List of 18 famous singers who died in plane crashes
With hectic tours to often remote places, the music world has been hit hard by air tragedies over the years. On Sunday, Mexican singing star Jenni Rivera and six others were killed when their Learjet crashed in rugged territory following a concert in Monterrey, Mexico. Here are other famous singers who died in plane crashes:
Famous singers who died in plane crashes
1— Dec. 15, 1944: Glenn Miller, the trombonist and leader of a hugely popular dance band, was killed when his plane disappeared between England and Paris while Miller was entertaining troops.
2— June 30, 1954: Gospel singers R.W. Blackwood and Bill Lyles died when the group’s private plane crashed in Clanton, Ala.
3— Feb. 3, 1959: Rock stars Buddy Holly, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and Ritchie Valens are among famous singers who died in plane crashes. They were killed when their chartered plane crashed near Mason City, Iowa, en route to a show.
4— March 5, 1963: Country singer Patsy Cline, whose hits included “Crazy” and “She’s Got You,” and fellow singers Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins died in a plane crash near Camden, Tenn.
5— July 31, 1964: Jim Reeves, a country balladeer known for “Four Walls” and “Welcome to My World,” was killed in the crash of a small plane in Nashville, Tenn.
6— Dec. 10, 1967: Soul singer Otis Redding died when his plane crashed into a lake near Madison, Wis.
7— Sept. 20, 1973: Singer Jim Croce, known for hits such as “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” was killed in a plane crash near Natchitoches, La.
8— Oct. 20, 1977: Lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Stevie Gaines of the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd died in a plane crash in McComb, Miss.
9— March 19, 1982: Randall “Randy” Rhoads, lead guitarist in rock star Ozzy Osbourne’s band, along with two others, were killed when their Beechcraft Bonanza allegedly flew too low while “buzzing” a band van on tour in Leesburg, Fla.
10— Dec. 31, 1985: Rick Nelson, “Ozzie and Harriet” TV star turned rock ‘n’ roller, died when his plane caught fire and crashed near DeKalb, Texas.
11— March 21, 1987: Dean Paul Martin, former member of the 1960s band Dino, Desi and Billy and son of entertainer of Dean Martin, was killed with his co-pilot. The two, flying an F-4 phantom, were members of the California Air National Guard.
12— Aug. 27, 1990: Blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan died when his helicopter crashed into a hill in East Troy, Wis., after departing from a concert.
13— Oct. 25, 1991: Bill Graham, who built an empire promoting concerts as rock ‘n’ roll turned psychedelic in the 1960s with groups including Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead and Santana, was killed in a helicopter crash near Vallejo, Calif.
14— Oct. 12, 1997: John Denver, 1970s superstar with hits like “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” died in the crash of his experimental plane off the California coast.
15— Aug. 25, 2001: Actress and R&B singer Aaliyah was killed in a plane crash in the Bahamas along with eight others. The twin-engine Cessna went down shortly after takeoff.
16— Nov. 24, 2001: Melanie Thornton, half of the pop duo La Bouche, which had ‘1990s hits such as “Be My Lover” and “Sweet Dreams,” died in an airline crash in Switzerland.
17— Feb. 12, 2009: Two members of jazz musician Chuck Mangione’s band, Gerry Niewood and Coleman Mellett, are among famous singers who died in pane crashes. They were killed in a commuter plane crash outside Buffalo, NY, along with 48 others.
News researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this report.