On August 16, 2018, Aretha Louise Franklin died aged 76. She was singer and songwriter, with more than six decades long career. In the 60’, with songs “Respect”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “Spanish Harlem” and “Think”, she achieved commercial acclaim and success and gained the title “The Queen of Soul”. Franklin has won 18 “Grammy Awards” and is one of the best-selling artists of all time, having sold over 80 million records worldwide. In 1987 she was inducted into the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”, becaming the first female performer to be inducted. In 2005, Franklin was inducted to the “UK Music Hall of Fame” and in 2012; she was inducted into the “GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame”. “Rolling Stone” magazine included Aretha in its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”, and the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”.
On March 18, 2017, Charles Edward Anderson “Chuck” Berry died aged 90. Being guitarist, singer and songwriter, he was one of the pioneers and most important figures of rock and roll music. His songs “Maybellene” (1955), “Roll Over Beethoven” (1956), “Rock and Roll Music” (1957) and “Johnny B. Goode” (1958), defined the contours of rock and roll music, and changed the face of popular music. His unique guitar solos and stage appearance made lasting influence on subsequent rock artists, including names like The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. In 1984, Berry was awarded “Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award”. He was among the first musicians to be inducted into the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” on its opening in 1986. In 2004, “Rolling Stone” magazine ranked him at number 5 on its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. The same magazine ranked his compilation album “The Great Twenty-Eight” at number 21 on its list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. His songs “Johnny B. Goode,” “Maybellene,” and “Rock and Roll Music”, are included in the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll”. “Johnny B. Goode” is the only rock-and-roll song included on the “Voyager Golden Record”. In 2014, Berry was made a laureate of the “Polar Music Prize”.
On December 25, 2006, James Joseph Brown died aged 73. He was singer, songwriter, producer and bandleader, regarded as the creator of funk music, and one of the most important artists in the history of the modern music. Named the “Godfather of Soul” and the “Hardest Working Man in the Show Business”, for all the achievements in his six decades long career, Brown received many honors including” inductions into the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”; “Songwriters Hall of Fame”; “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the 34th annual “Grammy Awards”; “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the 4th annual “Rhythm & Blues Foundation Pioneer Awards”; a star on the “Hollywood Walk of Fame”; inductee to the “New York Songwriters Hall of Fame”; honored as the first “BMI Urban Icon” at the “BMI Urban Awards”, “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the “BET Awards”, and induction into the “UK Music Hall of Fame”.Magazine “Rolling Stone” ranked him at number seven on its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”; in Joel Whitburn’s analysis of the “Billboard R&B” charts from 1942 to 2010, Brown was ranked as number one in “The Top 500 Artists”.list, magazine “Rolling Stone” cited him as the most sampled artist of all time, and In an article for the same magazine, critic Robert Christgau cited Brown as “The Greatest Musician of the Rock Era”. Brown is also one of the best sold artist of all times.
On April 21, 2016, Prince Roger Nelson died aged 57. He was singer, musician, composer, arranger, producer and actor, one of the most successful and influential artists of the modern music. He recorded thirty-nine studio albums, four live albums, eight compilation albums, seventeen video albums, thirteen extended plays and one posthumous album. Prince won seven “Grammy Awards, six “American Music Awards”, a “Golden Globe Award”, and “Academy Award” for the 1984 film “Purple Rain”. In 2004, he was inducted into the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”. Magazine “Rolling Stone” ranked him at number 27 on their list of “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”.
On December 4, 1993, Frank Vincent Zappa died aged 52. He was musician, composer, producer, actor and filmmaker. In a career spanning more than 30 years, with The Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist, Zappa released more than 60 albums, working most of the time as an independent artist. His work gained critical acclaim worldwide; magazine “Rolling Stone” ranked him at No. 71 on its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”, and in 2011 at No. 22 on its list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. In 1995, Zappa was posthumously inducted into the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” and in 1997 he was posthumously awarded with the “Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award”.