March 5, 2021
Buzzworthy Indie/Pop Act girl in red Releasing Debut LP ‘if i could make it go quiet’ 4/30; Stream ‘Seratonin’
March 5, 2021
Out Now: Neil Young Releases ‘Archives Volume II: 1972-1976,’ ft. 131 Songs and a Ton of Unheard Material
March 5, 2021
Out Now: Black Sabbath Reissues of Dio-Era ‘Heaven and Hell’ & ‘Mob Rules’, Joining Recent ‘Vol. 4’ Reissue
March 5, 2021
Out Now: Stream ‘When You See Yourself,’ the New Album from Kings of Leon
March 5, 2021
Mary Wilson: Motown/UMe Releasing Expanded Edition of 1979 Solo LP 4/16; Stream ‘Why Can’t We All Get Along’
March 5, 2021
Joe Strummer: Stream a Previously Unreleased Acoustic Version of ‘Junco Partner,’ New ‘Assembly’ Compilation Out 3/26 (Pre-Order)
March 5, 2021
New from Paul Stanley’s Soul Station: Stream ‘I, Oh I,’ from Debut LP ‘Now and Then’ Coming 3/19
March 4, 2021
Saturday 3/6: Watch ‘Elton John Lennon,’ a (Free) Live Stream Concert Saluting the Legendary Artists
March 4, 2021
St. Vincent Shares ‘Pay Your Way In Pain’; New Album ‘Daddy’s Home’ Coming 5/14 (Pre-Order)
March 4, 2021
Out Now: ‘Seven,’ an Intriguing New ‘Thrash-Jazz’ Album from Pianist/Songwriter/Heavy Metal Fan Cameron Graves
A Look Back at Musicians/Entertainers Who Died in 2020
The year is drawing to a close. As we all look ahead to 2021 (and hopefully a return to our “normal” way of life that the COVID-19 pandemic made impossible this year), it’s time to reflect upon those who died in 2020. In addition to everything else going on, 2020 brought with it the deaths of several music and entertainment icons, as well as others whose deaths were covered here at Rock Cellar.
Below, a chronological list of those deaths we covered on the site (click each hyperlink to read each individual news story).
May these artists and entertainers — as well as everybody else the world over who passed away in 2020 — rest in peace.
Peart, the massively influential and beloved drummer of Rush, Peart died after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. Peart’s band mate, guitarist Alex Lifeson, would say in June in a podcast how Peart’s passing left him disinterested in playing guitar, saying, “I just don’t feel inspired and motivated.”
Jones, one of the core members of the legendary English comedy troupe Monty Python, died at 77 after going public with a dementia diagnosis in 2016 per the BBC. Jones’s passing came a few weeks after the death of Neil Innes, a frequent collaborator of the Python crew.
The sports world was rattled by the sudden, tragic death of NBA icon Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash.
Andy Gill of Gang of Four — Feb. 1
Gill, a guitarist and co-founder of Gang of Four, died of “multiple organ failure and penumonia.”
Andy Gill. pic.twitter.com/DHNCz5lAe6
— GANG OF FOUR (@gangof4official) February 1, 2020
Douglas, one of the most enduring icons in Hollywood history, passed away at the age of 103 in early February.
Mays, who won 11 GRAMMY Awards as a key member of the Pat Metheny group, died at age 66.
David Roback of Mazzy Star — Feb. 24
R.I.P. David Roback. The prolific songwriter and producer has passed away at 61. Celebrate his legacy as part of Mazzy Star, Opal, Rain Parade, and more by revisiting his unforgettable work: https://t.co/qbiytruYkh. pic.twitter.com/gk76UImoGd
— kexp (@kexp) February 26, 2020
Roback, 61, was a co-founder of alt/rock band Mazzy Star. He died from metastatic cancer.
Lipton, esteemed host of the longtime Bravo television series Inside the Actor’s Studio, passed away at the age of 93.
The iconic Hollywood legend passed away at the age of 90.
Rogers passed at 81, surrounded by loved ones while under hospice care.
Rieflin, drummer and multi-instrumentalist known for decades for his work with R.E.M., Ministry and King Crimson, among other acts, passed away at the age of 59.
The legendary singer/musician known for several classic hits including “Lean On Me,” “Use Me,” “Just the Two of Us,” “Lovely Day” and more, passed away at the age of 81 due to heart complications.
Renowned trumpeter Wallace Roney passed away at the age of 59 from complications from COVID-19.
Schlesinger, a GRAMMY-winning songwriter/producer, died due to complications of the coronavirus. He was just 52.
The country music community mourned on April 7 as Prine, 73, passed away after a battle with the coronavirus.
Willner, 64, passed away after Rolling Stone quoted a source close to Willner as saying he was “suffering from symptoms consistent with the coronavirus.”
Celebrated Hollywood and stage actor Brian Dennehy died at 81 of natural causes.
Howe, who filled in for Paul Rodgers in Bad Company between 1986 and 1994, died at 66 after suffering cardiac arrest.
Richard, undeniably one of the most important figures in the history of rock and roll music, died at the age of 87.
Stiller, a comedy legend whose career spanned decades (and included stints on Seinfeld and King of Queens), died at 92 of natural causes according to his son, Ben Stiller.
John “Moon” Martin — May 11
Martin, singer/songwriter who wrote Robert Palmer’s 1979 hit “Bad Case of Loving You,” died from natural causes in Los Angeles, per the L.A. Times.
Cypher, the son of Etheridge and her former partner Julie Cypher, was 21. His biological father was David Crosby.
