Marijuana Policy Project

Rock and Pop Star Deaths in 2020

Musicians Who Have Died in 2020, from A to Z

Tony Allen - Apr. 30; Nigerian-born drummer played with and was musical director of Fela Kuti's Africa '70 band; suffered a heart attack; was 79.

Bob Andy (nee Keith Anderson) - Mar. 27; Jamaican singer/songwriter whose songs were performed by Tony Rebel, Freddie McGregor, Marcia Griffiths and Cutty Ranks; cause undisclosed; was 76.

Hillard "Sweet Pea" Atkinson - May 5; co-lead singer in Was (Not Was), who had hits with "Walk the Dinosaur" (No. 7, 1987, watch below) and "Spy in the House of Love" (No. 16, 1987); suffered a heart attack; was 74.

• Harold Beane - Feb. 1; guitarist with Isaac Hayes (he played on "Walk on By," listen below) and Parliament Funkadelic; cause unknown; was 73.

Black the Ripper (nee Dean West) - Apr. 4; London-born rapper advocated for the legalization of marijuana on many songs, such as "Married to Marijuana" (2012), "Tangie" (2014, watch below), "Weed Is My Best Friend" (2016) and "In Dank We Trust" (2017); his death in Montserrat is currently being investigated; was 32.

Hamilton Bohannon - Apr. 24; legendary funk/disco performer and producer; had hits with "Foot Stoppin' Music" (No. 98, 1975) and "Let's Start the Dance" (No. 101, 1978, listen below); got his start at Motown as a teenager; cause undisclosed; was 78.

• Andrew Brough - Feb. 4; guitarist (wearing glasses in the clip below) in the New Zealand rock band Straitjacket Fits; the cause and his age are unknown.

• Steve Martin Caro - Jan. 14; co-founder and lead singer of '60s pop group the Left Banke that had hits with "Walk Away Renée" (No. 5, watch below) and "Pretty Ballerina" (No. 15) in 1966; suffered from heart disease; was 71.

• Buddy Cage - Feb. 4; pedal steel guitarist in the New Riders of the Purple Sage; he replaced Jerry Garcia in 1971; appears on 10 New Riders albums from 1972-1981; also played with Brewer & Shipley and Great Speckled Bird; reformed the New Riders with David Nelson in 2005; suffered from myeloma, a type of blood cancer; was 73 years old.

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

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