R.I.P. 2021 R.I.P. 2021

Published on January 1st, 2021 | by Gerry Galipault

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R.I.P. 2021

Notable musicians and other music-related figures who have died this year:

Black Rob (former Bad Boy Records rapper)

Pat Rizzo (former Sly and the Family Stone saxophonist)

Barry Mason (British songwriter co-wrote “The Last Waltz,” “Delilah,” “Love Grows [Where My Rosemary Goes],” “Winter World of Love,” etc.)

Rusty Young (Poco co-founder)

Sonny Simmons (alto saxophonist)

Mary Ellen Pracht (Metropolitan Opera singer)

Trinity (reggae artist)

DMX (rapper-actor)

Shay Healy (Irish broadcaster and Eurovision-winning songwriter)

Quindon Tarver (former “American Idol” contestant)

Bill Owens (Dolly Parton’s uncle and musical mentor)

Paul Humphrey (frontman of Canadian ‘80s band Blue Peter)

Ralph Schuckett (former keyboardist for Todd Rundgren’s Utopia)

Tony Pola (Beasts of Bourbon drummer)

B.B. Dickerson (founding member of War)

Jill Corey (1950s singer)

Jane Manning (opera soprano)

Patrick Juvet (’70s disco star)

Malcolm Cecil (synth pioneer and Stevie Wonder collaborator)

Rob Vitale (Black Train Jack and Nine Lives frontman)

Ethel Gabriel (pioneering female A&R executive and producer for RCA Records)

Don Heffington (Lone Justice drummer and session player)

Constance Demby (ambient/space music pioneer)

JT Gray (longtime owner of Nashville’s Station Inn)

Dan Sartain (cult rocker)

Randy Myers (songwriter, co-writer of “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” with his sister Jackie DeShannon)

Paul Jackson (bassist for Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters)

Corey Steger (former Underoath singer)

Matt “Money” Miller (founding member of Titus Andronicus)

James Levine (former Met Opera maestro)

Gerri Miller (longtime editor of Metal Edge)

Reggie Warren (Troop)

Doug Parkinson (Australian musician)

Dion Hirini (guitarist for Paul Kelly and Vika & Linda)

Isidore Mankofsky (“Jazz Singer,” “Muppet Movie” cinematographer)

Sally Grossman (widow of Bob Dylan manager who famously posed on album cover)

Carmel Quinn (Irish singer and storyteller)

Lou Ottens (inventor of the cassette tape)

Alan Cartwright (former Procol Harum bassist)

LG Petrov (Entombed)

Chucky Trill (rising Texas rap artist)

Max Graham (Kind Country)

Michael Stanley (Cleveland rock legend)

Tony Hendra (actor and National Lampoon alumunus played the band manager in “This Is Spın̈al Tap”)

Bhaskar Menon (founding chairman and CEO at EMI Music Worldwide)

Barbara Ess (Y Pants)

Duffy Jackson (drummer with Lionel Hampton, Count Basie and others)

Joan Weldon (opera singer and “Them!” star)

Bunny Wailer (reggae legend and the last surviving member of the Wailers)

Chris Barber (British jazz trombonist)

Ralph Peterson Jr. (Jazz Messenger Big Band)

Ian North (Milk ‘N’ Cookies)

Patti Palmer (1940s singer, Jerry Lewis’ ex-wife and mother of Gary Lewis)

Robert “Bob” James (former Montrose singer)

Dave Philips (guitarist with Frank Black and Tommy Stinson)

Peter Ostroushko (fiddler/mandolinist was a regular on “A Prairie Home Companion” and played with music legends like Bob Dylan and Emmylou Harris)

Antoine Hodge (Met Opera singer who last performed in “Porgy and Bess”)

Sean Kennedy (former I Killed the Prom Queen bassist)

James Burke (The Five Stairsteps)

Gene Taylor (The Blasters)

Djordje Balasevic (Serbian pop singer)

U-Roy (legendary reggae toaster)

Prince Markie Dee (The Fat Boys)

Miles Seaton (Akron/Family)

Françoise Cactus (Stereo Total)

Carman (pioneering Christian singer)

Ketchy the Great (L.A. rapper)

Raymond Lévesque (Quebec singer-songwriter)

Johnny Pacheco (salsa music bandleader and Fania Records co-founder)

Cedrick “Swab” Cotton (former Ideal singer)

Ari Gold (pioneering LGBTQ singer-dancer)

Louis Clark (conducted and arranged music for Electric Light Orchestra and Hooked On Classics)

Johnny Rogan (music biographer)

Rupert Neve (audio equipment pioneer)

Chick Corea (jazz keyboard legend)

Richie Albright (Waylon Jennings’ longtime drummer)

Mary Wilson (co-founder of The Supremes)

Elliot Mazer (producer-engineer for The Band, Neil Young, Linda Ronstadt, etc.)