Santana, younger brother of Carlos Santana and a gifted guitarist who toured occasionally with the Santana band, died at the age of 68.
May, vocalist of the English band The Pretty Things, passed away at the age of 75.
Willard, beloved for years for his irreverent roles in mockumentaries including This Is Spinal Tap from Rob Reiner and the Christopher Guest films Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, Waiting for Guffman and many other roles, died at 86.
Kulick’s younger brother, Bruce Kulick, announced his passing at age 70.
Priest, founding member/bassist of the English glam-rock band The Sweet, passed away at the age of 72.
The acclaimed English songwriter/producer/music advocate known for his work spanning decades and genres passed away at 72.
Pointer was 69.
Schumacher died at 80 after a cancer battle.
The acclaimed composer was 94.
Reiner was 98.
The revered Italian composer/conductor/orchestrator passed away at 91.
The country icon died at 83 after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke.
Jazz drummer/music educator Joe Porcaro died at 90.
Adams, responsible for one of the most iconic Fab Four photos ever taken, was 84.
John Travolta announced the death of his wife, Kelly Preston, after a breast cancer battle. She was 57.
Imahara, an electrical engineer/roboticist and TV host known for stints on the program Mythbusters and the Netflix series White Rabbit Project, died at 49 after a brain aneurysm.
The acclaimed and mercurial singer/songwriter died at 70.
The legendary television host and personality passed away at the age of 88.
Green, the co-founder of Fleetwood Mac and an integral part of the band’s early era, passed away at the age of 73.
The character actor died at 85.
Lopez, a versatile American singer/songwriter/actor known for a string of hit songs in the 1960s, died at 83.
Way, co-founder and bassist of the band UFO in addition to a number of other high-profile rock gigs over the years, was 69.
The drummer died at 68 of pancreatic cancer.
The gifted songwriter/guitarist (and son of Steve Earle) was just 38.
The Black Panther star died at just 43 after a private battle with cancer.
Bell, a co-founder of Kool & the Gang, was 68.
The Jamaican reggae legend and lead vocalist of the long-running reggae/ska group died at 77.
The acclaimed musician/photographer/cinematographer was 72.
Lee Kerslake — Sept. 19
Kerslake, an English drummer known for his work with Uriah Heep, Ozzy Osbourne and more, died at 73 after a lengthy fight with prostate cancer.
Lee was one of the kindest men on earth, as well as being a brother he was an incredible drummer, singer and song writer!
He had a passion for life bar none and was much loved by the fans, as well as anyone who crossed his path!
Rock in peace my friend
Love Mick x pic.twitter.com/oq4hbEcNck
— Uriah Heep (@uriah_heep) September 19, 2020
Davis, a renowned country songwriter who penned hits for Elvis, died at 78.
The Australian singer/songwriter/actor and activist known for her early 1970s single “I Am Woman,” was 78.
Prestia was 69.
The guitar legend died at 65 due to complications of throat cancer, as announced by his son, Wolfgang Van Halen.
Nash, known for his feel-good 1972 hit “I Can See Clearly Now,” was 80.
Davis died at 81 while being treated for pneumonia.
Jerry Jeff Walker — Oct. 23
"She Knows Her Daddy Sings" was one of the songs I used to play for my girls when they were little. Thinking back on those days today….and missing you, Jerry Jeff Walker. Thank you for the songs. pic.twitter.com/posD7Nba3S
— Tim McGraw (@TheTimMcGraw) October 24, 2020
Walker, an “outlaw country” icon best known for having written “Mr. Bojangles” in 1968, died in October at the age of 78.
The Texas-based country singer/songwriter died at 81 after suffering a massive stroke.
The Scottish acting legend, who first brought James Bond to the big screen, was 90.
Ken Hensley of Uriah Heep — Nov. 4
Hensley, 75, passed away after a “short illness,” per his representatives.
RIP Ken Hensley. Uriah Heep toured with us in the seventies. We were thrilled to have them share the stage with us. A classic British powerhouse with a slew of killer songs and soaring harmonies. Ken was a huge part of their success and a true rockstar. https://t.co/IkjQOBsQyV
— Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) November 5, 2020
The beloved Jeopardy! host died at 80 after a lengthy (and public) fight with pancreatic cancer.
One of the biggest soccer stars in the world, Maradona died at age 60.
Prowse, the esteemed English actor known for roles including Darth Vader in the original Star Wars films, was 85.
Pride, the first Black musician enshrined in the Country Music Hall of Fame, died at 86 from complications related to the coronavirus.
Chad Stuart of U.K. Duo Chad & Jeremy — Announced Dec. 20
Stuart, 79, passed away after developing pneumonia from a fall, per Chad & Stuart’s Facebook page.
Oslin, the country music singer/songwriter whose 1987 single “80’s Ladies” made her the first female songwriter to win the CMA Award for Song of the Year, passed away at the age of 78.
West, the renowned guitarist and co-founder of the band Mountain, died at 75 after suffering heart failure.
Luker, the acclaimed Broadway star with three Tony nominations and a rich history of work on the stage, died at 59 after a fight with ALS.
Tony Rice — Dec. 25
Rice, a Grammy-winning and International Bluegrass Musician Association Hall of Famer, died at the age of 69. Friend and fellow musician Ricky Skaggs called Rice “the single most influential acoustic guitar player in the last 50 years.”
Wells, whose portrayal of Mary Ann on Gilligan’s Island made her a beloved star of the classic TV show, died at 82 due to causes related to COVID-19.
Reed, the esteemed saxophonist whose work alongside Bob Seger predates the formation of the Silver Bullet Band, died at 72 after a battle with colon cancer.