In Memoriam Music: Remembering Those We Lost in 2018

From Aretha and Mac Miller to Craig Mack and Dolores O’Riordan
Photo credit Getty Images

From icons to young stars, the music world lost a number of truly remarkable people in 2018. 

While our list of those notable people we lost in 2018 could certainly include the likes of Anthony BourdainBurt Reynolds, Stan Lee, and former president George H.W. Bush, we chose to focus this list on music. Below we remember the lives of those who may be gone, but whose songs will live on forever.


Aretha Franklin, March 25, 1942 - August 16, 2018

An absolute legend. For more than five decades, Aretha Franklin was the voice of strong, independent women around the world. Franklin is regarded as one of the greatest singers of all time.

Aretha L. Franklin and President George W. Bush at the Freedom Awards Ceremony at the White House in Washington D.C. on November 9, 2005.
Photo credit Douglas A. Sonders/Getty Images


Mac Miller, January 19, 1992 - September 7, 2018

The 26-year-old rapper was a bright young star in hip-hop. He amassed a legion of fans until his untimely death in September, thanks to his canny wordplay and artistic reinvention.

 Mac Miller performs during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at Empire Polo Club.
Photo credit Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun via USA TODAY NETWORK


Dolores O’Riordan, September 6, 1971 - January 15, 2018

As the lead singer of the Cranberries O'Riordan became one of music's most celebrated front-women with hits like “Linger,” “Dreams,” and “Zombie.” After her death, countless covers and tributes poured in from around the world breathing new life into many of her iconic songs.

Dolores O'Riordan from The Cranberries performs during F1 Rocks! Melbourne at Sidney Myer Music Bowl on March 17, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia.
Photo credit Paul Jeffers/Getty Images


Avicii, September 8, 1989 - April 20, 2018

The Swedish DJ and producer known as Avicii was an EDM legend. He was one of the first in a wave of EDM DJs to receive a record deal, which would lead to a handful of pop hits.

Avicii performs at the MLB Fan Cave on October 1, 2013 in New York City.
Photo credit Mike Lawrie/Getty Images


Craig Mack, May 10, 1970 - March 12, 2018

The first rapper from the iconic New York hip-hop label Bad Boy Records wasn't Notorious B.I.G., in fact it was Craig Mack and his timeless hit, "Flava In Ya Ear." 

American rapper Craig Mack at the Supper Club.
Photo credit Rick Mackler/Globe Photos/ via USA TODAY NETWORK


Roy Clark, April 15, 1933 - November 15, 2018

The Country Music Hall of Famer was known for both his hit “Yesterday, When I Was Young” and for co-hosting Hee Haw with fellow legend Buck Owens.

Roy Clark performs onstage during the Stagecoach Country Music Festival held at the Empire Polo Field on April 29, 2012 in Indio, California.
Photo credit Karl Walter/Getty Images for Stagecoach


Vinne Paul, March 11, 1964 - June 22, 2018

Drummer Vinnie Paul was more than just a founding member of the legendary heavy metal band Pantera, he was the heart and soul of every band he played in, including Hellyeah and Damageplan - which he formed with his brother, Dimebag Darrell, who was shot and killed in 2004. 

Vinnie Paul performs with Hellyeah during their set at the Rock on the Range Festival in Columbus, Ohio. This was the first time that Vinnie Paul performed in Columbus since his brother, Dimebag Darrell, was shot and killed.
Photo credit Jason L. Nelson/AdMedia


Matt "Guitar" Murphy, December 29, 1929 - June 15, 2018

Murphy was a revered sideman to blues legends like Howlin' Wolf and Memphis Slim. An iconic guitarist in his own right, Murphy was the guitar player for the Blues Brothers.

Matt 'Guitar' Murphy performs during the official Blues Brothers Revue at the Rialto Theater on March 5, 2012 in Joliet, Illinois.
Photo credit Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images


Devin Lima, March 18, 1977 – November 21, 2018

Lima and his band, LFO, had one of the most iconic pop hits of the late 90s with "Summer Girls." Lima and LFO continued to tour up until he lost his battle with cancer.

Devin Lima of LFO performing at the Z100 School Spirit Concert at the Vanderbilt Theater in Long Island, New York on October 12, 2001.
Photo credit Gabe Palacio/ImageDirect


XXXTentacion, January 23, 1998 – June 18, 2018

A troubled and controversial young rapper, XXX was also loved by his fans for his raw, emotional lyrics. He was shot and killed in an apparent robbery near his Florida home. 

XXXTentacion performs during the Rolling Loud Festival in downtown Miami on May 6, 2017.
Photo credit Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/TNS/Sipa USA

Other notable music deaths in 2018:

  • Ray Thomas, December 29, 1941 - January 4, 2018
  • Eddie Clarke, October 5, 1950 - January 10, 2018 
  • DJ Lovebug Starski, May 16, 1960 - February 8, 2018
  • Daryle Singletary, March 10, 1971 - February 12, 2018
  • Danny Kirwan, May 13, 1950 - June 8, 2018
  • Ed King, September 14, 1949 - August 22, 2018
  • Josh Fauver, December 4, 1978 - November 2, 2018
  • Roy Hargrove, October 16, 1969  - November 2, 2018
  • Pete Shelley, April 17, 1955 - December 6, 2018