Music is the language that connects us all. In times of peace and in times of war, music has always been there to bridge the gaps and unite the people. A few musical legends have done just that and a bit more. With their songs, talent and charisma they shaped entire generations. Unfortunately, for some, the journey was cut too short. Nevertheless, the legacy they left behind will live on forever. Here are a few musical legends that left us too soon.
AviciiBy The Perfect World Foundation [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Tim Bergling, mostly known as Avicii, was a Swedish musician, DJ, remixer and record producer. He was launched into mainstrem with the release of the song "Levels" and he hasn't stopped since. Some of his best known hits include "Wake Me Up" and "Hey Brother". He collaborated with many artists, including Madonna, David Guetta, and Lenny Kravitz. He was nominated for two Grammys, and won two MTV Europe Music Awards, an MTV Video Music Award, and two World Music Awards. He was found dead on April 20 2018, at the age of 28, in a hotel in Oman. The family later suggested that the artist committed suicide.
Dolores O'RiordanBy Poudou99 [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
As someone who grew up listening to the Cranberries, this one is especially painful. The lead vocalist of the irish rock band was also a songwriter and was part of The Cranberries from 1990 to 2003, when the band broke up. She is the voice behind the hits "Linger" and "Zombie". She died unexpectedly on January 15 2018 in a hotel in Mayfair, London. It was later declared that she accidently died as a result of drowning in the bathtub following an alcohol intoxication. She was 46 years old and left behind 3 children.
Amy WinehouseBy Fionn Kidney (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Known for her unique, deep vocals, and her blues and jazz rhythms, Amy Winehouse was truly a unique figure. Since she released her first album in 2003, she never stopped. Her album "Back to Black" awarded her with five Grammys, which made her the first British woman to win five Grammys. Alongside her success stories, she was also quite a controversial persona with many substance abuse incidents attached to her. She eventually died from alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011. She was 27 years old. Some of her songs became even more successful after her death.
TupacBy Surya Ati (Flickr) [Public domain]
Born in East Harlem, he was named after Tupac Amaru II, a Peruvian revolutionary. He is considered by many one of the best rappers of all time. Apart from his contribution to the music industry, much of his work was influenced by his social activism and both he and his family have been associated with the Black Panther Party. He had 6 Grammy nominations and won multiple awards including an American Music Award. On September 7, 1996, when he was just 25 years old, we was fatally shot 4 times by an unknown shooter in Las Vegas. After his death, five more albums have been released, all platinum certified.
Michael JacksonBy Casta03 [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons
The "King of Pop" was one of the most influential, popular and loved enterainer in the world. Since the days of the Jackson 5, he has released 10 albums, 6 films, and multiple world tours. Known for hits such as "Thriller", "Beat it" and "Billie Jean", Michael Jackson was also a fashion icon and a trailblazer in the dance industry, introducing famous moves such as the "moonwalk", the "robot", and the thriller dance. In addition, he was an activist, often associated with social initiatives. On 2009, he died of actue propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication, after suffering from a cardiac arrest. Nevertheless, until today, he is undisputably one of the most important influncers and cultural icons of our time.
SelenaPhotographed by Terry Ross [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The Queen of Tejano music, Selena was the top-selling Latin artist of the 1990s. She was one of the first latin artists to break the barrier into the mainstream American market. Her album "Amor Prohibido" released in 1994, became one of the best-selling Latin albums in the United States. Apart from her influence in the music industry, she was also very active in the Latino community in the U.S. from a very young age. At the young age of 23, during the peak of her success, she was shot by her friend and former manager Yolanda Saldivar. Even 23 years later, she remains one of the best selling female artist in Latin music history.
Jimi HendrixBy Sculptor: Arkadiusz Latos Photographer: Paweł Cieśla Staszek_Szybki_Jest [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons
Regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists, Jimi Hendrix was only part of the mainstream for 4 years. Yet, his influence on future generations and the shaping of the American rock music is undeniable. First achieving fame in the UK, he got his U.S break in 1967, and by 1968, his album reached number one. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame states that "Jimi Hendrix was arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music". Hendrix suffered a sudden death at the age of 27, which after a post-mortem examination was decalred as a result of asphyxia while intoxicated.
AaliyahBy Mika-photography [CC BY-SA 3.0],from Wikimedia Commons
Aaliyah was only 10 years old when she first appeared on television as part of the show Star Reach. From there her career get more traction when she started working with R.Kelly as her mentor. Her first album was certified a double platinum. Her second album was also a great success and won her world recognition. She was killed on August 25, 2001, when she was 22 years old, along with eight other passengers in a plane crash in the Bahamas. She gained the nickname "Princess of R&B" and continue to be regarded as an R&B legacy years after her death.
Whitney HoustonAsterio Tecson [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
You can't go through a legacy list without metioning one of the greatest losses of the music industry. The singer and performer whose name became a synonym to impressive vocal range and mesmerizing stage performance, was only 48 years old when she died. From singing in church to gracing the stage with hits such as "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" and "One Moment in Time", it is impossible to tune into a singing competition without somone performing a cover of one of her songs. Her performance in "The Bodyguard" and the accompanying soundtrack, officially marked her as one of the best selling music artists of all time. On February 11, 2012 she was found dead after accidentally drowning in the bathtub, with heart disease and cocaine use as contributing factors.
Elvis PresleyBy Ollie Atkins [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Known as simply the "King", Elvis was one in a lifetime phenomenon. Apart from being one of the most famous people in the world and the inspiration for many imitation artists, Elvis is often regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century. His unique moves, outstanding outfits, and unforgettable expresions made him such a legend, that even after his death in 1977, people all around the world continue denying the fact of his passing.