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Rock and Pop Star Deaths in 2020

Musicians Who Have Died in 2020, from A to Z

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.

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

• 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) 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.

Jon Christensen - Feb. 18; Norweigan jazz drummer performed with Keith Jarrett in Europe and recorded with numorous ECM artists including Jan Garbarek, Eberhard Weber and Ralph Towner; cause undisclosed; was 76.

• Chris Darrow - Jan. 15; former member of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (he played multiple instruments on two albums, Rare Junk in 1968 and Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy in 1970) and founder of the Dry City Scat Band, the Floggs, Kaleidescope and the Corvettes; suffered a stroke; was 75.

Manu Dibango - Mar. 24; the saxophonist from Cameroon had a No, 35 hit with the African-funk song, "Soul Makossa," in 1972; contracted the cornavirus; was 86.

• Joe Diffie - Mar. 29; the country singer from Tulsa released 12 albums from 1990-2019 and had No. 1 country hits with "Home" (1990), "If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets)" (1991), "Third Rock from the Sun" (1994), "Pickup Man" (1994) and "BIgger Than the Beatles" (1995); had COVID-19; was 61.

Paul English - Feb. 12; drummer in Willie Nelson's band from 1965-2010; subject of Nelson song, "Me and Paul"; suffered from pneumonia; was 87.

Genesis P-Orridge (nee Neil Megson) - Mar. 14; British industrial rocker fronted Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV; suffered from leukemia; was 70.

• Andy Gill - Feb. 1; co-founder and guitarist in British post-punk band Gang of Four; suffered from a respiratory ailment and pneumonia; was 64.

Henry Gray - Feb. 17; the Louisiana-born pianist developed a barrelhouse Chicago blues style playing with Howlin' Wolf and recording with Chess artists like Muddy Waters in the '50s and '60s, then toured and recorded with his own band Henry Gray & the Cats; was 95.

• Bob Gullotti - Jan. 25; Boston-based jazz drummer played with Phish on three occasions and taught at the Berklee School of Music.

• Ivan Král - Feb. 2; Czech-born guitarist in the Patti Smith Group from 1975-1979 and director of The Blank Generation (1976); suffered from cancer; was 71.

William "Buzzy" Linhart - Feb. 13; New York folk singer known for co-writing (with Moogy Klingman) and originally recording "(You've Got to Have)" Friends," which was No. 40 hit for Bettle Midler in 1973; had a heart condition; was 73.

Ellis Marsalis - Apr. 1; the New Orleans pianist headed the popular jazz family that includes sons Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason; he released 21 albums from 1985-2018 and taught at various colleges and institutions; had COVID-19: was 85.

Lyle Mays - Feb. 10; pianist in the Pat Metheny Group, who won 11 Grammy awards; cause undisclosed; was 66.

Alan Merrill - Mar. 29; co-wrote "I Love Rock 'n Roll" with the Arrows, which was a No, 1 hit for Joan Jett & the Blackhearts in 1982; his mother was jazz singer Helen Merrill; had COVID-19; was 69.

• Reed Mullin - Jan. 27; drummer in the heavy-metal band Corrosion of Conformity; he suffered a seizure in 2016; cause of death undisclosed; was 53.

• David Olney - Jan 18; Nashville-based singer-songwriter got his start with the X-Rays before going solo; suffered a heart attack while performing on stage in Florida; was 71.

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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.