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Pop, Hip-Hop and Rock Star Deaths in 2021: RIP Biz Markie


Richie Albright - Waylon Jennings drumnmer



Rodney Bakerr - Chicago house DJ

Chris Barber - British jazz trombonist

Franco Battiato - Italian singer-songwriter-composer

Byron Berline - Kansas-born C&W fiddler 

Biz Markie (nee Marcel Hall) - New York rapper

Black Rob (nee Robert Ross) - New York rapper

Charlie Black - Country & Western songwriter

DeWayne BlackwellCountry & Western songwriter

Tim Bogert - Vanilla Fudge; Cactus; Beck, Bogert & Appice bassist

Mick Bolton - Mott the Hoople, Dexys Midnight Runners keyboardist 

Juini Booth - Buffalo-born jazz bassist

Sérgio Brandão - Brazilian bassist

Hux Brown - Jamaican guitarist with Toots & the Maytals

James Burke - The Five Stairsteps singer

Bunny Wailer (nee Neville Livingston) - original member of Bob Marley & the Wailers, won three Grammys 



Captain Rock (nee Ron Green) - New York rapper

Cassiano (nee Genival Cassiano) - Brazilian singer-songwriter

Malcolm Cecil - British jazz bassist, synthersizer pioneer

Louis Clark - Electric Light Orchestra arranger

Chick Corea - Grammy-winning jazz pianist, won 25 Grammys


DMX (nee Earl Simmons) - 1970-2021


John Davis - Milli Vanilli vocalist

Deezer D (nee Dearon Thompson) - rapper/actor

B.B. Dickerson (nee Morris Dickerson) - War bassist

DMX (nee Earl Simmons)- New York-born rapper

Double K (nee Michael Turner )- People Under the Stairs rapper



Fatboi Gwalla Gwalla (nee Lamonn Young) - Milwaukee rapper

Anne Feeney - folk singer-songwriter/activist

Michael Fonfara - Rhinoceros, Electric Flag, Lou Reed keyboardist

Danny Freeman - Texas-based guitarist



Gift of Gab (nee Timothy Parker) - co-founder/MC of Blackalicious

Mark "Big Toe" Goffeney - San Diego guitarist

Ari Gold - LGBTQ singer-songwriter

Milford Graves - jazz drummer

Earl "JT" Gray - bluegrass musician and Nashville club owner



James Harman - Texas-based blues guitarist

Jon Hassell - avant-garde composer

Roger Hawkins - house drummer at FAME Studios in Musicle Shoals, AL

Don Heffington - Lone Justice drummer

John Hinch - original Judas Priest drummer



Paul Jackson - Herbie Hancock's Headhunters bassist

Howard Johnson - jazz tuba player



Mark Keds (nee Mark Myers) - Senseless Things singer-guitarist

Sean Kennedy - Australian bassist with I KIlled the Prom Queen and Deez Nuts



Jeff LaBar - Cinderella guitarist

Alexi Laiho - Children of Bodom singer-guitarist

Rick Laird - Irish-born bassist with Mahavishnu Orchestra

Anita Lane - Australian singer-songwriter with Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

Lil Loaded - Texas-based rapper



Junior Mance - jazz pianist

Tony Markellis - Trey Anastasio Band bassist

Gerry Marsden - Gerry & the Pacemakers singer-songwriter and guitarist

Elliot Mazer - engineer/producer

Phyllis McGuire - McGuire Sisters lead singer 

Les McKeown - Bay City Rollers lead singer

MC Kevin (nee Kevin Bueno) - Brazilian pop singer

Ellen Mcllwaine - Nashville-born blues singer/guitarist

Will Mecum - Karma to Burn guitarist

Jorge Morel - Argentine classical guitarist

Reed Mullins - Corrosion of Conformity co-founder and drummer


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Napolian (nee Ian Evans) - EDM producer

Phil Naro - lead singer with Buffalo band Talas

Juan Nelson - Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals bassist



OTF DThang (nee Dontay Banks Jr.) - Chicago rapper



Johnny Pacheco - salsa bandleader/Fania Records founder

Ralph Peterson Jr. - jazz drummer

Florian Pilkington-Miksa - British drummer with Curved Air

Ricky Powell - hip-hop photographer known as the fourth Beastie Boy

Lloyd Price - '50s and '60s R&B singer, inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998

Prince Markie Dee (nee Mark Morales) - member of New York hip-hop group, Fat Boys

James Purify - half of R&B duo James & Bobby Purify



Lars Ratz - bassist with German band, Metalium

Pat Rizzo - played saxophone with Sly & the Family Stone


RIP: Sylvain Sylvain of the New York Dolls and Gerry Marsden of Gerry & the Pacemakers


Gunga Saain - Pakistani drummer

Dan Sartain - Alabama-born indie rocker

Al Schmitt - Grammy-winning producer/engineer, won 20 Grammys

Ralph Schukett - Utopia keyboardist

Miles Seaton - Akron/Family multi-instrumentalist 

Shock G (nee Gregory Jacobs) - Digital Underground rapper

Patrick Sky (nee Patrick Lynch) - '60s folk singer

Johnny Solinger - replaced Sebastian Bach as Skid Row's lead singer

Phil Spector - legendary songwriter and producer of The Beatles and others, won oine Grammy 

Michael Stanley - fronted Cleveland's Michael Stanley Band 

Corey Steger - Underoath guitarist

Tom Stevens - Long Ryders bassist

Ike Stubblefield - session keyboard player with Motown groups and others

Supa Gates (nee Aaron Williams) - Brooklyn rapper

Sylvain Sylvain (Sylvain Mizrahi) - New York Dolls guitarist



Quindon Tarver - Texas-born pop singer

Gene Taylor - Austin-based keyboardist

Jack Terricloth - New Jersey punk/cabaret singer

B.J. Thomas (nee Billy Joe Thomas) - Houston-based pop singer, won five Grammys

Trinity (nee Wade Brammer) - Jamaican DJ and producer

Turn Me Up Josh (nee Joshua Samuel) - Houston-based hip-hop producer


U - V

U-Roy (Ewart Beckford) - reggae artist known for "toasting"

Hilton Valentine - The Animals guitarist  

RIP: Mary Wilson was a Supreme, Neville "Bunny" Livingston was a Wailer.


Andy Williams - Casting Crowns drummer

Mary Wilson - The Supremes singer/co-founder 



Sophie Xeon - trans EDM artist-producer

Rusty Young - Poco pedal-steel guitaris/singer


2021 total: 100

This article was originally posted on January 25, 2021. It's regularly updated.


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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.