The world lost a number of talented singers, instrumentalists, songwriters and personalities this year.
Their ages ranged from 19 to 103 years old with a wide range of causes including drugs, suicide and gunshots.
Rockers included Ronnie Montrose of the band Montrose, Peter Jones drummer for Crowded House, Mark Abrahamian guitarist with Starship with Mickey Thomas, Michael Hossack drummer with the Doobie Brothers, Bob Welch guitarist for Fleetwood Mac and Jon Lord keyboards with Deep Purple.
Behind the scene talent was also hard hit with Jim Marshall founder and owner of Marshall Amps, Robert Sherman the composer of “It’s a Small World” and other songs you can’t get out of your head, music executive Gil Friesen who was responsible for The Police and composer Marvin Hamlisch who was best known for the theme song for the hit movie “Sting”.
This is not meant to be an exhaustive list. I know I’ve missed some big names such as Etta James, Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson, but there are just too many to list.
In the end their contribution to the music world will live on.
A few of the most notable deaths in 2012:
Whitney Houston (48)
Houston was found dead on Saturday Feb. 11 by her bodyguard at approximately 3:48 p.m. on the fourth floor of the Beverly Hills hotel where only hours later she was to attend a pre-Grammy bash hosted by her longtime mentor, Clive Davis.
Houston reigned as pop music queen up until her erratic behavior, professed drug abuse, and troubled marriage to singer Bobby Brown, brought her career to a halt. The drugs ravaged her voice and she could no longer carry the high notes as she did in her earlier years.
Simon Cowell confirmed shortly after her death that he was in talks with the singer about a role as judge on American Idol.
Dick Clark (82)
Clark, known as the “world’s oldest teenager,” due to his boyish looks, died April 18 of a heart attack. Best known for hosting American Band Stand, Clark has been credited for bringing rock-n-roll to mainstream America.
In 2004 Clark continued performing after he suffered a stroke that impaired his ability to speak and walk.
As founder of Dick Clark Productions, Clark supplied movies, game and music shows, beauty contests and more to TV. Among his credits: “The $25,000 Pyramid,” “TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes” and the American Music Awards.
Don Cornelius (75)
Cornelius died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on February 1.
The creator of the hit show “Soul Train” had recently gone through a difficult divorce and was said to be having health issues.
Cornelius hosted Soul Train from 1971 until 1993 when he removed himself as host, but continued to be the creative force behind the scenes.
Soul Train is credited for bringing soul acts to a much larger audience. The show premiered on WCIU-TV on Aug. 17, 1970, as a live show airing weekday afternoons. The first episode of the program featured Jerry Butler, the Chi-Lites, and the Emotions.
Andy Williams (84)
Williams passed away at his home in Branson, MI due to complications from bladder cancer.
A regular on the original Tonight Show starring Steve Allen, Williams went on to churn out hits including “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” “Can’t Get Used to Losing You,” “Where Do I Begin” and “Happy Heart.”
The Andy Williams show ran from 1962 to 1971, he also starred in movies such as “Kansas City Kitty” and “Ladies’ Man.”
The facts for this article have been collected from various news sources throughout the year.
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