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Rewinding 2023 | In Memoriam

They're gone. The music lives on. Here are some of the artists we lost over the year.

“The goal isn’t to live forever,” Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk once said. “The goal is to create something that will.” These people certainly did. Here’s a list of just some of the artists who passed away in 2023:



Fred White
The Earth, Wind & Fire drummer died on New Year’s Day at 67.

Gangsta Boo
Lola Mitchell of Oscar-winning Memphis rappers Three 6 Mafia suffered a fatal overdose at age 43 on New Year’s Day.

Jeff Beck
Indisputably one of the greatest guitar heroes in rock history, the maverick musician died Jan. 10 at age 78 after contracting meningitis. I was lucky enough to talk to the forthright artist a couple of times. Read both my interviews HERE.

Yukihiro Takahashi
Yellow Magic Orchestra’s drummer and singer passed away from pneumonia at 70 on Jan. 11.

Lisa Marie Presley
The daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley was also a singer-songwriter in her own right. She died of cardiac arrest in L.A. on Jan. 12 at 54.

Robbie Bachman
The drummer for Bachman-Turner Overdrive and Brave Belt was 69 when he died in Vancouver on Jan. 12.

Van Conner
A year after the death of bandmate Mark Lanegan, pneumonia killed the Screaming Trees’ bassist in Seattle on Jan. 18. He was 55.

David Crosby
From his musical triumphs to his personal tragedies, few musicians have had a life and career as eventful and influential as this folk-rock legend, who died of Covid at age 81 on Jan. 19, ending an incredible musical renaissance. I spoke to him back in 2016. Check out our conversation HERE.

Top Topham
The co-founding guitarist of The Yardbirds — later replaced by Eric Clapton — died at 75 on Jan. 23.

Floyd Sneed
Three Dog Night’s Canadian drummer was 80 when he passed on Jan. 27.

Tom Verlaine
The virtuoso guitarist and co-founder of pioneering punk-era outfit Television succumbed to prostate cancer at age 73 in Manhattan on Jan. 28.

Barrett Strong
Best known for the single Money (That’s What I Want), the singer-songwriter died in Detroit on Jan. 29 at 81.


Butch Miles
The longtime drummer in The Count Basie Orchestra, Miles was 78 when he died on Feb. 2 in Austin of pulmonary fibrosis.

Mendelson Joe
The Canadian singer-songwriter, visual artist, and activist died via assisted suicide following a battle with Parkinson’s disease at 78 on Feb. 7.

Burt Bacharach
The beloved singer-songwriter and pianist died at his L.A. home of natural causes on Feb. 8. He was 94.

Trugoy the Dove
Born David Jolicoeur, the co-founding member of rap renegades De La Soul died on Feb. 12 at age 54 after years of health struggles.

Huey “Piano” Smith
The New Orleans legend and R&B pianist who wrote Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu died at 89 on Feb. 13 in Baton Rouge.


Steve Mackey
Pulp’s bassist passed away from an undisclosed illness in London at age 56 on March 2.

Wayne Shorter
A giant of modern jazz who played with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Miles Davis and Weather Report, saxophonist Shorter died in L.A. at age 89 on March 2.

David Lindley
A veteran multi-instrumentalist who also scored solo hits like the single Mercury Blues, Lindley died from complications of Covid on March. 3 in California. He was 78.

Born Glen Lockett, the punk rocker produced records for Black Flag, Hüsker Dü and more before working the grill at Austin’s Magnolia Cafe (and presumably cooking some of the dozens of gingerbread pancakes I ate there over the years). He was 71 when he died following complications from a stroke in Wisconsin on March 4.

Gary Rossington
Lynyrd Skynyrd’s last surviving original member, guitarist Rossington passed away at age 71 in Georgia on March 5 of an undisclosed illness.

Napoleon XIV
Jerry Samuels wrote and recorded the 1966 novelty number They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa! He died of complications from dementia and Parkinson’s at 84 in Pennsylvania.

Jim Gordon
The former drummer for Derek and the Dominos, Traffic, Delaney & Bonnie and Friends and others, Gordon died March 13 of natural causes in a California prison, decades after murdering his mother in 1983 and being diagnosed with schizophrenia. He was 77.

Fuzzy Haskins
Parliament-Funkadelic singer Haskins died from complications of diabetes at the age of 81 on March 17 in Michigan.

