All The Rockstars Who Passed Away In 2016 & Left Their Legacy

2016 wasn’t a great year. Whether it was politics or civil war, this year wasn’t kind to humanity. What’s worse, we lost some of the brightest rockstars, most of whom died because of disease, overdoses and some because age took hold of them. However, what they left behind were fantastic and indelible legacies that future generations can take inspiration from. Here are all the rockstars who passed away in 2016 –

Jason Mackenroth

He played drums for the Rollins Band from 1998-2004. After that, he released two commercially successful solo albums and was a contribution for the Blue Man Group. After a four-year battle with prostate cancer, he succumbed on January 3 at the age of 49.

Craig Stickland

Lead singer of the band Backroad Anthem, the news that he had gone missing at the beginning of the year was a headline for days. His body was found on an embankment, where he died due to hypothermia while out duck hunting. The exact date and time of his death is not known, though it was taken to be January 4 at the age of 29.

David Bowie

There is no introduction needed for the Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane creator. He helped a number of genres in music, and contributed in a big way to fashion. He passed away after after a long struggle with cancer at the age of 69, just after the release of his critically acclaimed 25th album, Blackstar.

Jimmy Bain

One of the most prolific bass players of his time, Jimmy played for a number of bands, including Dio and Rainbow. He passed away while on Def Leppard’s Hysteria on the High Seas cruise on January 24 at the age of 68.

Paul Kantner and Signe Anderson

Both Paul and Signe were founding members of Jefferson Airplane. While Paul played guitar, Signe was the original lead vocalist. They both passed away on the same day, January 28. He died of multiple organ failure, while her cause of death is still unknown.

Viola Beach

Imagine the sadness when a whole band passes away! On February 28, up-and-coming band Viola Beach were traveling between performances when their car went off a bridge and crashed in a ravine below. They were all in their early 20s.


The man who sang the rhythm and blues with Purple Rain. He was found dead in his home on April 21. Though there were conflicting reports about the cause of his death, it was finally determined that it was due to a prescription opiate overdose. He was 57.

Nick Menza

A well-known face in the metal scene, Nick was part of Megadeth from 1989-1998 and then again in 2004. He died onstage due to cardiac arrest at the age of May 21.

Christina Grimmie

A very popular face on talent show The Voice, she was shot and killed by a stalker in front of fans when leaning in for a hug. She died on June 10 at the age of 23.

James Woolley

He toured with Nine Inch Nails as their keyboardist from 1991-1994. He died after receiving neck injuries when he fell off a ladder in his studio while retrieving equipment on August 14. He was 49.

Matt Roberts

Former guitarist of 3 Doors Down, Matt died of a prescription drug overdose in his home at the age of 38 on August 20.

Pete Burns

Remember the hit single You Spin Me Right Round (Like A Record)? That was from the band Dead or Alive, where Pete was the frontman. He was known for his extreme persona, including gender-bending appearances. He died in his home on October 23 at the age of 57 due to cardiac arrest.

Leonard Cohen

Creator of ethereal hits like Hallelujah, he was a well-known songwriter and poet. Just three weeks after the release of his 14th studio album, Leonard passed away on November 7 at the age of 82 due to old age.

With just a few more days left for the end of 2016, we hope the Grim Reaper doesn’t come calling to any of our beloved musicians’ doors.

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