On February 2, 2020, Ivan Král died aged 71. He was musician (guitar, bass, cello, piano, keyboards), vocalist, singer-songwriter, record producer and filmmaker. His songs were recorded by artists such as Pearl Jam, Patti Smith, U2, Iggy Pop, David Bowie and Simple Minds. He recorded and performed with Patti Smith, Blondie, John Cale, Iggy Pop, Lucie, Jiri Suchy, Aneta Langerová, Miro Zbirka, Pavel Bobek and Debbi. As leader he released 16 albums.
On August 5, 2013, George M. Duke died aged 67. He was a singer-songwriter, record producer, arranger, musician (keyboards), and professor of music. He worked with numerous artists such as Frank Zappa, Cannonball Adderley, John Heard, Nat Adderley, Stanley Clarke, Leon “Ndugu” Chancler, Lynn Davis, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Billy Cobham, Sheila Escovedo, Jeffrey Osborne, Earth Wind & Fire, Kirk Whalum, Dianne Reeves, Marcus Miller, Flora Purim, and Al Jarreau.
On June 3, 2016, David Cyril Eric Swarbrick died aged 75. He was singer-songwriter and musician (violin, viola, mandolin, guitar), one of the most highly regarded musicians from the second British folk revival, contributing to some of the most important groups and projects of the 1960s. He has worked with Ian Campbell Folk Group, Martin Carthy, Whippersnapper and Swarb’s Lazarus, but was best known for his work with Fairport Convention. Swarbrick recorded thirteen albums as a leader.
On May 2, 1998, Hideto Matsumoto aka hide, died aged 33. He was singer-songwriter, musician (guitar) and record producer. He was the lead guitarist of the rock band X Japan, founding member of the band Zilch, and had a successful solo career. X Japan rose to prominence in the late 80s and early 90s, credited as founders of the Japanese visual kei movement. Hide was seen as an icon of the Japanese youth rebelling against the country’s conformist society, and his death was labeled “the end of an era”. More than 70,000 people attended his funeral on May 7th, with security of 100 police officers, 170 security guards, police boats and helicopters. 21 people were hospitalised for injuries caused by the massive crowd at the funeral.
On April 21, 2016, Lonnie McIntosh aka Lonnie Mack, died aged 74. He was singer – songwriter and musician (guitar), regarded as pioneer of blues-rock music, rock guitar melodic soloing and a blue-eyed soul singer. He recorded eleven studio and two live albums, and has recorded with many famous musicians such as James Brown, Freddie King, Dobie Gray, Ronnie Hawkins, Wayne Perkins, Jack Holland, Albert Washington, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and bands such as The Doors, The Sluggers, The Crudup Brothers and The Charmaines. For his work, Lonnie Mack received many recognitions and awards including “International Guitar Hall of Fame induction” (2001), “Southeastern Indiana Musician’s Association Hall of Fame” induction (2001), “Rockabilly Hall of Fame” induction (2005), “The Southern Legends Entertainment & Performing Arts Hall of Fame” induction (2006). Magazine “Guitar World” ranked his album “The Wham of that Memphis Man” as the most significant “landmark” in the history of rock guitar.
On April 7, 2020, John Prine died aged 73. He was singer – songwriter and musician (guitar), known for his music that has elements of protest and social commentary. His song “Sam Stone” stands as a reference to the phenomenon of heroin or morphine addiction among Vietnam war veterans. During 2005 at the request of U.S. poet laureate Ted Kooser, John Prine became the first singer – songwriter to read and perform at the Library of Congress. Prine won two “Grammy Awards” and recorded eighteen albums.
On March 30, 2020, William Harrison Withers Jr. aka Bill Withers died aged 81. He was singer-songwriter and musician (guitar, keyboards), active from 1970 until 1985. He composed and recorded several major hits, including “Ain’t No Sunshine” (1971), “Grandma’s Hands” (1971), “Use Me” (1972), “Lean on Me” (1972), “Lovely Day” (1977), and “Just the Two of Us” (1980). Withers won three “Grammy Awards” (1971, 1981, 1987), “ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Heritage” award (2006), was inducted into “West Virginia Music Hall of Fame” (2007), was inducted into “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” (2015), and received honorary degree from West Virginia University.