Rock’s biggest losses in 2015

B.B. King

Easily one of the greatest guitarists of all time, King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. The blues great died on May 14, 2015 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease at 89. B.B. was born on a cotton plantation on September 16, 1925. King first heard the Mississippi Delta blues while on break at a plantation. He heard it and decided he wanted to be a radio musician.

Ben E. King

More of a soul/R&B singer, Ben E. King is best known as the singer of 1961’s “Stand by Me.” King died of “coronary problems” on April 30, 2015, at the age of 76.

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Chris Squire

Yes’ bassist Chris Squire was the only member of the band to appear on each of their 21 studio albums, which came out from 1969 to 2014. He died due to complications related to leukemia on June 27 at his home in Phoenix, Arizona. Per lore: “In 1964, Squire was suspended from school for having hair that was too long and was given money for a hair cut. Instead he went home and never returned.”

Scott Weiland

Scott Weiland fronted Stone Temple Pilots from 1989 to 2013. Weiland died of an accidental drug overdose on December 3. Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins called Weiland one of three “voices of the generation.” Corgan’s other two? Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley of Alice in Chains.

Lemmy Kilmister

The Motorhead frontman died on December 28 at 70. “He once told that he remembered before there was rock & roll,” Henry Rollins wrote about Kilmister. “The statement blew my mind and I asked him to elaborate. He said there was a time when it was just your parent’s Rosemary Clooney records. Then he heard Elvis, Chuck Berry and other originals and never came back. In the next breath he talked about seeing The Beatles play in the Cavern Club and I realized that the man was there when they were building the foundation. Oh, and then there’s the part where he used to be on Hendrix’s road crew. So there was really nothing you could ever tell Lemmy about how it’s done. In fact, you can’t tell the story of modern rock & roll without him.”

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