Musicians We’ve Lost in 2023: Crosby, Beck & Turner Are Among the Most Notable

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Although it is still early in the year, we have already lost numerous luminaries within the wide sphere of the music community.

Below are just some of the artists and music industry influencers who have passed in 2023. 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 2023.

We will miss all of these great talents. RIP.

Donn Adams—4/?—Trombonist with NRBQ’s Whole Wheat Horns; brother of founder Terry Adams

Ron Altbach—2/21—Keyboardist for King Harvest (“Dancing in the Moonlight”)

Ed Ames—5/21—Ames Brothers singer and Daniel Boone TV series star

Burt Bacharach—2/8—Masterful songwriter of hits for Dionne Warwick, Carpenters, B.J. Thomas, and more

Robbie Bachman—1/12—Drummer for Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Tim Bachman—4/28—Co-founding guitarist of Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Ian Bairnson—4/7—Guitarist for the Alan Parsons Project, Kate Bush, and others

Bruce Barthol—2/20—Founding bassist of Country Joe and the Fish

Paul Beasley—3/13—Tenor vocalist for the gospel group the Blind Boys of Alabama

Keith Beaton—1/13—Singer with Blue Magic (“Sideshow”)

Jeff Beck—1/10—Trailblazing rock/blues/jazz guitarist

Harry Belafonte—4/25—Trailblazing singer, entertainer and activist

Jeff Blackburn—1/6—Half of the ’60s folk-rock duo Blackburn and Snow; co-writer of Neil Young’s “My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)”

Jerry Blavat—1/20—Legendary Philadelphia disc jockey

Lin Brehmer—1/22—Disc jockey at WXRT-FM Chicago

Pete Brown—5/19—Lyricist for Cream (“Sunshine of Your Love,” “White Room”)

Victor Brox—2/20—British blues musician

Dennis Budimir—1/10—Guitarist with the Wrecking Crew

Brian Bukantis—2/17—Founder of the long-running record collecting publication Goldmine magazine

Nigel Burlinson—1/18—Music publishing executive with key role in administering multiple song catalogs including the Beatles, Beach Boys, Yes, Supertramp and Bob Marley

Bobby Caldwell—3/14—R&B/jazz singer (“What You Won’t Do for Love”)

Nick “Chinga” Chavin—3/15—Leader of the ’70s band Country Porn

Van Conner—1/17—Co-founder and bassist of Screaming Trees

Ivan Conti—4/18—Co-founder of Brazilian jazz-funk trio Azymuth

David Crosby—1/18—Co-founder of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills and Nash; singer/songwriter

Carl D’Errico—1/3—Songwriter who co-wrote the Animals’ hit “It’s My Life” and songs for the Yardbirds and others

Dean Daughtry—1/26—Keyboardist and founding member of the Atlanta Rhythm Section and the Classics IV

Dix Denne—3/12—Guitarist of punk bands the Weirdos, Thelonious Monster

Billy “The Kid” Emerson—4/25—R&B artist who recorded for Sun Records

Simon Emerson—3/13—Co-founder of Afro Celt Sound System

Junior English—3/10—Jamaican reggae singer

Bobbi Ercoline—3/18—Woman pictured on the cover of the iconic Woodstock soundtrack LP

Johnny Fean—4/28—Guitarist with Horslips

Cliff Fish—4/16—Bass guitarist and vocalist for Paper Lace (“The Night Chicago Died”)

Renée Geyer—1/17—Jazz and soul singer popular in Australia

John Giblin—5/14—Bassist who played with Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, Annie Lennox and others.