Tom Leadon
The founding member of Tom Petty’s pre-fame band Mudcrutch died of natural causes at 70 on March 22.

Wayne Swinny
Saliva’s guitarist suffered a fatal brain hemorrhage on March 22 at age 59.

Ryuichi Sakamoto
The acclaimed Japanese composer, pianist, record producer and actor — who got his start with Yellow Magic Orchestra — died in Tokyo of cancer at age 71 on March 28.


Red Robinson
The veteran Vancouver DJ died on April 1 at 86 after a brief illness.

Seymour Stein
As the founder of Sire Records, Stein signed everyone from The Ramones and Talking Heads to Madonna during his lengthy career. I used to see him hanging out at SXSW every year. He died of cancer at 80 in L.A. on April 2.

Vivian Trimble
A keyboardist and co-founder of Luscious Jackson, Trimble had been battling cancer for years. She died on April 4.

Nora Forster
A music promoter for The Slits and Sex Pistols, John Lydon’s wife died on April 6 after living with Alzheimer’s for years. She was 80.

Danny Schur
The Winnipeg composer and producer best know for creating a musical and film based on the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike died at 56 on April 10, following a short battle with brain cancer.

Ahmad Jamal
The American jazz pianist was 92 when he died of prostate cancer on April 16 in Massachusetts.

Harry Belafonte
Singer, actor, activist and award winner Belafonte died of heart failure at age 96 in Manhattan on April 25.

Tim Bachman
Three months after the death of younger brother Robbie, the Bachman-Turner Overdrive and Brave Belt guitarist died of cancer in London on April 28. He was 71.


Gordon Lightfoot
More than a decade after some doofus hoaxster announced his death on Twitter, the iconic Canadian folksinger passed away from natural causes on May 1 at age 84 in Toronto. Read my 2011 interview with him HERE.

Algy Ward
A bassist for Tank, The Damned and The Saints, Ward died of undisclosed causes in England on May 17. He was 63.

Andy Rourke
Pancreatic cancer claimed the life of the 59-year-old former Smiths bassist on May 19 in New York City.

Pete Brown
A poet, lyricist and singer, Brown is best remembered as the songwriting partner of the Cream’s Jack Bruce. He died at age 82.

Tina Turner
The legendary vocalist born Anna Mae Bullock — who fled an abusive marriage to Ike Turner to become one of the most acclaimed singers in contemporary music — died on May 24 at age 83 in Switzerland following a long illness.


Cynthia Weil
The Grammy-winning lyricist who composed dozens of hits with husband Barry Mann died on June 1 at age 82.

Astrud Gilberto
Best known for her debut recording The Girl From Ipanema, the Brazilian samba and bossa nova singer died of an undisclosed illness on June 5 at 83 in Philadelphia.

Tony McPhee
The Groundhogs singer-guitarist and British blues-rock hero was 79 when he died from complications after a stroke and fall on June 6.

Blackie Onassis
Urge Overkill’s former drummer — born John Rowan — died on June 13 in L.A. of an undisclosed cause. He was 57. Watch my interview with his ex-bandmates Nash Kato and Eddie ‘King’ Roeser HERE.

Teresa Taylor
Formerly Teresa Nervosa, the onetime drummer for Butthole Surfers died following a battle with lung disease on June 18 at age 60.


Bob Segarini
The colourful, outspoken American-Canadian singer-songwriter and longtime radio host died in Toronto on July 10 at age 77, after a lengthy battle with diabetes.

Jane Birkin
Singer-songwriter and actress, eternal muse of Serge Gainsbourg and mother of singer Charlotte Gainsbourg, Birkin died at the age of 76 on July 16.

Tony Bennett
After a lengthy public battle with Alzheimer’s, the beloved crooner passed away in New York City on July 21 at age 96. I interviewed him before his 90th birthday celebration at Radio City Music in 2016. Read our interview HERE.

Sinéad O’Connor
The Irish singer-songwriter — who incredible musical talents were often overshadowed by her personal struggles and headline-grabbing actions — died in London on July 26 of an undisclosed cause. She was 56.

Randy Meisner
A founding member, bassist and vocalist of Eagles, 77-year-old Meisner passed away on July 26 in L.A. due to complications from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.


John Gosling
The keyboardist for The Kinks from 1970-’78, Gosling died of undisclosed cause on Aug. 3 at age 75.

