Sadly 2021 saw the deaths of many large figures in the music world.

Another year is coming to a close and as we say goodbye to 2021, we want to remember the greats of the music world who we also had to say goodbye to. Join us in remembering some of the world’s most influential artists and their music.

Of course, the world of music is huge and we can’t include every musician or figure within the industry who has passed away this year. If there’s a musical figure we’ve missed that you want to pay respect to then share them in the comments below; link your favourite song to share in their memory through their creations.


DMX, a huge figure in the hip-hop world, died at age 50 in April. Rapping since the early ’90s, he was there as the world of rap blossomed and grew into the mainstream genre it is today.

Whilst most widely recognised by the underground and real hiphopheads, he’s got an incredible stock of huge hits in his catalogue nonetheless. The most famous is undoubtedly the huge track ‘X Gon’ Give It To Ya’. He sure did, and we’ll hold on to it for a long time to come.

Gerry Marsden

Gerry of Gerry and the Pacemakers died at age 78 this year. A Liverpool band, they launched from the city that created the Beatles and at the same time too – not easy competition!

Whilst they didn’t achieve the same level of fame as the biggest band in history, Gerry and his band will be immortalised in their track ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ – celebrated across the world by football fans, and more recently used to show solidarity with medical staff coping with COVID-19.

Dusty Hill

One-third of the legendary, influential rock band ZZ Top, Hill passed away aged 72 in July of this year. Taking his iconic look to the grave, Dusty will be remembered with strong, black shades sitting atop a long flowing beard.

With a host of classic rock and roll tracks in their unique sound filling their discography, La Grange has to be their most recognised and beloved hit track. An iconic shuffling beat, muffled vocals leering through, and one of the rock world’s most well known guitar solos make this track a classic.

Joey Jordison

Perhaps not recognisable to many but certainly known equally amongst the metal world and by drummers across the globe. Joey Jordison died in his sleep at 46.

A founding member of Slipknot, he drummed with the band for the best part of 2 decades. The band was famed for many things: their iconic and creepy masked appearance, huge live shows, and powerful percussion which escaped Jordison’s huge drum sets with 2 other members of the band slamming large drums. Jordison’s relentless and fast-paced rhythm will be remembered by many.

Charlie Watts

The renowned drummer of the Rolling Stones played with the band almost since inception, starting in 1963 and playing with them until his death in August this year.

Titled ‘The Whembley Whammer’ by Mick Jagger, Watts’ influence is all over the Stones’ most iconic records. Carving a path with one of history’s most famous rock bands, Watts actually credits jazz as his biggest influence on his style.

Alan Lancaster

Founder and former bassist for Status Quo, Lancaster died aged 72 in September this year. An essential ingredient in the band’s early success, Lancaster also sang on many of the band’s tracks including the huge Roadhouse Blues.

However the most famous track Status Quo released with Lancaster in tow has to be ‘In The Army Now’. The song, a cover of Bolland & Bolland (yeah, we don’t know either), shot up the charts and is recognised by many.

Michael Nesmith

At age 78, the singer, guitarist, and songwriter for The Monkees died on the 10th December. Another band that was somewhat posited against the Beatles, they were in fact originally conceived as a TV parody of the archetypal boy-band arrangement and image that the Beatles had perfected.

In their time The Monkees managed to reclaim their image with their own, carving a unique path that set them in their own place. The members of the band fought to be appreciated as musicians and eventually took control over their creative decisions. They didn’t just daydream, they achieved their dreams.

Hilton Valentine

Valentine passed at the age of 77 this year, leaving behind a powerful legacy of music. Valentine has a spot on the Hollywood Rock Walk of Fame and is also an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

As the guitarist and founding member of The Animals, he is immortalised in many great tracks but in particular will be remembered for his incredible work on their stunning cover of The House of the Rising Sun.