Jim Gordon—3/13—World-class drummer (with Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, George Harrison and many others), who was imprisoned for killing his mother

Burt Gowers—1/15—Director of music videos, including Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Robert Haimer—3/4—Half of the duo Barnes & Barnes (“Fish Heads”), along with actor Bill Mumy

Gordy Harmon—1/5—Singer with R&B group the Whispers

Wee Willie Harris—4/27—Early British rock ‘n’ roller

Clarence “Fuzzy” Haskins—3/16—Co-founding vocalist with Parliament-Funkadelic

Redd Holt—5/23—Drummer with the Ramsey Lewis Trio during the era of “The In Crowd” and later a co-founder of Young-Holt Unlimited

Leon Hughes—3/1—Member of the Coasters

Ralph Humphrey—4/18—Drummer for Frank Zappa, others

Chuck Jackson—2/16—R&B singer (“Any Day Now”)

Ahmad Jamal—4/16—Jazz pianist

David Jude Jolicoeur (“Trugoy the Dove”)—2/12—Co-founder of rap group De La Soul

Kidd Jordan—4/7—New Orleans-based jazz saxophonist

Howie Kane—3/27—Founding member of Jay and the Americans

Tom Leadon—3/22—Co-founder of Mudcrutch with Tom Petty

Bill Lee—5/24—Jazz bassist and father of filmmaker Spike Lee

Rita Lee—5/3—Brazilian rock artist

Linda Lewis—5/3—English singer best known for her hit cover of “Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In his Kiss)”

Irv Lichtman—5/2—Former (and longtime) Billboard editor

Gordon Lightfoot—5/1—Renowned Canadian singer-songwriter (“Sundown,” “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” “Early Morning Rain,” “If You Could Read My Mind”)

David Lindley—3/3—Multi-instrumentalist who worked with Jackson Browne and as a solo artist

Levi Lloyd—1/15—California-based blues guitarist

Glen “SPOT” Lockett—3/4—Producer for SST Records artists incuding Black Flag and the Minutemen

Peter Luboff—5/24—Songwriter who created hits for Patti LaBelle, Bobby Womack and others

Robin Lumley—3/9—Fusion keyboardist; founding member of Brand X

Steve Mackey—3/2—Bassist with Pulp

Karaikudi Mani—5/4—Indian percussionist

Peter McCann—1/26—Wrote “Right Time of the Night” for Jennifer Warnes; on- hit wonder with the Top 10 hit “Do You Wanna Make Love” in 1977

Stanley Mieses—2/3—Music journalist for The New Yorker, Newsday and others

Butch Miles—2/2—Jazz drummer who played with Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, others

Joe Millar—2/10—Member of the Irish Rovers (“The Unicorn”)

Chuck Morris—2/?—Percussionist with Lotus

Floyd Newman—5/23—R&B saxophonist who performed on many Stax Records hits and with Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Sam Cooke and others

Jon Povey—5/9—Longtime keyboardist/vocalist for the Pretty Things

Johnny Powers—1/16—Rockabilly singer/guitarist

Lisa Marie Presley—1/12—Singer/songwriter and daughter of Elvis Presley

Alan Rankine—1/3—Keyboardist/guitarist for Scottish band the Associates

Keith Reid—3/23—Lyricist for Procol Harum (“A Whiter Shade of Pale”)

Michael Rhodes—3/4—Session bassist who played on recordings by Bob Seger, Johnny Cash, Mark Knopfler, Brian Wilson, Stevie Nicks, Merle Haggard and many others

Larry Rivera—1/30—Hawaiian entertainer who worked with Elvis Presley on the film Blue Hawaii

Gary Rossington—3/5—Guitarist who was the last remaining member of the original Lynyrd Skynyrd lineup

Andy Rourke—5/19—Bassist for the Smiths

Ryuichi Sakamoto—3/28—Pioneering Japanese electronic music composer; member of Yellow Magic Orchestra

Jerry Samuels—3/10—As Napoleon XIV, one-hit wonder who recorded the novelty song “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!” in 1966

Peggy Scott—3/21—R&B singer who had three Top 40 duets with Jo Jo Benson, including “Pickin’ Wild Mountain Berries”

Don Sebesky—4/29—Jazz trombonist, keyboardist and arranger/composer

Mark Sheehan—4/14—Guitarist with the Script

Peter Shelley—3/23—British pop singer, songwriter and music business executive (co-founder of Magnet Records)

