2010s: Music legends we lost in the last decade

News 28/12/2019

The 2010s were a rough decade for music fans like you and us here at The Sound. Our music heroes are ageing slowly with us, and many of them have already passed.

See the full list below (sorted chronologically)

Ravi Shankar, 92
Shankar was a sitar maestro and a prominent Indian musician and composer who gained a lot of Western attention after Beatle George Harrison became a fan of his music and a longtime friend. He was awarded India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna in 1999. He died after undergoing heart surgery on 11th December 2012.

Ray Manzarek, 74
The legendary percussionist and co-founder of The Doors was known for performing keyboard bass in most of the band's live shows and on some recordings. He recorded on every track of the band's entire music catalogue and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993. He struggled with a rare bile duct cancer and passed away on 20th May 2013.

Lou Reed, 71
American musician, songwriter and poet, Lou Reed was a prominent member in The Velvet Underground and had a successful solo career that spanned half a century. He's well-known for his poetic lyrics accompanied with a deadpan voice and experimental guitar sounds. Reed passed away from liver disease on 27th October 2013.

Joe Cocker, 70
English singer, John Robert Cocker, kickstarted his career singing in local pubs and working men's clubs in the early '60s and gained a lot of publicity after his iconic Beatles cover, 'A Little Help From My Friends'. Cocker passed away from lung cancer on 22nd December 2014.

B.B. King, 89
Nobody could play the blues like B.B. King. The King of Blues started his music career in juke joints and on local radio in Mississippi and won over 15 Grammys and a Presidential Medal of Freedom throughout his lifetime. He was also well known for tirelessly performing onstage on an average of more than 200 gigs per year. He died from vascular dementia on 14th May 2015.

David Bowie, 69
Let's dance! The UK music and fashion icon, David Robert Jones, is considered to be one of the most influential musicians of this century. With over 140 million albums sold worldwide, Bowie is one of the world's best-selling music artists, boasting ten platinum album certifications, eleven gold and eight silver, and released a total of eleven No. 1 albums in the span of his music career. He died from liver cancer, two days after his birthday on 10th January 2016.

Glen Frey, 67
Frey was the co-founder and co-lead singer for American rock band, Eagles. He wrote the majority of Eagles' music and played guitar and keyboards as well as providing lead vocals for major hit songs like Tequila Sunrise, James Dean, Take it Easy and New Kid in Town. Frey passed away on 18th January 2016 from complications of rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia.

Sir George Martin, 90
Dubbed the true fifth Beatle, Martin was the Beatles producer and has played on a number of the band's recordings (including a piano solo on 'In My Life'). After the band's breakup, he went on to produce great artists like Elton John, The Who and most of Sir Paul McCartney's solo work. He died in his sleep on 8th March 2016.

Prince, 57
Minneapolis-born musician, Prince Rogers Nelson, was a guitar virtuoso. Regarded as one of the greatest musicians of all time, Prince's music integrates a variety of music styles including funk, rock, R&B, new wave, soul, psychedelia and pop. The legend passed away of an accidental overdose on 21st April 2016.

Chuck Berry, 90
Rock n' Roll pioneer paved the road for rock n' roll with his genius songwriting skills and fierce guitar riffs. Known for songs like Johnny B. Goode, Maybellene and Rock and Roll Music, the legendary guitarist refined R&B that helped create the blueprint for rock music. He also developed the guitar solo style. Berry passed away from a cardiac arrest on 18th March 2017.

Tom Petty, 66
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers defined the '70s - '90s rock. Who could forget the 1979 album, Damn the Torpedos with hit songs like Refugee? As a solo artist, Petty also wrote legendary songs like Free Fallin', I Won't Back Down, Runnin' Down a Dream and You Don't Know How It Feels. He passed away on 2nd October 2017 of an accidental overdose.

Aretha Franklin, 76
She was the first woman to be enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rock Hall describes her as a musician with full of passion, sophistication and command, "whose recordings remain anthems that defined soul music." She passed away on 16th August 2018 from a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour without a will.

Ric Ocasek, 75
Ocasek was the lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and songwriter of rock and new wave band, The Cars. The band emerged from the new wave scene in the late '70s and combined guitar-heavy rock and synthesizer-oriented pop to create their distinctive sounds. He passed away from natural causes on 15th September 2019.

Ginger Baker, 80
The drummer co-founded Cream in 1966 alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce. The group released a total of four albums before breaking up two years later. In 1969, he formed a short-lived band, Blind Faith with Clapton, Steve Winwood and Ric Grech. He then formed his own band a year later called Air Force, and began releasing a number of solo albums until his last studio album Why? in 2014. He passed away on 6th October 2019 after being critically ill and spending a few days in the hospital.