Many of us strive for money, fame and success. At the very least, we want to have the freedom to do whatever makes us happy. Unfortunately, achieving that freedom doesn’t always grant a happy, healthy and long life. Natural causes aside, musicians, of all music genres, seem prone to more tragic endings.
John Lennon: former Beatles member, musician (1940-1980)
Former Beatle John Lennon created many hit songs during and after his Beatles period. He was also known for his ideals about peace and love. John Lennon was assassinated by Mark David Chapman in 1980. The story of Chapman was made into a film called Chapter 27 in 2007. The movie starred Jared Leto as Chapman. However the movie wasn’t a box office success.
Tupac Shakur: rapper, philosopher, thug (1971-1996)
Rapper Tupac Shakur, also known as 2Pac, was a best-selling rapper and actor. He was also a social activist and a gang member with some convictions himself. He wasn’t exactly friendly towards the law enforcement, who declared his albums unacceptable as they involved songs about offing cops. He was killed in 1996 by 4 gunshot wounds.
Darrell Lance Abbott: guitarist for Pantera, Damageplan (1966-2004)
Darrell Lance Abbott, also known as Dimebag Darrell, played the guitar for bands Pantera and Damageplan. Darrell was shot on stage, during a Damageplan concert in 2004. His killer was an ex Marine named Nathan Gale who also shot others at the concert. It is rumored this occurred because Nathan was angry Darrell had left Pantera.
Øystein Aarseth “guitarist for Mayhem (1968-1993)
Mayhem is a Norwegian black metal band, founded in 1984, in Oslo. Guitarist Øystein Aarseth a.k.a. Euronymous, was among the founding members who also ran a record shop called Helvete.
Mayhem’s songs and album covers dealt with dark subjects. The band’s vocalist (from 1988 to his death in 1991) Per Yngve Ohlin, nicknamed Dead, ended his life at the age of 22. The album Dawn of the Black Hearts bears one of the most controversial album covers of all time: the tragic photo taken by Mayhem’s guitarist Euronymous.
Mayhem had other replacement members, including Kristian Larsson Vikernes a.k.a. Varg Vikernes of one-man metal band Burzum. Varg ended up stabbing Euronymous to death in 1993, which was rumored to result from a dispute about record deals. Along with other convictions, Varg was sentenced to 21 years in prison. He was paroled in 2009. He resumed working on his music after his release.
John Whitehead,singer (1949- 2004)
R&B singer John Whitehead was murdered by two strangers outside his house.
Curtis Ousley, saxophonist (1934 — 1971)
Saxophone player Curtis Ousley whose stage name was King Curtis, was stabbed to death by one of the two junkies who were hanging around his apartment. The assailant – Juan Montañez was arrested and sentenced.
Marvin Gaye — r&b, soul musician (1939- 1984)
Marvin Gaye’s story will probably strike as more tragic than the rest as he wasn’t killed by strangers or an angry band member but by his own father, Marvin Gaye Sr.
Marvin got into a fight with his dad which resulted in him getting shot and killed.