Christopher Plummer (Oscar winner and star of “The Sound of Music”)

Gil Saunders (former Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes singer)

Yiannis Polykandriotis (popular Greek bouzouki player)

Nolan Porter (L.A. singer whose music rose to prominence as part of the U.K.’s northern soul movement in the 1970s)

Chuck Kaye (the force behind the formation of Warner Chappell Music and later headed publishing at DreamWorks)

Jim Weatherly (singer-songwriter wrote “Midnight Train to Georgia”)

Anne Feeney (folk singer, songwriter and guitarist)

Hal Holbrook (film and Broadway actor)

Danny Ray (valet, emcee and ‘cape man’ for James Brown)

Double K (People Under the Stairs)

Sophie (Grammy-nominated experimental artist and producer)

Hilton Valentine (original Animals guitarist)

Billy Ryan (guitarist played in pre-E Street bands)

James White (owner of iconic Austin honky-tonk Broken Spoke)

Jonas Gwangwa (South African jazz musician whose music in “Cry Freedom” received two Oscar nominations)

Joe Camarillo (The Waco Brothers)

Tom Stevens (The Long Ryders)

James Purify (James & Bobby Purify)

Perry Botkin Jr. (film and TV composer and Grammy-winning arranger of “Nadia’s Theme”)

Ron Campbell (Beatles cartoon and “Yellow Submarine” animator)

Narendra Chanchal (Bhajan singer)

Randy Parton (singer-songwriter and younger brother of Dolly Parton)

Winfield Parker (R&B vocalist and saxophonist who accompanied Little Richard, Otis Redding and Ike & Tina Turner)

Jimmie Rodgers (early rock star and “Honeycomb” singer)

Junior Mance (jazz pianist)

Hugh X. Lewis (country singer-songwriter)

Sammy Nestico (Count Basie arranger)

Little Walter DeVenne (Boston DJ, remastering engineer and host of the syndicated retro oldies program “Little Walter’s Time Machine”)

Phil Spector (legendary producer)

Jason “Rowdy” Cope (The Steel Woods)

Don Miller (lead singer of The Vogues)

Duke Bootee (rapper and co-writer of the hip-hop classic “The Message”)

Chris Murphy (longtime manager of INXS)

Duranice Pace (The Pace Sisters)

Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls guitarist)

Larry Willoughby (A&R executive at Capitol Records)

Joanne Rogers (pianist and wife of Fred Rogers)

Tim Bogert (Vanilla Fudge bassist)

Howard Johnson (tuba player with The Band, Taj Mahal, etc.)

David Darling (Grammy-winning cellist)

Mark Keds (Senseless Things)

Michael Fonfara (longtime Lou Reed keyboardist)

Marsha Zazula (co-founder of Megaforce Records)

Ed Bruce (country music legend)

Michael Apted (“Coal Miner’s Daughter” film director)

Jamie O’Hara (The O’Kanes)

Eugene Wright (bassist and last surviving original member of the Dave Brubeck Quartet)

Alejandro Morales (drummer in the noise-punk band Running and experimental duo Piss Piss Piss Moan Moan Moan)

Steve Brown (producer worked with Wham!, ABC, The Cult, Manic Street Preachers, etc.)

George Gerdes (singer-songwriter turned character actor)

Alexi Laiho (Children of Bodom singer)

Gerry Marsden (of Gerry and The Pacemakers)

Mick Bolton (keyboardist for Mott the Hoople and Dexys Midnight Runners)

Liam Reilly (Irish Eurovision singer and frontman of the rock band Bagatelle)

Misty Morgan (Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan)

R.I.P. 2020

R.I.P. 2019

R.I.P. 2018

R.I.P. 2017

R.I.P. 2016

R.I.P. 2015

R.I.P. 2014

R.I.P. 2013

R.I.P. 2012

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About the Author

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.



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