In Memoriam 2021: The Musicians We Lost | Morning Edition – KCRW

Posted By on January 4, 2022

Dec. 31, 2021

In 2021, the music world said goodbye to artistic visionaries from every corner of the field. We lost rock and roll pioneers, groundbreaking music journalists, and foundational jazz legends (many of whom were honored in a video made by our colleagues at Jazz Night in America). From prolific engineers to producers who helped reimagine the possibilities of sound to writers who helped us understand its impact, the breadth of talent was immeasurable. Below is a list of just some of the many musicians and voices lost in 2021, listed in chronological order by the date that they left us.

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Leader of the 1960s rock group Gerry and the Pacemakers

Sept. 24, 1942 Jan. 3, 2021

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Tuba virtuoso who carved a place for tuba in contemporary jazz

Aug. 7, 1941 Jan. 11, 2021

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Record producer and hip-hop pioneer who co-wrote "The Message," Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five's 1982 hit and cultural staple

Jun. 6, 1951 Jan. 13, 2021

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Guitarist for the hard-driving New York Dolls

Feb. 14, 1951 Jan. 13, 2021

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Legendary producer and convicted murderer who created pop's "wall of sound"

Dec. 26, 1939 Jan. 16, 2021

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Impeccably bluesy hard-bop pianist

Oct. 10, 1928 Jan. 17, 2021

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Composer known for his big band jazz arrangements

Feb. 6, 1924 Jan. 17, 2021

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Singer known for 1950s hits "Honeycomb" and "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine"

Sept. 18, 1933 Jan. 18, 2021

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South African trombonist, composer and activist against apartheid

Oct. 19, 1937 Jan. 23, 2021

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Director of revered classical label Harmonia Mundi

Feb. 26, 1943 Jan. 26, 2021

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Founding guitarist for British Invasion band The Animals

May 21, 1943 Jan. 29, 2021

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Singer-songwriter, guitarist and accordionist dedicated to preservation of Sephardic Jewish music

Dec. 21, 1923 Jan. 29, 2021

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Trailblazing producer who helped usher in a new era of pop-infused electronic music

Sept. 17, 1986 Jan. 30, 2021

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People Under The Stairs rapper and producer

Aug. 1, 1977 Jan. 30, 2021

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Iconic street photographer who documented the ascension of hip-hop and other scenes in '80s and '90s New York

Nov. 20, 1961 Feb. 1, 2021

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Legendary emcee and hype man for James Brown

Mar. 22, 1935 Feb. 2, 2021

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Folk singer and committed political activist

Jul. 1, 1951 Feb. 3, 2021

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Singer-songwriter whose hits, including "Midnight Train to Georgia," spanned genres

Mar. 17, 1943 Feb. 3, 2021

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Trailblazing co-founder of The Supremes

Mar. 6, 1944 Feb. 8, 2021

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Legendary jazz pianist and composer with a strong melodic sense and a crisp, distinctive touch

Jun. 12, 1941 Feb. 9, 2021

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Audio equipment inventor who shaped rock and roll's sound

Jul. 31, 1926 Feb. 12, 2021

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Drummer, scientist, educator and improvisor who mapped the music of the heart

Aug. 20, 1941 Feb. 12, 2021

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Co-founder of Fania Records, which revolutionized the sound of Cuban dance music in the 1970s

Mar. 25, 1935 Feb. 15, 2021

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LA rapper who came up in the underground scene, best known as a member of the Stinc Team

Apr. 19, 1994 Feb. 15, 2021

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Jamaican dancehall icon who had an enormous influence on early rap

Sept. 21, 1942 Feb. 17, 2021

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Member of the Fat Boys who brought beatboxing to the masses

Feb. 19, 1968 Feb. 18, 2021

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"O-o-h Child" singer and member of the Five Stairsteps

1950 Feb. 19, 2021

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Drummer, bandleader and composer who re-enlivened hard bop

May 20, 1962 Mar. 1, 2021

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Singer, songwriter and reggae monarch who brought roots reggae to an international stage

Apr. 10, 1947 Mar. 2, 2021

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No Wave musician, toy-instrument virtuoso, zine-maker and pinhole camera auteur

Apr. 4, 1944 Mar. 4, 2021

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Leader of Cleveland's Michael Stanley Band and quintessential heartland rocker

Mar. 25, 1948 Mar. 5, 2021

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Philips engineer who invented the cassette tape

Jun. 21, 1926 Mar. 6, 2021

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Supremely gifted conductor and former maestro of the Metropolitan Opera whose career collapsed after allegations of sexual misconduct

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In Memoriam 2021: The Musicians We Lost | Morning Edition - KCRW

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