Jamie Reid
The British graphic artist defined punk imagery with his cut-and-paste ransom-note cover of The Sex Pistols’ debut album. He died at age 76 on Aug. 8.

Robbie Robertson
Best known as the guitarist and singer-songwriter for The Band, Robertson — who went on to forge an acclaimed solo career — died in L.A. of prostate cancer at age 80 on Aug.

Sixto Rodriguez
Known professionally by his last name, the Detroit singer-songwriter — who rose to prominence as the subject of the the film Searching For Sugar Man — died at 81 of undisclosed causes on Aug. 9, months after suffering a stroke.

Jerry Moss
The M in A&M Records — the record label he co-founded with Herb Alpert — Moss died at home in L.A. on Aug. 16 at age 88.

Gary Young
Pavement’s colourful original drummer died on Aug. 17 following years of ill health in Stockton, California. He was 70.

Bernie Marsden
The British rocker guitarist played with Whitesnake, UFO, Paice Ashton Lord and others. He died from meningitis at age 72 on Aug.


Jimmy Buffett
Universally beloved as the king of the Parrotheads and the mayor of Margaritaville, singer-songwriter and entrepreneur Buffett died of lymphoma in Sag Harbor at age 76 on Sept. 1.

Steve Harwell
Smash Mouth’s singer retired from the band in 2021 and battled alcoholism for years before succumbing to liver failure in Boise on Sept. 4. He was 56.

Gary Wright
The Spooky Tooth keyboardist who topped charts with the solo hits Dream Weaver and Love Is Alive passed away due to Parkinson’s at the age of 80 in California on Sept. 4.

Bruce Guthro
The Cape Breton singer-songwriter and member of Runrig died of cancer on Sept. 5 at age 62.

Roger Whittaker
The veteran singer-songwriter suffered a stroke before passing away in a French hospital at age 87 on Sept. 13.

Russell Batiste Jr
The multi-talented New Orleans drummer who powered the Funky Meters and scores of other bands suffered a fatal heart attack at age 57 in his Louisiana home on Sept. 30.


Rudolph Isley
The co-founding singer-songwriter of The Isley Brothers died at home in Chicago on Oct. 11, following a heart attack. He was 84.

Carla Bley
The iconoclastic jazz pianist and composer passed away on Oct 17 at 87, due to complications from brain cancer.

Dwight Twilley
Remembered for the top 20 hits I’m On Fire and Girls, the 72-year-old power-pop rocker suffered a fatal stroke while driving on Oct. 18.


Pete Garner
The British bassist for The Stone Roses succumbed to cancer on Nov. 3 at age 61.

Chad Allen
The original frontman of Winnipeg’s Guess Who died in B.C. at age 80 on Nov. 21, six years after suffering a stroke.

Jean Knight
Famed for her 1971 hit Mr. Big Stuff, the R&B singer died of undisclosed causes at the age of 80 on Nov. 22.

Geordie Walker
The guitarist for post-punk bruisers Killing Joke died in Prague on Nov. 26 following a stroke. He was 64.

Scott Kempner
A co-founding guitarist with The Dictators and Del-Lords, Kempner passed away Nov. 29 at 69 at a nursing home in Connecticut, due to complications from early onset dementia.

Shane MacGowan
After decades of unrepentant hard living, the 65-year-old Pogues frontman — who was born on Christmas Day — died in Dublin on Nov. 30 due to pneumonia and encephalitis.


Myles Goodwyn
After retiring from April Wine earlier in the year, the 75-year-old singer-guitarist died on Dec 3 in Halifax at 75. He had lived with diabetes for years.

Denny Laine
A former member of The Moody Blues and Paul McCartney’s Wings, singer-guitarist Laine died on Dec. 5 at age 79 after a lengthy battle with lung disease.

Jeffrey Foskett
A longtime sideman for Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys, singer-guitarist Foskett died of thyroid cancer on Dec. 11. He was 67.

Essra Mohawk
A singer-songwriter whose works were covered by everyone from Vanilla Fudge to Tina Turner, Mohawk died on Dec. 11 at age 75 in Nashville. She was in hospice care for undisclosed reasons.

Laura Lynch
An original member of Dixie Chicks, Lynch was killed in a car crash in El Paso on Dec. 22 at age 65.