Rock and Pop Star Deaths in 2020

Jason Rainey - Mar. 18; founding guitarist in thrash-metal band Sacred Reich; their version of "Sweet Leaf" is featured on Hempilation: Freedom Is NORML; suffered a heart attack; was 53.

Alto Reed (nee Thomas Cartnell) - Dec. 30; Detroit-born sax player with Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band; suffered from colon cancer; was 72.

Emitt Rhodes - July 19; singer-songwriter started his career with the Merry Go-Round (watch below); they had two hits in 1967, "Live" (No. 63) and "You're a Lovely Woman" (No. 94); as a solo artist he had a No. 54 hit in 1970 with "Fresh as a Daisy"; from 1970-2016 he released five solo albums; died of natural causes; was 70. 

Tony Rice - Dec. 25; Grammy-winning bluegrass singer/guitarist played with Jerry Garcia and David Grisman on The Pizza Tapes, Peter Rowan, Béla Fleck and others as well as in his own group; cause undisclosed; was 69.

Bill Rieflin - Mar. 24; rock drummer from Seattle played with R.E.M. King Crimson, Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, KMFDM and other bands; suffered from cancer; was 59.

Naya Rivera - July 8; California born TV actress and singer starred in Glee from 2009-2015 and had a minor hit with "Sorry" (watch below) in 2013; drowned in a boating incident on Lake Piru in Los Padres National Forest; was 33.

Dave Roback - Feb. 24; Los Angles-born founder, guitarist and producer of Mazzy Star; the group featured singer Hope Sandoval, released four albums from 1990-2013 and had a No. 44 single with "Fade Into You" in 1994; he also headed the bands Opal and Rain Parade: suffered from metastic cancer; was 61.

Alfred "Uganda" Roberts - May 5; New Orleans-born drummer who played in Professor Longhair's band; suffered from lung cancer; was 77.

Chynna Rogers - Apr. 8; Philadelphia born rapper had minor hits with "Selfie" (watch below) in 2013 and "Glen Coco" in 2014; suffered a drug overdose; was 25. 

D.J. Rogers (nee DeWayne Julius) - Aug. 22; Los Angles-born R&B singer had one crossover hit, "Say You Love Me" (No. 98, 1976, listen below); cause undisclosed; was 72.


Become a Patron!


Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

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