Marijuana Policy Project

Rock and Pop Star Deaths in 2020

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.

Jimmy Cobb - May 24; drummer in the Miles Davis Sextet from 1957-1963, including on Kind of Blue; also played with John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderly, Wes Montgomery, Wynton Kelly and more; suffered from lung cancer; was 91.

• 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 (listen below); 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, watch below) 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.

Len Fagan - May 3; Los Angeles-based rock drummer played with Love, 1910 Fruitgum Company and Stepson before opening Coconut Teaszer, a club on Sunset Blvd.; contracted the coronavirus; was 72.

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.

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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.