The world of music is full of new and older artists alike. Sadly, many artists were never able to become older legends as they left the world too soon. Their music continues to influence newer generations of artists who carry their legacy, but the question remains: what if they were still here? Read on to learn about the best musicians who left us a little too soon.
Tupac and Biggie
These artists are not the same, but they had an incredibly significant musical relationship, which is why it was so tragic to see both pass at such a young age, a little less than one year apart. Despite their short careers, they were industry powerhouses and paved the way for a wider public acceptance and praise for rap music and hip-hop culture. Since their passing in 1996 and 1997, many artists have cited Tupac and Biggie as significant influences. Lil Wayne, Alicia Keys, Eminem, E-40, Nicki Minaj, and Kendrick Lamar are only the tip of the iceberg of artists who’ve spoken about how much these two musicians inspired them.
Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain left an indelible mark on the music world, releasing a few albums before his passing in 1994 at 27 years old. Cobain’s band Nirvana was incredibly popular in the 90s grunge era, and their album Nevermind became one of the most famous albums ever released on cassette. Cobain and Nirvana have influenced some of the biggest artists in the last few decades, such as Kid Cudi, Denzel Curry, and Paramore, to name a few.
Jimi Hendrix is another member of the 27 club, passing away before he could create all the music in his soul. Still, in the short amount of time he was performing, he electrified audiences at Woodstock and made enough music to influence many of the artists of today. Artists like Prince, A Tribe Called Quest, Beastie Boys, Death Grips, and David Bowie have all cited Hendrix as a major influence.
Aaliyah was only 22 years old when she passed away in 2001. Before her untimely passing, she was one of the first female singers to become prominent in the R&B and hip-hop scene. Since her death, many have given her the moniker “Princess of R&B.” If you look at those she’s influenced, it couldn’t be more well-deserved. Artists like Rihanna, Beyoncé, Drake, and many others have all spoken extensively about how much Aaliyah and her music meant to them.
These musicians left us a little too soon, but their memory lives on today. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of talented musicians who left before they were able to become recognized in the public eye. Music is an ever-transforming landscape full of sonically different artists, and hopefully, more and more artists will get the chance to have their sounds heard.