Legends that passed in 2017
As 2017 passes, we reflect on the legends that left behind a legacy, from pop to rock and all genres of music.
- Al Jarreau
Alwin Lopez "Al" Jarreau (March 12, 1940 – February 12, 2017) was an American singer and musician. He received a total of seven Grammy Awards and was nominated for over a dozen more. Jarreau is perhaps best known for his 1981 album Breakin' Away. He also sang the theme song of the late-1980s television series Moonlighting, and was among the performers on the 1985 charity song "We Are the World."
- Chester Bennington
Chester Charles Bennington (March 20, 1976 – July 20, 2017) was an American singer, songwriter, and actor. Lead singer for the rock band Linkin Park, and also served as the frontman for Dead by Sunrise and Stone Temple Pilots. Bennington first gained prominence as a vocalist following the release of Linkin Park's debut album, Hybrid Theory, in 2000, which became a commercial success. The album was certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2005, making it the best-selling debut album of the decade, as well as one of the few albums ever to hit that many sales.
- Chris Cornell
Chris Cornell (born Christopher John Boyle; July 20, 1964 – May 18, 2017) was an American musician, singer, and songwriter. He was best known as the lead vocalist for the rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave. Cornell was also known for his numerous solo works and soundtrack contributions since 1991, and as the founder and frontman for Temple of the Dog, the one-off tribute band dedicated to his late friend Andrew Wood.
- Chuck Berry
Charles Edward Anderson Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Rock and Roll Music" (1957) and "Johnny B. Goode" (1958), Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive. Writing lyrics that focused on teen life and consumerism, and developing a music style that included guitar solos and showmanship, Berry was a major influence on subsequent rock music.
- David Cassidy
David Bruce Cassidy (April 12, 1950 – November 21, 2017) was an American actor, singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He was known for his role as Keith Partridge, the son of Shirley Partridge (played by his stepmother Shirley Jones), in the 1970s musical-sitcom The Partridge Family, which led to his becoming one of popular culture's teen idols and pop singers of the 1970s. He later had a career in both acting and music.
- Fats Domino
Antoine Dominique "Fats" Domino Jr. (February 26, 1928 – October 24, 2017) was an American pianist and singer-songwriter of Louisiana Creole descent. One of the pioneers of rock and roll music, Domino sold more than 65 million records. Between 1955 and 1960, he had eleven Top 10 hits. His humility and shyness may be one reason his contribution to the genre has been overlooked.
- George Young
George Redburn Young (6 November 1946 – 22 October 2017) was a British-Australian musician, songwriter and record producer. He was a founding member of the bands the Easybeats and Flash and the Pan, and was one-half of the songwriting and production duo Vanda & Young with his long-time musical collaborator Harry Vanda.
- Glen Campbell
Glen Travis Campbell (April 22, 1936 – August 8, 2017) was an American singer, guitarist, songwriter, television host, and actor. He was best known for a series of hit songs in the 1960s and 1970s, and for hosting a music and comedy variety show called The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour on CBS television, from January 1969 through June 1972.
- Gregg Allman
Gregory Lenoir "Gregg" Allman (December 8, 1947 – May 27, 2017) was an American singer-songwriter and musician. He was known for performing in the Allman Brothers Band. Allman grew up with an interest in rhythm and blues music, and the Allman Brothers Band fused it with rock music, jazz, and country at times. He wrote several of the band's biggest songs, including "Whipping Post", "Melissa", and "Midnight Rider".
- J. Geils
John Warren "J." Geils Jr. (February 20, 1946 – April 11, 2017) was an American guitarist. He was known as the leader of The J. Geils Band. Growing up in New York City, Geils became interested in jazz and blues. After moving to Massachusetts for his college education, he formed the J. Geils Blues Band while still a student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. After dropping the word "Blues" from their name, the band released their first album in 1970, performing soul and rhythm and blues-influenced rock music for most of the 1970s before turning to pop music in the 1980s. He died of natural causes at the age of 71 on April 11, 2017, at his home in Groton, Massachusetts.
- Johnny Hallyday
Jean-Philippe Léo Smet (15 June 1943 – 5 December 2017), better known by his stage name Johnny Hallyday was a French rock and roll and pop singer and actor, in France credited for having imported rock and roll there. During a career spanning 57 years, he released 79 albums and sold more than 80 million records worldwide, mainly in the French-speaking world, making him one of the best-selling artists in France and in the world.
- Joni Sledge
Joan Elise "Joni" Sledge (September 13, 1956 – March 10, 2017 was an American singer–songwriter, actress and producer. Sledge was best known as a founding member of the American family vocal group Sister Sledge, who were best known for their hits during the mid–1970s through the mid–1990s; most notably 1979's "We Are Family" and "He's The Greatest Dancer". Sledge died from natural causes on March 10, 2017 at age 60.
- Malcolm Young
Malcolm Mitchell Young (6 January 1953 – 18 November 2017) was an Australian musician and songwriter, best known as a co-founder, rhythm guitarist, backing vocalist and songwriter for the hard rock band AC/DC. Except for a brief absence in 1988, he was with the band from its November 1973 beginning until retiring in 2014 due to health reasons. Young and the other members of AC/DC were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.
Albert Johnson (November 2, 1974 – June 20, 2017), better known by his stage name Prodigy, was an American rapper, actor and author who was one half of the hip hop duo Mobb Deep with Havoc.
- Tom Petty
Thomas Earl Petty (October 20, 1950 – October 2, 2017) was an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. Petty served as the lead singer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers formed in 1976. He was also a member and co-founder of the late 1980s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys, and his early band Mudcrutch. He died, aged 66, of cardiac arrest on October 2, 2017.