Musicians we lost in 2022



Although the year 2022 is still young, many luminaries within the vast sphere of the music community have already passed away.

Below are some of the artists and music industry influencers we’ve lost so far this year. They are listed in alphabetical order, the person’s name followed by the date of death and a brief description of who they were.

If an artist’s name is highlighted in blueyou can click on it to access the full Best Classic Bands obituary.

Below the list of musical artists, we have also noted several other prominent personalities whose lives were lost in 2022.

All of these great talents will be missed. TO TEAR.

Cynthia Albritton—04/21—Groupie better known as Cynthia Plaster Caster, she created plaster casts of rock stars’ penises

Ernie Andrews—2/21—Jazz and R&B singer

Barry Bailey—3/13—Atlanta rhythm section guitarist

Chris Bailey—4/9—Lead singer of Australian band The Saints

Carlos Barbosa-Lima—2/23—classical guitarist and Brazilian jazz

marilyn bergman—1/8—Award-winning lyricist (“The Windmills of Your Mind”, “The Way We Were”)

Gary Brooker—2/19—Singer, Pianist and Principal Composer for Procol Harum


Jeff Carson—3/36—Country singer

Kerry Chatter—2/4—Founding member and bassist of Gary Puckett and the Union Gap

Morty Craft—1/27—Label owner, arranger, producer and songwriter

Don Craine—2/24—Guitarist/singer of longtime British band The Downliners Sect

Jerry Crutchfield—1/11—Songwriter, producer and country/pop musician

Miguel Vicens Danus—2/12—Bass player of Spanish pop band Los Bravos (“Black is Black”)

Betty Davis—2/9—R&B and funk singer, and second wife of Miles Davis

John Dean—3/8—Singer with the Reflections, of “(Just Like) Romeo & Juliet” fame

Ralph Emery—1/15—Country music disc jockey and TV host

Dallas Frazier—1/13—Songwriter (“Alley Oop,” “Elvira”)

Donny Gerrard—2/?—Lead singer of Skylark (“Wildflower”)

Howard Grimes—2/12—Drummer for Hi Records artists (Al Green, Ann Peebles)

Dick Halligan—1/18—Keyboardist, trombonist and flautist for the original line-up of Blood, Sweat and Tears

Rosa Lee Hawkins—1/11—Member of vocal group Dixie Cups (“Chapel of Love”)

Taylor Hawkins—3/3—The Foo Fighters drummer

Judy Henske—04/27—Folk singer best known for her rendition of the song “High Flying Bird”


Susan Jacks—4/25—Singer with the Poppy Family (“Which Way You Goin’ Billy?”)

Joni James—2/20—Popular 1950s singer, whose hits included “Why Don’t You Believe Me?” and a cover of “Your Cheatin’ Heart” by Hank Williams

jimmy johnson—1/31—Blues guitarist and singer

Syl Johnson—2/6—Blues and soul singer

Naomi Judd—4/30—Country music superstar, with duo The Judds

David “Guitar Shorty” Kearney—4/20—Blues musician

Marc Lanegan—2/22—Lead singer of Screaming Trees and later member of Queens of the Stone Age

Michael Lang on the first day of the Woodstock Festival (Photo © Elliott Landy; used with permission)

Michael Lang—1/8—Woodstock Music Festival co-creator and producer; director of Joe Cocker and others

Sam Lay—1/29—Drummer for the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Muddy Waters, etc.

willy Leacox—2/1—Drummer with America

Marks of Emmarette—1/4—Singed with Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones and others; appears in Hair; inspiration for Deep Purple’s song “Emmaretta”.

ian mcdonald—2/9—Founding member of King Crimson and Foreigner

CW McCall—4/1—Singer and co-writer of country hit “Convoy”

Charles McCormick—4/12—Member of R&B group Bloodstone

Sister Janet Mead—1/26—The Catholic nun scored an unlikely pop hit in 1974 with a rock version of “The Lord’s Prayer”

Meatloaf—1/20—Singer/actor best known for his multi-platinum 1977 album Bat out of hell


Eric Mercury—3/14—Canadian R&B singer

Joe Messina—4/4—Guitarist with Motown house band the Funk Brothers

Ron Miles—3/9—Jazz cornet player

Charnet Moffett—4/11—Jazz bassist

Barbara Morrison—3/16—Jazz and blues singer

James Mtume—1/10—Jazz and R&B musician and songwriter

Rachel Nagy—1/?—Detroit Cobras vocalist

Bobbie Nelson—3/10—Longtime pianist with Willie Nelson and his sister’s band

Sandy Nelson—2/14—Hit drummer (“Teen Beat”)

