Sometimes on this site we like to honor a few of the fallen heroes of music who by their own hand or someone else were lost far too soon. Now, of course, everyone knows and still mourns the death of certain figures such as Elvis, Kurt Cobain and Michael Jackson, but sometimes those tragedies overshadow some of the other loses that have claimed the music industries finest talents. And just to point out immediately, I am not glorifying the deaths of anyone and I know I can’t mention every single musician who ever died while in mid coitus with a Las Vegas stripper named Sugar Smacks so if you have any thoughts of arson remember that. A lot of the artists on this list are actually from J Rock bands seeing as how I can’t seem to keep any of them alive with the powers of witchcraft even though I really wanted to! But, on we go into yet another morbid list about as happy as the Forever 27!
::sigh:: A deep place in my heart was lost when this Australian great passed. As the lead singer of INXS he gave us such hits as “Need You Tonight” and “Devil Inside”. He was found with a belt around his neck attached to a door after a custody fight for his daughter was on the ropes.
Alright, now I’m probably hitting on some territory that some of you might not know. hide was one of the front men for an incredibly famous J Rock band called X Japan. They basically started the Visual Kei movement and were one of the first J Rock bands to appear in an American movie, Tokyo Pop. He was found hanged by a towel tied to a doorknob in his apartment and whether it was accident or suicide has yet to be decided.
Damn! The former members of X Japan had it rough man! Taiji was the former bassist and later he formed his own bands. Unlike hide however, Taiji was a little more tragic. After a violent outburst on a flight to Saipan, Taiji was subdued and faced federal charges (where he was is considered US territory). He was rushed to the hospital after he tried to hang himself in his cell. He was left brain dead and his family decided to turn off life support.
I know that there is a lot of people out there who are not country music fans. I get that, but Rock and Roll wouldn’t have gotten its kick if it wasn’t for good country music. And no one did great country music like Patsy! This was one of those stars who went too soon. She, like American Pie, went down in a plane crash.
Again, most likely diving into awkward territory but this is rather sad. Daisuke was the main song writer and vocalist for Kagerou, a very talented band that did what every good j Rock band does…disband. Daisuke had always had heart problems and he finally passed in 2010. Whether it was suicide of a heart attack is still unknown.
At first glance you might not know this name but if you grew up in the 90’s you know the song. Melanie was the vocals for the Eurodance band La Bouche and achieved success with the hit “Be My Lover”. She sadly died in a plane crash on her way to Zurich.
This American big band composer and singer was one of the greats of the swing era. I mention him because I recently paid respects to his and other missing soldiers tombstones from World War II in Arlington National Cemetery as he obtained the rank of Major while serving in the Air Force. Miller disappeared over the English Channel in 1944. He, nor the rest of the crew, was ever seen again.
The founding member of Dragon Ash which was basically one of Japan’s first Hip-Hop groups. He suddenly died of heart failure in April of 2012. Sorry to be so vague on this but unless you can read Japanese texts, this information is a bit hard to come by.
A more recent sadness, Lou was the leader of the Velvet Underground made famous by their outstanding lyrics and their famous manager Andy Warhol. He also enjoyed a rather prolific solo career. Reed passed in October 2013 after complications following liver surgery.
This happens to be one of the most saddest moments for me in music. I finally, finally found a R&B star that I loved and she was taken away far too soon! You might very well remember her from her movie roles in Romeo Must Die with Jet Li and Queen of the Damned. After shooting a music video in the Bahamas, Aaliyah’s plane crashed killing all passengers on board.
Lesson I’m beginning to learn: If you’re a musician…stay the hell away from airplanes dammit! I might do another installment after I’ve recovered from my depressive state. I know there are a bunch more out there and I hope to get to them all to pay them credit.