Musicians We’ve Lost in 2022

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Although the year 2022 is still young, many luminaries within the wide sphere of the music community have already left us.

Below are just some of the artists and music industry influencers we’ve lost to date this year. They are arranged alphabetically, the person’s name followed by the death date and a brief description of who they were.

If an artist’s name is highlighted in blue, you can click on it to be taken to Best Classic Bands’ full obituary.

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

We will miss all of these great talents. RIP.

Cynthia Albritton—4/21—Groupie better known as Cynthia Plaster Caster, she created plaster molds 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—Brazilian classical and jazz guitarist

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

Gary Brooker—2/19—Singer, pianist and primary composer for Procol Harum

Jeff Carson—3/36—Country singer

Kerry Chater—2/4—Founding member and bass guitarist for Gary Puckett and the Union Gap

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

Don Craine—2/24—Guitarist/vocalist for long-running British band the Downliners Sect

Jerry Crutchfield—1/11—Country/pop songwriter, producer and musician

Miguel Vicens Danus—2/12—Bassist of Spanish pop group 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”)

Ricky Gardiner—5/14—Guitarist who played with David Bowie and others

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

Mickey Gilley—5/7—Country music legend who launched the “Urban Cowboy” movement

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

Dick Halligan—1/18—Keyboardist, trombonist and flutist for original lineup of Blood, Sweat and Tears

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

Taylor Hawkins—3/25—Foo Fighters’ drummer

Judy Henske—4/27—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 vocalist of the 1950s, whose hits included “Why Don’t You Believe Me?” and a cover of Hank Williams’ “Your Cheatin’ Heart”

Jimmy Johnson—1/31—Blues guitarist and singer

Syl Johnson—2/6—Blues and soul singer

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

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

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

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

Michael Lang—1/8—Co-creator and producer of the Woodstock music festival; manager of Joe Cocker and others

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

Willie Leacox—2/1—Drummer with America

Emmaretta Marks—1/4—Sang with Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones and others; appeared in Hair; inspiration for Deep Purple song “Emmaretta.”

Ian McDonald—2/9—Founding member of King Crimson and Foreigner

C.W. 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 earned an unlikely pop hit in 1974 with a rock version of “The Lord’s Prayer”

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Meat Loaf—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 cornetist

Charnett Moffett—4/11—Jazz bassist

Barbara Morrison—3/16—Jazz and blues vocalist

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

Rachel Nagy—1/?—Singer for the Detroit Cobras

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

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

Bob Neuwirth—5/18—Dylan collaborator, co-composer of Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz”

Ric Parnell—5/1—Drummer for Atomic Rooster and (one of several) in the film This is Spinal Tap.

Fred Parris—1/13—Lead singer with the Five Satins (“In the Still of the Night”)

Philip 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

Rick Price—5/17—Bassist with the Move, Wizard and others

Howie Pyro—5/4—Bassist with punk and metal bands such as the Blessed and D Generation

Mike Rabon—2/11—Lead guitarist and singer for 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 Roberts—1/13—Half of lounge act Marty & Elayne, 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

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

Bobby Rydell—4/5—Pop star and actor in the late ’50s and early ’60s, considered a teen idol

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

Donald “Tabby” Shaw—3/29—Lead singer of reggae group the Mighty Diamonds

Burke Shelley—1/10—Lead vocalist and bassist with Welsh band Budgie

Paul Siebel—4/5—Singer-songwriter (“Louise”)

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

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

Ronnie Spector—1/12—Lead singer of the Ronettes (“Be My Baby”)

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

John Swenson—3/28—Music journalist

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

Nicky Tesco—2/26—Founding member of the U.K. punk group the Members

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

Rosmarie Trapp—5/13—Last of the original von Trapp family, of The Sound of Music fame

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 beginning in 1959; sang the hit “With This Ring” in 1967

Vangelis—5/17—Electronic music composer best known for the score of Chariots of Fire

David Tyson—2/17—Singer with the Manhattans

Norma Waterson—1/30—Member of the 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—Bluegrass mandolinist and singer; older brother of the Byrds’ Clarence White

Don Wilson—1/22—Co-founding rhythm guitarist of best-selling instrumental group the Ventures (“Walk Don’t Run”)

Bernard Wright—5/19—Jazz and funk keyboardist

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

Related: Musicians who died in 2021


Louie Anderson—1/21—Comedian and actor

Peter Bogdanovich—1/6—Director of films such as The Last Picture Show, Mask and Paper Moon; and the Tom Petty documentary, Runnin’ Down a Dream

Ron Galella—4/30—Celebrity photographer often considered the “Father of the Paparazzi”

Gilbert Gottfried—4/12—Sharp-witted, often acerbic comic

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

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

William Hurt—3/13—Actor in Body Heat, Broadcast News, Children of a Lesser God and many other great films

Sally Kellerman—2/24—Actress best known for her role as “Hot Lips” in Robert Altman’s M.A.S.H.

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—Film director and producer (Ghostbusters, National Lampoon’s Animal House)

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

Bob Saget—1/9—Stand-up comic and actor known as “America’s Dad” on TV’s Full House

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