Fred Paris—1/13—Five Satins Lead Vocalist (“In the Still of the Night”)


Phillip Paul—1/30—Drummer for Freddie King, Hank Ballard and other blues/R&B artists

Richie Podolor—3/9—Producer for Three Dog Night, Steppenwolf and others

Michael Rabon—2/11—Guitarist and lead singer of the Five Americans (“Western Union”)

Randy Rand—4/?—Founding bassist of Autograph

Hargus “Pig” Robbins—1/30—Session keyboardist for hundreds of artists, mostly country

Marty-Robert—1/13—Half of the Marty & Elayne parlor act, featured in the film Swingers


Beverly Ross—1/22—Songwriter (“Lollipop”, “Candy Man”) and performer

Badal-Roy—1/22—Tabla player with Miles Davis and others

Rupee Art—4/15—Founder/Owner of Specialty Records, the label that made stars of Little RIchard, Sam Cooke, Lloyd Price and other early R&B stars

Bobby Rydel—4/5—Pop star and actor of the late 1950s and early 1960s, considered a teen idol


Klaus Schulze—4/26—German electronic musician/composer

Donald “Tabby” Shaw—3/29—Lead singer of reggae band The Mighty Diamonds

Burke Shelley—1/10—Lead singer and bassist of Welsh band Budgie

Paul Sibel—4/5—Songwriter (“Louise”)

Calvin Simon—1/6—Member of Parliament-Funkadelic; Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Fitzroy “Rabbit” Simpson—4/1—Member of the reggae group The Mighty Diamonds

Ronnie Spector—1/12—Ronettes Lead Vocalist (“Be My Baby”)


Re-Styles—4/17—(Shirley Macleod) Singer with the Tubes

John Swenson—3/28—Music Journalist

R. Dean Taylor—1/17—Singer and songwriter for Motown (“Love Child” by the Supremes) and his own “Indiana Wants Me”


Nicky Tesco—2/26—Founding member of British punk band The Members

Timmy Thomas—3/11—R&B singer (“Why Can’t We Live Together?”)

Rick Turner—4/17—Luthier who built guitars used by David Crosby, Lindsey Buckingham, Jerry Garcia, Jackson Browne and others.

Sonny Turner—1/13—Singer with the Platters from 1959; sang the hit “With This Ring” in 1967

David Tyson—2/17—Singer with the Manhattans

Norma Waterson—1/30—Member of English folk group The Watersons

Bobby Weinstein—3/16—Songwriter for Little Anthony and the Imperials and others (“Goin’ Out of My Head”)

Roland White—4/1—Mandolinist and Bluegrass Singer; older brother of Clarence White of the Byrds

Don Wilson—1/22—Rhythm guitar co-founder of hit instrumental group The Ventures (“Walk Don’t Run”)


Joe Zazula—2/1—Founder of Megaforce Records (first label of Metallica, among others)

Related: Musicians who died in 2021

Non-musicians

Louis Anderson—1/21—Comedian and actor

Peter Bogdanovitch—1/6—Director of films such as The last picture show, Hide and moon paper; and the Tom Petty documentary, Running down from a dream

Gilbert Gottfried—4/12—Quick-witted, often acerbic comedy

Howard Hesseman—1/29—Actor best known for starring as Dr. Johnny Fever in TV series WKRP in Cincinnati

Dwayne Hickman—1/9—Actor who starred in the 1960s sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis

Guillaume Blessé—3/13—Actor in body heat, News broadcast, Children of a lesser God and many other great movies

Sally Kellerman—2/24—Actress best known for her role as “Hot Lips” in Robert Altman’s MASH POTATOES

Yvette Mimieux—1/17—Actress (The time machine)

Sidney Poitier—1/6—Actor; first black man to win Best Actor Oscar


Ivan Reitman—2/12—Director and producer (ghost hunters, National Lampoon’s Animal House)

Peter Robbins—1/?—Original voice of Charlie Brown in 60s cartoons

Bob Saget—1/9—Comedian and stand-up actor known as “America’s Dad” on television Full house

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