the John Lennon character Ton Nasty;; suffered a heart attack; was 75.

 Thomas "Sleepy" LeBeef - Dec. 26; rockabilly singer and guitarist from Smackwater, AK who recorded from 1957-2012; had a heart condition; was 84.

Allee Willis - Dec. 24; songwriter who penned hits for Earth, Wind & Fire ("September" and "Boogie Wonderland," both in 1979), the Pointers Sisters ("Neutron Dance," 1986) and the Friends theme song (the Rembrandts' "I'll Be There for You," 1994); suffered cardiac arrest; was 72.

Roy Loney - Dec. 13; Flaming' Groovies co-founder and guitarist appeared on the San Francisco band's first three albums in from 1969-1971; suffered organ failure. was 73.

• Marie Fredriksson - Dec. 9; Roxette lead singer was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2002; the Swedish group had  No. 1 hits with "The Look" (1989). "Listen to Your Heart" (1989), "It Must Have Been Love" (1990) and "Joyride" (1991); she was 61.

Juice Wrld (nee Jarad Higgins) - Dec. 8; the Chicago rapper suffered a seizure after flight from Los Angeles landed at Midway Airport; he reportedly ingested pain pills while on board; more than 70 pounds of marijuana were found on the plane; just 21, he had two Top 10 albums and a No. 2 hit with 2018's "Lucid Dreams."

Irving Burgie (a.k.a. Lord Burgess) - Nov. 29; writer of "Day-O" and other Calypso songs; was 95.

Kelley Looney - Nov. 6; bassist in the Steve Earle Band, appeared on Copperhead Road (1988) and Jerusalam (2002); cause undisclosed; was 61.

Paul Barrere - Oct. 26; longtime Little Feat guitarist joined the band in 1972; suffered from liver cancer; was 71.

George Chambers - Oct. 18; co-founder, bassist and singer of the Chambers Brothers, who's biggest hit was "Time Has Come Today" (No. 11, 1971); cause undisclosed; was 88.

Steve Cash - Oct. 14; founding member, singer and harmonica player of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils; co-wrote their hit single "Jackie Blue" (No. 3, 1975); caused undisclosed; was 72. 

Malcolm "Molly" Duncan - Oct. 8; tenor-sax founding member of Scotish funksters Average White Band who had hits with "Pick Up the Pieces" (No. 1, 1974), "Cut the Cake" (No. 10, 1975), "School Boy Crush" (No. 33, 1975), "If I Ever Lose This Heaven" (No. 39, 1975) and "Queen of My Soul" (No. 40, 1976); suffered from cancer; was 74.

Larry Junstrom - Oct. 6; original bass player with Lynyrd Skynyrd and later with ; cause undisclosed; was 70.

Diahann Carroll - Oct. 4; the actress and singer recorded albums from 1957-1997; suffered from breast cancer; was 88

Kim Shattuck - Oct. 2; lead singer of the L.A.-based '90s pop-punk band and formerly with the girl group the Pandoras and later the Pixies; suffered from ALS; was 56.

Barrie Masters - Oct. 2; lead singer of '70s Britrish band Eddie & the Hot Rods who had a No. 9 UK hit, "Do Anything You Wanna Do," in 1977; cause undisclosed; was 63.

Larry Willis - Sept. 29; New York-born jazz keyboardist played with Blood, Sweat & Tears from 1972-1978 and with jazz stalwarts Nat Adderly, Jackie McLean, Roy Hargrove, Hugh Masekela and Jerry Gonzalez and others; suffered a pulmonary hemorrhage due to complications from diabetes; was 76.

José José (nee Jose Ortiz) - Sept. 28 - Mexican pop singer freleased 36 albums from 1967-2001 and appeared in a number of TV shows and movies; suffered from pancreatic cancer; was 71.

Jimmy Spicer - Sept. 27; Brooklyn-born hip-hop pioneer had hits with "Money (Dollar Bill Y'all)" and "Adventures of Supoer Rhyme (Rap)" in the early '80s; suffered from brain and lung cancer; was 61.

Yonrico Scott - Sept. 20; Detroit-born drummer won a Grammy Award in 2010 for Derek Trucks Band's Already Free (Best Contemporary Blues Album), appeared on nine Trucks Band albums and three of his own; cause undisclosed; was 63.

Harold Mabern - Sept. 17; Memphis-born jazz pianist played with Freddie Hubbard, Wes Montgomery, Eric Alexander and many others; suffered a heart attack; was 83.

John Cohen - Sept. 16; New York-born guitar and banjo picker co-founded the New Lost City Ramblers in 1958; suffered from cancer; was 87.

Daniel Johnston - Sept. 11; Austin-based singer-songwriter-guitarist known for his eccentric approach to music; from 1981-2012, he released 20 albums; was the subject of Jeff Feuerzeig's documentary, The Devil and Daniel Johnston, in 2005; suffered a heart attack; was 58.

Jimmy Johnson - Sept. 5; the guitar-playing member of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL; they played on Aretha Franklin's "Respect" in 1967 and the Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar" and "Wild Horses" in 1969, among their many credits; suffered from kidney failure; was 76.

Pedro Bell - Aug. 27; his psychedelic artwork appeared on the covers of Funkadelic albums from 1973-1981, including One Nation Under a Groove; cause undisclosed; was 69.

Neal Casal - Aug. 26; the New Jersey-born guitarist played with Ryan Adams & the Cardinals, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Hard Working Americans, Phil Lesh & Friends, Circles Around the Sun, Shannon McNally and Hazie Malaize; he took his own life; was 50.

Larry "The Mole" Taylor - Aug. 19; Canned Heat's original bass player appeared on their first five albums from 1967-1970 and on their hit singles, "On the Road" (No. 16, 1968) and "Going' Up the Country" (No. 11, 1968); the latter appeared on Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack Album and More; his song "Fried Hockey Boogie" appeared on Boogie with Canned Heat (No. 16, 1968); suffered from cancer; was 77.

Ian Gibbons - Aug. 1; the Kinks' keyboardist from 1979-1996; suffered from bladder cancer; was 67.

Bob Frank - July 19; Memphis-born singer/songwriter whose self-titled debut album was released by Vanguard Records in 1972; cause undislosed; was 75.

Johnny Clegg - July 16; South African singer and anti-aparthied activist who performed with the mutli-racial groups Juluka and Savuka; received a Grammy nomination in 1993 for Heat, Dust and Dreams in the Best World Music Album category; cause undisclosed; was 66.

Pat Kelly - July 16; falsetto reggae singer got his start with the Techniques in Jamaica in 1967 and went on to have a solo career; suffered kidney failure; was 70.

Russell Smith - July 12; lead singer of the Tennessee-based country-rock band Amazing Rhythm Aces and solo performer; the Aces had a No. 14 hit with "Third Rate Romance" in 1975; suffered from cancer; was 70.

Jerry Lawson - July 10; lead singer of the Brooklyn a capella group the Persuasions; suffered from Guillain-Barré syndrome; was 75.

• Joao Gilberto - July 6; the singer/songwriter/guitarist was one of the pioneers of Brazil's bossa nova movement in the '60s; his 1964 collaboration with jazz saxophonist Stan Getz, Getz/Gilberto, won Grammys for Best Album, Jazz Instrumental Album and Engineered Recording in 1965 as well as Record of the Year for "The Girl from Ipanema," sung by his wife Astrud; cause undisclosed; was 88.

More Musicians Who Passed Away in 2019, Part 2 (January-June) Continued on Next Page

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

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