Artists That Passed Away in 2012
As 2012 draws to a close, many people reflect on the year gone by and set resolutions for the forthcoming year, which they habitually break before the end of January. Well 2012 was a massive year for music, however we also lost a number of greats in music.
We said farewell to musicians and singers who left an indelible mark on the soundtrack of our times among them, Whitney Houston, Davy Jones, Donna Summer, Etta James, Robin Gibb and Adam Yauch.
Whitney Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012)
Whitney Houston died in February under a bit of a cloud, after toxicologists revealed she accidentally drowned in her hotel room after showing effects of chronic cocaine abuse and heart disease. Despite that, Whitney Houston was named the most awarded female act of all time by Guiness Book of Records. Whitney Houston was an undoubted phenomonan and remains the only artist to ever record seven consecutive number ones in the US charts. Her hits included ‘I Will Always Love You’ and ‘How Will I Know’. The latter catapaulting Whitney to success due to its video resonating with the MTV audience.
Recent reports suggest Whitney may have been murdered over a $1.5m debt to drug dealers.
We choose to remember Whitney as the magnificent soul diva she was.
Davy Jones (30 December 1945 – 29 February 2012)
Davy Jones was thought of as a teen idol, whilst a member of The Monkees. Davy was a frontman for The Monkees from 1966 to 1971 and had hoards of teenage girls screaming to get near him. He was one of the original Top of the Pops pin-ups. Jones sang lead vocals on some of their biggest hits including ‘I Wanna Be Free’ and ‘Daydream Believer’.
Jones also died in February, after coming in from riding his horses at his farm in the US. He was complaining of chest pains but was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.
Donna Summer (December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012)
Donna Summer was the queen of disco. She was responsible for some of the tunes that defined disco in the 70s and tracks that are sampled by some of the most popular artists in hip hop and contemporary pop music. Donna Summer counted tracks such as ‘Love To Love You Baby’, ‘Hot Stuff’ and ‘Bad Girls’. However the signature track that everybody knows, as unmistakably Donna Summer, and is still one of the most popular tracks of all time is ‘I Feel Love’.
Donna Summer sadly died in May 2012 after her battle with lung cancer.
Etta James (January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012)
Etta James was a famous multi-genre US singer, who began her singing career all the way back in 1954. She was still singing professional up to her passing in January 2012, just short of her 74th birthday. Etta was inducted in to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001.
Etta released nearly 40 albums and nearly 60 singles.Her most famous work has to be the 1961 hit ‘I Just Wanna Make Love To You’ which was to be rereleased in 1996.
Etta had been diagnosed with a series of illnesses since 2008, including MRSA, alzheimers and in 2011 leukemia, which became terminal and eventually resulted in her death.
Robin Gibb (22 December 1949 – 20 May 2012)
Robin Gibb CBE was best known as one of the founding brothers of huge band, the Bee Gees. The Gibbs were often thought of as an Aussie band, however they were born in the Isle Of Man. The Bee Gees have estimated record sales of over 200m and they received their CBEs from Prince Charles in 2004.
Whilst Robin did have some success as a solo artist, his majot success was as part of the Bee Gees. The group built on previous hits and became an overnight monster in the UK thanks to the huge John Travlota film ‘Saturday Night Fever’ The filmed spawned massive hits including ‘How Deep Is Your Love’, ‘Stayin Alive’, ‘More Than A Woman’ and ‘Night Fever’.
Robin sadly passed away after battling cancer for a long period. He passed away in May 2012 due to liver and kidney failure.
Adam Yauch aka MCA (August 5, 1964 – May 4, 2012)
Adam Yauch was an integral part of iconic Hip Hop act the Beastie Boys. Yauch aka MCA or under the name Nathaniel Hornblower, passed away in May this year after finally losing his three-year battle with salivary gland cancer.
Yauch through his humanitarian work and through the Beastie Boys had a deluge of tributes on his death, demonstrating how much he was loved by so many people.
MCA was a key reason why the Beastie Boys were such a success and one of the reasons Def Jam are where they are as a label today. The Beastie Boys helped bring hip hop to a white audience and at the same time bringing money with it.
‘Licensed To Ill’ catapaulted them to success and was also a seminal piece in Hip Hop history. ‘No Sleep Til Brooklyn’ and ‘(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)’ were huge hits and influenced a new generation. They also sparked the trend of teens stealing Volkswagen badges from cars on the street.
We hope that all of these legends that gave us all so much, are now in a better place. Through your music, each and every one of you has left a lasting legacy. We are all proud and RIP.