“Sweet” Charles Sherrell—3/29—Late ’60s bassist for James Brown

Wayne Shorter—3/2—Jazz saxophonist and composer who co-founded the fusion band Weather Report

Ray Shulman—3/30—Co-founder of prog-rock band Gentle Giant

Mick Slattery—3/17—Founding guitarist of Hawkwind

Huey “Piano” Smith—2/13—New Orleans R&B pioneer (“Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu”)

Floyd Sneed—1/27—Three Dog Night drummer

Phil Spalding—2/5—Bassist with GTR, Right Said Fred and others

Seymour Stein—4/2—Founder of Sire Records, who signed Talking Heads, Ramones, Madonna, Pretenders and many others

April Stevens—4/17—Singer (with her brother Nino Tempo) of 1963 #1 hit “Deep Purple”

Mark Stewart—4/21—Vocalist for the Pop Group

Chris Strachwitz—5/6—Founder of blues/Americana label Arhoolie Records

Barrett Strong—1/29—Singer of Motown hit “Money (That’s What I Want)” and co-writer of several Temptations hits

Yukihiro Takahashi—1/11—Vocalist for Yellow Magic Orchestra

Ted “Kingsize” Taylor—1/2—Leader of pre-Beatles Liverpool band

Charlie Thomas—1/31—Longtime member of R&B vocal group the Drifters

Anthony “Top” Topham—1/23—First guitarist for the Yardbirds

Marshall Tucker—1/20—Man after whom the Southern rock band was named

Tina Turner—4/24—Trailblazing musical icon who reinvented herself to become “simply the best” in the ’80s

Tom Verlaine—1/28—Guitarist, singer and primary songwriter for the punk-era band Television

Lillian Walker—2/5—Vocalist with the Exciters (“Tell Him”)

James “Owl” Walsh—3/4—Keyboardist with Gypsy

Fred White—1/1—Drummer with Earth, Wind & Fire

Jack Wilkins—5/5—Jazz guitarist

Frank Wyatt—1/11—Keyboardist for Happy the Man

Jeff Young—2/23—Keyboardist for Jackson Browne, Steely Dan and others


Richard Belzer—2/19—Comedian and actor

Robert Blake—3/9—Baretta actor and one-time member of Little Rascals cast

Jim Brown—5/18—Football great and activist

Louise Harrison Caldwell—1/29—Sister of George Harrison

Bobby Hull—1/30—NHL star known as “The Golden Jet”

Al Jaffee—4/10—Mad magazine cartoonist who created the fold-in

Charles Kimbrough—1/11—Best known for his role as news anchorman, Jim Dial, on TV’s Murphy Brown

Gina Lollobrigida—1/16—Legendary Italian actress

Lisa Loring—1/28—Actress who played Wednesday on The Addams Family sitcom

George Maharis—5/24—Actor who starred in the Route 66 TV series

Tim McCarver—2/16—All star catcher and Hall of Fame broadcaster who called 24 World Series as an analyst

Lance Reddick —3/17—Actor who frequently played an authority figure on such TV shows as The Wire, Bosch and Oz

Willis Reed —3/21—The Captain. Inspirational leader of the New York Knicks’ first NBA Championship in the 1969-70 season

Adam Rich —1/7—Child actor on TV’s Eight Is Enough

Tom Sizemore —3/3—Actor well known for supporting roles in Saving Private Ryan and Heat

Jerry Springer—4/17—Controversial talk show host

Stella Stevens—2/27—Actress who starred opposite Elvis Presley in Girls! Girls! Girls! and Jerry Lewis in The Nutty Professor

Raquel Welch—2/15—Actress and sex symbol

Cindy Williams—1/25—Actress in Laverne & Shirley sitcom and American Graffiti

Related: 5 years earlier… the musicians who died in 2018

Best Classic Bands Staff

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