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As 2018 comes to an end, we are reflecting and remembering those incredible contributors to the music industry who passed away this year. While these artists are no longer with us, their legacies live on through their music, and certainly will continue to come to life in the FanLabel app. 

In Memoriam:

Aretha Franklin

Detroit’s own Queen of Soul became gravely ill in 2018 and passed away on Aug. 16 due to a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor at the age of 76. Thousands of mourners attended her funeral at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit to pay her some R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Smokey Robinson delivered a heartfelt eulogy, while Ariana Grande, Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson, Chaka Khan, Faith Hill and others performed. Her legacy and powerful music will never be forgotten.

Mac Miller

A truly tragic story, Miller died of an accidental drug overdose on Sept. 7 at just 26-years-old. Miller had long-struggled with substance abuse. The late rapper’s music touched many people, as he was never afraid to tackle the topics of depression and addiction. His style mixed ‘90s style-rap with R&B and funk influences. He also played drums and guitar, and knew how to produce his own beats. Thousands of people attended a public vigil for Miller in his hometown of Pittsburgh.


Another one who left us far too soon. Tim Bergling, better known as Avicii, died at the age of 28 on April 20. TMZ later reported his death was a suicide. He was a DJ, producer and remixer, and one of Electronic Dance Music’s (EDM) most popular artists. Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, Bergling landed his first record deal at just 16-years-old, and rose to stardom in 2011 with his single “Levels.” His family held a private funeral, and several artists have since paid tribute to the late artist at various events.

Roy Clark

Clark passed away at 85-years-young on Nov. 15. Best known for hosting the country variety show, “Hee Haw,” Clark was a trailblazer in the country music scene. In addition to his television and film credentials, Clark was also an accomplished musician, as well. His music career spanned several decades, often charting hits on the Country Billboards, including his No. 1 hit, “Come Live With Me.” Clark won numerous awards, including CMA Entertainer of the Year, ACM Entertainer of the Year and CMA Comedian of the Year.


Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy, best known as rapper XXXTentacion, was a controversial artist who had his fair share of legal trouble, including being arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and robbery. However, he did not deserve what happened to him. Onfroy was murdered outside of a motorcycle shop on June 18 in Deerfield Beach, Florida at the age of 20. He was shot in the neck and pronounced dead at 5:30 p.m. Four men were indicted in front of a grand jury in connection with the murder. While his career was short, Onfroy’s music leaves behind a large musical footprint, and influenced many. Since his death, a posthumous song entitled “Falling Down with fellow late rapper, Lil Peep, was released. Most recently, XXXTentcion’s posthumous album “Skins” was released earlier this month.

Dolore O’Riordan

The Irish singer-songwriter is best known as the lead vocalists for rock band, The Cranberries. She died suddenly at the age of 46 on Jan. 15 due to accidental drowning in a bathtub caused by sedation from alcohol intoxication. O’Riordan is remembered for her unique, attention-drawing vocals. She also performed at the Vatican Christmas concert in 2013 in front of Pope Francis. Following O’Riordan’s service, The Cranberries’ song “When You’re Gone” was played.

Additionally, we remember the following people who passed away this year for their contributions to the music industry:

  • Craig Mack, 46, Hip-hop pioneer best known for his hit “Flava in Ya Ear”
  • Barbara Alston, 74, From the ‘60s girl group The Crystals
  • Vic Damone, 89, Legendary crooner
  • Dennis Edwards, 74, Member of famous Motown group The Temptations
  • Mark E. Smith, 60, Founder and lead singer of post-punk group The Fall
  • Hugh Masekela, 78, Known as the “father of South African jazz”
  • Eddie Clark, 67, Motörhead guitarist, known as “Fast Eddie”
  • Ed King, 68, Guitarist from southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Nancy Wilson, 81, Legendary jazz singer
  • Devin Lima, 41, Singer from the ‘90s boy band LFO
  • Vinnie Paul, 54, Drummer for metal band Pantera
  • Randy Scruggs, 64, Country songwriter, guitarist and producer
  • Joe Jackson, 89, Music manager and father of the Jackson 5
  • Matt “Guitar” Murphy, 88, Legendary Blues Brothers guitarist
  • Danny Kirwan, 68, Guitarist from rock band Fleetwood Mac
  • Scott Hutchinson, 36, Frontman for Scottish indie band Frightened Rabbit
  • Richard Swift, 41, Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and member of The Black Keys
FanLabel Staff

FanLabel Staff

Enjoy great music and fun contests as you operate your own fantasy record label in the FanLabel app! Pick the songs you think will rise on the contest charts. Compete for the top spot and become a music mogul!