David Bowie press shot 2_id17354_

Acknowledging the musicians we have lost this year

Allen Toussaint (1938 – 2015). Legendary American musician, songwriter, arranger and record producer. He was active in the New Orleans R&B scene from the 1950s until the day he died, bringing the style of composition and production to a worldwide audience.

Andy Fraser (1952 – 2015). British bass player and songwriter, best known as the founding member of British blues-rock band Free.

BB King (1925 – 2015). BB King was considered to be one of the most influential Blues guitarists of all time, pioneering a sophisticated style of guitar solo that inspired many later Blues guitarists, including Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton.

Ben E King (1938 – 2015). An American soul and R&B singer and record producer, King began his career as a member of the Drifters but was perhaps best known for his solo track ‘Stand By Me’, which was a hit single both on its release in 1961 and in 1986-7. 

Chris Squire (1948 – 2015). British bassist, singer and songwriter – best known for being a founding member of the progressive Rock band Yes, a group that he remained committed to throughout his life, playing on all 21 of the band’s studio albums. 

Cilla Black OBE (Pricilla White 1943 – 2015). Close friends with fellow Liverpudlians The Beatles, Cilla began her career as a singer, managed by Brian Epstein. After having eleven UK top ten singles between 1964 and 1971, Cilla moved into television, hosting her own variety show, ‘Cilla’. During the 80s and 90s, she achieved National Treasure status, hosting Saturday night favourites, ‘Blind Date’ and ‘Surprise Surprise’.

Clarence Reid (1939 – 2016). Reid was a talented R&B musician and songwriter better known as his innovative masked and X-rated alias ‘Blowfly’.

Colin “ Black” Vearncombe (1962 – 2016). English singer songwriter, who emerged from the punk rock scene in the early eighties. Achieved worldwide success with the international hit single ‘Wonderful Life’.

Dale Griffin (1948 – 2016). Drummer with the British glam-rock band Mott the Hoople. Griffin was a founding member of the group, best known for their classic tracks ‘Roll Away The Stone’ and ‘All the Young Dudes’.

David Bowie (David Jones 1947 – 2016). Brixton-born Bowie straddled the world of music and art like no other performer. His influence began with the 1971 album ‘Hunky Dory’, before he shocked 70s Britain with Ziggy Stardust – uniting a generation of outsider fans. Bowie’s four decade long career contained 111 studio singles, 26 albums (plus two with Tin Machine), five UK No. 1s, 26 films, 3 BRIT Awards and a further six BRITs nominations.

Errol Brown MBE (1943 – 2015). A British-Jamaican singer and songwriter, best known as the frontman of Hot Chocolate. Their hits included ‘Emma’, ‘Brother Louie’ and ‘You Sexy Thing’, which reached the UK top ten in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

Glenn Frey (1948 – 2016). American musician, singer, songwriter and co-founder of The Eagles. Frey co-wrote many of the band's hits – including ‘Hotel California’ and ‘Take It Easy’.

Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister (1945 – 2015). A legendary bassist, songwriter and frontman, Lemmy was a prolific collaborator with many bands over his career – although he is best known as a founding member of British Heavy Metal band Motorhead.

Jimmy Bain (1947 – 2016). Scottish musician, best known for playing bass guitar in rock bands Rainbow and Dio.

Lesley Gore (Lesley Sue Goldstein, 1946 – 2015). Gore was an American singer, songwriter, actress and LGBT activist. Discovered at age 16 by Quincy Jones, Gore went on to have many hits including ‘It’s My Party’ and ‘You Don’t Own Me’, which was considered to be an early Feminist anthem.

Lynn Anderson (1947 – 2015). Multi-award winning American Country singer, who had a string of popular tracks in the 1960s – 80s, including ‘Rose Garden’ – a worldwide hit in 1971.

Maurice White (1941 – 2016). American singer songwriter, musician, record producer, arranger and founder of seminal Funk band Earth, Wind & Fire. White won a total of seven of his twenty Grammy nominations, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Natalie Cole (1950 – 2015). Natalie Cole (daughter of singer Nat King Cole) was an American singer songwriter and actress. She achieved musical success in the 1970s with tracks such as ‘This Will Be’ and ‘Inseparable’.

Paul Kantner (1941 – 2016). Co-founder of psychedelic rock band Jefferson Airplane and its spin-off Jefferson Starship, Kantner was an American guitarist and singer song writer. With hits such as ‘Somebody to Love’ and ‘White Rabbit’, Jefferson Airplane soundtracked the hippie movement and the Summer of Love.

Percy Sledge (1940 – 2015). Sledge was an American soul singer, best known for his hit ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ which was a top five single in the UK twice. The re-issue was kept off top spot in 1987 by Ben E. King’s ‘Stand By Me’. Sledge was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.

Scott Weiland (1967 – 2015). Weiland was an American grunge musician, singer and songwriter. As well as being a solo artist and member of the supergroup Velvet Revolver, Weiland was best known as the lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots. 

Signe Toly Anderson (1941 – 2016). American vocalist and original member of psychedelic rock band Jefferson Airplane.

Steve Strange (Steven John Harrington, 1959 - 2015). An influential figure in the New Romantics movement and founder of the Blitz Club, Steve Strange inspired many contemporary artists including David Bowie (who cast Strange in the video for ‘Ashes To Ashes’). Strange was later best known as the lead singer of the new wave synth pop group, Visage.

Viola Beach were an emerging indie band from Warrington, UK. The band was made up of Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe and Jack Dakin. The band, along with their manager Craig Tarry, were killed in a car crash in Sweden in February 2016.