Legendary Musicians Who Died In A Plane Crash
Buddy Holly performing It's So Easy - MinorThreat81 / Youtube
Despite the difficulty, it is necessary to honor the memories of loved ones who were separated from us too soon. Flying between cities is a common practice for musicians, but with that, there is a certain danger involved. Air crashes have claimed the lives of far more than a handful of musicians over the past few decades. With that, we’ll delve into these 10 musicians whose lives were tragically taken in airplane crashes.
John Denver (1997)
John Denver, arguably one of the best songwriters in music history, passed away on October 12, 1997. His newly purchased homemade plane crashed into the water shortly after takeoff. Based on the findings of the inquiry into the disaster, it appears that Denver intended to transfer fuel tanks in flight but accidentally touched the rudder pedal button, which led him to crash.
Stevie Ray Vaughan (1990)
Stevie Ray Vaughan, arguably the best guitarist of all time, was killed when his helicopter collided with a ski mountain in 1990.
Lynyrd Skynyrd (d. 1977)
Members of this iconic southern rock band were whisked away on a jet from South Carolina to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, just three days after the release of their fifth album, Street Survivors. Afterward, inspection revealed that the plane had crashed due to a lack of gasoline since the pilots had neglected to check the fuel gauges. Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, and Cassie Gaines, the band’s lead vocalist, guitarist, and backing singer, were all killed in the collision.
Jim Croce (d. 1973)
Croce’s tragic death at age 30 came just as his career was reaching new heights. His plane crashed into a pecan tree practically immediately after takeoff. The six persons on board were killed instantly, and the investigation concluded that the pilot was to blame, who walked nearly three miles to get to the airport because he couldn’t get a taxi.
Otis Redding (d. 1967)
A plane disaster took the life of one of the finest soul singers of all time when he was just 26 years old. When terrible weather forced Redding to leave Cleveland, he landed in Madison, Wisconsin. The plane ditched in Lake Monona after it crashed.
Jim Reeves (d. 1964)
Jim Reeves, a popular country musician, crashed the plane he was operating and died. After taking his manager along for the ride, he left Arkansas and promptly crashed due to terrible weather and disorientation.
Patsy Cline (d. 1963)
After performing in Kansas City, Patsy Cline’s aircraft to Nashville had to make multiple stops due to poor weather. However, after taking off from Dyersburg, Tennessee, it crashed about 75 miles outside of Nashville.
Buddy Holly, J.P. Richardson, and Ritchie Valens (d. 1959)
The Big Bopper (born J.P. Richardson), a famed radio DJ, and singers Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens all perished in the same plane disaster. Leaving from Iowa, the jet was bound for Fargo, North Dakota, on the way to a performance in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Unfortunately, they encountered poor weather and had to make an emergency landing in a cornfield; nobody made it out alive.
Glenn Miller (d. 1944)
Miller, a World War I pilot who was born in 1904, perished in the crash of his plane in 1944. The famous bandleader from the swing era vanished on December 15 while traveling over the English Channel to Paris. Some have speculated that the plane was shot down, while others have proposed that its wings froze. Regardless, Miller was tragically last seen.