We would like to remember the extraordinary gifted talents who lost their lives this year..
As we mourn those who were lost in 2016, we note the many creative talents in the music world who left us this year, and remember their singular gifts.
Latin jazz saxophonist Leandro “Gato” Barbieri.
Singer, songwriter and actor David Bowie (January 8, 1947-January 10, 2016) frequently changed personas and musical styles, from his early rock ballads to the glam-rock of Ziggy Stardust, to the “electric soul” pop artist of “Let’s Dance” and “Young Americans,” and the techno-rock of “Heroes” – steadfastly refusing to be pinned down or pigeonholed. He was, the most influential figure to appear in rock music after the 1960s. Without Bowie, there would be no Lady Gaga or Nirvana, no U2 or Madonna.
Leonard Cohen once said he got into music because he couldn’t make a living as a poet. The Canadian singer-songwriter rose to prominence during the folk music revival of the 1960s, He seamlessly blended spirituality and sexuality in songs like “Hallelujah,” ‘’Suzanne,” “So Long Marianne” and “Bird on a Wire,” winning him fans around the world and among fellow musicians like Bob Dylan and R.E.M.
Singer Joey Feek who formed the award-winning country duo Joey + Rory with her husband, songwriter Rory Feek, found success following their 2008 appearance on the Country Music Television singing competition “Can You Duet?” Their first album, “The Life of a Song,” which featured a plainspoken style and Joey’s sweet, smoky voice, was a hit.
Jazz clarinetist Pete Fountain, a fixture of his hometown of New Orleans, was well known to television viewers of Lawrence Welk and Johnny Carson, playing his mix of swing and Dixieland.
Guitarist Glenn Frey (November 6, 1948-January 18, 2016), a founding member of the Eagles, was lead vocalist on the group’s breakthrough hit, “Take It Easy,” as well as on “Heartache Tonight,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” “Already Gone,” “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” and “New Kid in Town.” His solo hits include “The Heat Is On” and “Smuggler’s Blues.”
Bobby Hutcherson (Jan. 17, 1941-Aug. 15, 2016) was one of the most inventive jazz vibraphonists to pick up a pair of mallets. George Martin
Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, Grammy-winning singer George Michael (June 25, 1963-December 25, 2016) rose to fame as part of the duo Wham!, with such hits as “Young Guns,” “Careless Whisper,” “Freedom,” “Make It Big,” “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and “Where Did Your Heart Go.” Michael would sell 100 million albums throughout his four-decade career, including his debut solo album, “Faith,” and the singles “I Want Your Sex,” “Jesus to a Child,” and “Fastlove.”
Born Prince Rogers Nelson, the flamboyant musician Prince (June 7, 1958-April 21, 2016) burst onto the scene in the 1980s with a unique blend of rock, R&B, funk and soul, adorned with risqué lyrics and costumes, and an overt sexuality. “1999” (1982), and the film and soundtrack of 1984’s “Purple Rain” (pictured), for which he won an Oscar for Best Song Score, established him as a superstar.
They made us laugh, they made us cry. Many left us too soon. To all those who touched us with their words and deeds, in ways large and small, we are grateful.