In Memoriam: Artists We Lost in 2021

This year has seen many ups and downs. We’ve received a plethora of new music and new voices. However, we’ve also lost many icons along the way, such as DMX, Leonard Hubbard, and Stonewall Jackson. As 2021 comes to an end, let’s take a look back in remembrance of the musical artists that we’ve lost this year.

Young Dolph

Adolph Robert Thornton Jr., was shot and killed in Memphis on Wednesday, November 17, 2021. Young Dolph often gave back to his Memphis community and was a beloved rapper.

Charlie Watts

Charlie Watts, drummer for The Rolling Stones, died of unreleased causes in August. He was 80 years old.

Johnny Solinger

Johnny Solinger, former lead singer of Skid Row, died at age 55, just a month after announcing he was diagnosed with liver failure.

Lloyd Price

Lloyd Price, a legendary member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, passed away in May from diabetes complications. He was 88 years old.

Leonard Hubbard

Leonard “Hub” Hubbard, a longtime member of The Roots, passed away in December from a type of blood cancer. The legendary Philadelphia native died at age 62.

Sarah Harding

Sarah Harding, singer for Girls Aloud, died in September of breast cancer. She was just 39 years old.

Biz Markie

Biz Markie, an entertaining rapper most known for his hit, “Just A Friend,” died at age 57 from complications of diabetes.

Drakeo the Ruler

Darrell Caldwell, known as Drakeo the Ruler, died at 28 years old after being stabbed at a Los Angeles music festival.

Randy Parton

The country singer and songwriter passed away at 67 years old from a long battle with cancer. He is the younger brother of Dolly Parton.

Baby CEO (Jonathon Brown)

Jonathan Brown, better known as Baby CEO, was reportedly shot and killed at just 20 years old. The Memphis native became a father shortly before his passing.

Jim Steinman

Jim Steinman, a renowned songwriter for Meat Loaf, Celine Dion, and more, died at age 73 from kidney failure.

Les McKeown

Les McKeown was a singer for the Bay City Rollers, and passed away due to “natural causes” in September. He passed in his London home at age 65.


Earl Simmons (DMX), died from a cocaine-induced heart attack in April. His family writes, “Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever.”

Slim 400

Slim 400, whose real name is Vincent Cohran, died from gunshot wounds at just 34 years old. He is survived by a young daughter.

Stonewall Jackson

The country music legend passed away in December from vascular dementia. He was a member of the Grand Ole Opry and pioneered the country genre. He was 89 years of age.

Mary Wilson

One of the founding members of Motown Records’ famous womens singing quartet, The Supremes, Mary Wilson died the second week of February this year. She died at the age of 78 of naturally of hypertensive atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, the Clark County medical examiner said.

Wanda Young

Another iconic member of a Motown group, The Marvelettes, Wanda Young passed away from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at 78 years old. These notable Motown artists that we’ve lost in 2021 is a sad time.

Reggie Warren

Reggie Warren passed away in his California home at the age of 52. He was a member of the ’80s r&b band, Troop, which was formed by childhood friends.

SOPHIE (Sophie Xeon)

SOPHIE, the Grammy-nominated pop icon, died tragically at just 34 years old. Her family writes, “True to her spirituality she had climbed up to watch the full moon and accidentally slipped and fell. She will always be here with us.”

Skilyr Hicks

Skilyr Hicks, a former America’s Got Talent contestant, passed away at 23 years old. Her mother, Jodi, explained that the talented singer-songwriter battled with mental health and substance abuse issues. Jodi also says, “She will live on through her music.”

Joe Simon

The Grammy-winning R&B singer passed at 85 years old in December. He was a pioneer in soul music. However, he gave it up to become a minister.

As we celebrate the New Year, let’s remember the icons who made today’s music possible. These artists we lost in 2021 will live on in our memories.

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