Pop, Hip-Hop and Rock Star Deaths in 2023


Carla Bley (Lovella Borg) - Oakland-born jazz pianist and composer; brain cancer; 87

Angelo Bruschini - guitarist with British trip-hop group Massive Attack; lung cancer; 62

Michael "Ibo" Cooper - founding member as keyboardist of reggae group Third World and also performed with Inner Circle; cancer; 71

DJ Mark (Mark James) - known as the 45 King, the Bronx-born DJ als produced albums and songs by Eminem, Jay-Z, Ghostface Killah and many more; 62

Rudolph "Rudy" Isley - one of four Ohio-born musicians who founded the Isley Brothers in the '50s; heart attack; 84

Dwight Twilley - Tulsa-born power pop singer-songwriter and band leader had a hit with "I'm on Fire" (No. 15, 1975; stroke; 72


RIP Gary Wright, Jimmy Buffett and Steve Harwell


• Russell Batiste Jr. - New Orleans-born drummer played with the Meters, Papa Grows Funk and Vida Blue; heart attack; 57

Nashawn Breedlove - actor/rapper in 8 Mile with Eminem; 46

Jimmy Buffett - Mississippi-born leader of the Jimmy Buffett & the Coal Reefer Band, known for hits like "Margaritaville" (No. 8, 1977), "Come Monday" (No. 30, 1974) and "Cheeseburger in Paradise" (No. 32, 1978) and the rabid Parrothead fan base; skin cancer lymphoma; 76

Len Chandler - Ohio-born folk/protest singer; 88

Richard Davis - Chicago-born jazz bassist who played with Eric Dolphy. George Benson. Pharaoh Sanders, Stan Getz and more; 93

Irish Grinstead - founding member of Las Vegas-based R&B girl group 702; 43

Steve Harwell - California-born lead singer of Smash Mouth who had hits with "Walking on the Sun" (1997), "All Star" INo. 4, 1990) and "Then the Morning Comes" (No. 11, 1999); liver failure; 56

Terry Kirkman - Kansas-born founding member and vocalist with The Assocation; he wrote and sang "Cherish" (No. 1, 1966); heart failure; 83

Fred Lewis - percussionist with R&B band Lakeside; 72

Charlie Robison - Texas-born C&W singer-songwriter; cardia arrest; 59

Jack Sonni – American-born guitarist with British rock band Dire Straits; 68

Kent Stax - drummer with D.C. hardcore band Scream; 61 

Matt Stewart - trumpeter with New Jersey-based ska-punk band Streetlife Manifesto; 41

Gary Wright - New Jersey-born singer-keyboardist who had success with Spooky Tooth and a solo career with hits like "Dream Weaver" and "Love Is Alive" (both No. 2 in 1976) and "Really Want to Know You" (No. 16, 1981); dementia and Parkinson's; 80


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

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