While 2010 has been a great year with new music being released, it has brought many tragedies as well. Many great musical figures, perhaps even an irregular figure, have passed away this past year, and we at MDWN feel a tribute is both necessary and appropriate to acknowledge their influence on music.
Ronnie James Dio (July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010) is remembered as one of the most influential icons in heavy metal for his powerful vocals. As well as being an established solo artist with songs like “Holy Diver”, Dio also fronted Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and others, as well as being credited with popularizing the “devil horns.”
Peter Steele (January 4, 1962 – April 14, 2010) is most remembered for fronting metal groups Type O Negative, Fallout, and Carnivore. Steele’s most notable work is considered to be Type O Negative’s breakthrough, Bloody Kisses.
Don Van Vliet (January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010), best known as Captain Beefheart, was an American musician and visual artist. Captain Beefheart had little mainstream success, but had a loyal cult following and great influence on music. After his retirement from music in 1982, he began work as a painter.
Alex Chilton (December 28, 1950 – March 17, 2010) was an American musician. Although he never reached the commercial success of his first group, The Boxtops, Chilton continued to influence alternative music with his solo career and the other group he fronted, Big Star.
Mark Linkous (September 9, 1962 – March 6, 2010) is most famous as the singer of Sparklehorse and The Dancing Hoods. Sparklehorse, Linkous’ most popular group, released four albums on Capitol Records. He was also a sought after record producer.
Paul Gray (April 8, 1972 – May 24, 2010) was the bassist and a founding member of the metal group Slipknot. Other notable works by Gray include short stints with Reggie and The Full Effect and Drop Dead, Gorgeous.
Adrianna Foster (17 January 1962 – 20 October 2010), better known as Ari Up, is most known for her band The Slits, which she formed at the young age of 14. She also maintained a solo career and was the stepdaughter of the Sex Pistols’ John Lydon.
Michael “Eyedea” Larson (November 9, 1981 – October 16, 2010) was best known for his work with Eyedea and The Abilities. He was especially notable in the hip hop underground for his free style abilities and rose to prominence in 1997 when he began touring the rap battle circuit.
Jay Reatard (May 1, 1980 – January 13, 2010) was known both for his solo work as well as his work with The Reatards and The Lost Sounds. His last release was his solo album Watch Me Fall.
Teddy Pendergrass (March 26, 1950 – January 13, 2010) first took notice as the lead singer for Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes which was then followed by a solo career. After an auto accident in 1982, he started the Teddy Pendergrass Alliance, a foundation for those with spinal cord injuries.
Malcolm Mclaren (January 22, 1946 – April 8, 2010) is best remembered for being manager of The Sex Pistols and New York Dolls and playing a key role in introducing hip hop to The United Kingdom. Mclaren also had solo releases of his own.
Gary Shider (July 24, 1953 – June 16, 2010) was the guitarist for Parliament-Funkadelic for much of their career. He co-wrote many of their hit songs as well as contributing to P-Funk spin offs Bootsy Collins and Eddie Hazel.
Teena Marie (March 5, 1956 – December 26, 2010) is most remembered for her 30+ year solo career including the albums Irons In The Fire, It Must Be Magic and Starchild.