On September 15, 2019, Richard Theodore Otcasek aka Ric Ocasek died aged 75. He was singer, songwriter, musician, record producer and painter, best known as the lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and songwriter for the band the Cars. In 2018, he was inducted into the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” as a member of the Cars. Ocasek released seven solo albums.
On June 6, 2019, Malcolm John Rebennack aka Dr. John, died aged 77. He was singer – songwriter and musician (piano, keyboards and guitar), regarded as one of the greatest New Orleans music icons. He had successful solo career and performed and recorded with many famous musicians and bands, including Art Blakey, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, Van Morrison, Dan Auerbach, Eric Clapton, Bob Seger, Joe Walsh, Canned Heat, The Rolling Stones, Mike Bloomfield, Spiritualized, David Newman, Ray Anderson, Levon Helm, John Hammond, Gregg Allman, Papa John Creach, Bennie Wallace, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Harry Connick Jr., Hank Crawford, Jimmy Smith, Jools Holland, Steve Tyrell, B. B. King and Marcus Miller. Dr. John won six “Grammy Awards”, and was inducted into the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” in 2011. In May 2013, he received honorary doctorate of fine arts from “Tulane University.”
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 January 20, 2012, Jamesetta Hawkins aka Etta James died aged 73. She was singer with powerful voice, performing blues, R&B, soul, jazz and gospel music She won six “Grammy Awards” and 17 “Blues Music Awards”; In 1993, she was inducted into the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”, in 1999 she was inducted in “Grammy Hall of Fame”, and in 2011 in the “Blues Hall of Fame”. “Rolling Stone” magazine ranked Etta James at number 22 on its list of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”.
On December 26, 1999, Curtis Lee Mayfield died aged 57. He was composer, singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer, regarded as one of the most influential musicians and composers in soul and politically conscious African-American music. He started the career in a gospel choir, gained wide recognition as member and main composer of The Impressions, and later had a successful solo career. “Rolling Stone” magazine ranked his 1965 song “People Get Ready” at number 24 on its list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”. The same song was also included in the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll”, and in 1998 was inducted into the “Grammy Hall of Fame”. His album with the soundtrack for the 1972 movie “Super Fly” was ranked at number 72 on “Rolling Stone’s” list of “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. In 1994, Mayfield won a “Grammy Legend Award” in and a “Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award” in 1995. In 1991, he was inductee into the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” as a member of the Impressions, and in 1999 as a solo artist.
On December 24, 2015, William Franklin Guest died aged 74. He was singer, best known as member of Gladys Knight & the Pips. His vocal can be heard on all of the group’s major hits, including “Midnight Train To Georgia”, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” and “Neither One Of Us”. In 1996, Guest was inducted to the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” with Gladys Knight & the Pips.