Article by Louise Gold
Fame comes and goes, but for some music stars, the end of their career comes not from the loss of fame but from the loss of life itself.
These fallen musicians, brilliant in their own right, are a tragic loss to humanity. But as their lives end, their music lives on.
Here is how we remember them.
Amy Winehouse was an English singer and songwriter whose songs "Rehab" and "Back to Black" won her five Grammy awards. Known for her deep contralto uttered, she performed jazz and soul music with impeccable mastery.
Throughout her short life, she battled with drugs and alcohol - and it was a battle thoroughly covered by the press. Her last concert in Serbia was a disaster after Winehouse showed up drunk on stage. Her tour was then unfortunately cancelled after her performance.
She was tragically found dead in her London apartment on July 23, 2011. Police have not yet verified the cause of her death. She was 27 years old.
Kurt Cobain was a musician, songwriter and artist. His claim to fame was being the vocalist of the band Nirvana.
Cobain was known for writing songs about gender equality and the end of racism and homophobia. While his chosen genre is alternative music, his message touches all.
His songs "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Come As You Are" are still being played on the radio to this day. Kurt Cobain is listed as the 12th greatest guitarist of all time by the Rolling Stones Magazine.
Like many other brilliant musicians, Cobain was persecuted throughout his career. His vocal support for black people and homosexuals made him the target of white conservatives.
It didn't help that he was fighting a losing war with drugs and depression.
Cobain was suicidal. He checked in and out of rehab during the last days of his life, but in the end, death won over. He was found lifeless at his Washington Lake Home with a bullet in his head. He died at the age of 27.
The King of Pop is one of the most controversial figures to grace the music scene.
His career began early, as the lead singer of the family singing group called the Jackson 5. His songs "Big Boy" and "I'll Be There" became instant chart toppers.
His musical genius was immediately noted by record executives, and in 1979 his firstly solo album Off the Wall hit the record stores.
From there, Jackson's career took off. His album Thriller produced hits such as "Billie Jean," and "Beat It." It remaining the best-selling album of all clocked with an approximated 110 million copies sold worldwide. This was followed by tracks such as "Heal the World," "Black or White," from his album Dangerous.
However, after 1991, Jackson retreated from the spotlight. His album Invincible received a cold reception. His downward spiral continued with child abuse cases, a divorce with his first wife Lisa Marie Presley, and rumours of bankruptcy.
In March 2009, Jackson announced a series of concerts that he said it would be his endured.
He never made it to that last concert series. A few weeks before the first show, he suffered cardiac collared and was found dead in his bunked at his rented mansion in Los Angeles. The cause of his death was said to be dosing overdose.
His pass didn't stop Michael Jackson from doing that final performance, however. His posthumous documentary "This is It," which contains footage of his rehearsals, grossed 0 million worldwide.
The King of Pop died at the age of 50.
We know John Lennon for many things: He was the founding member of the Beatles, the English rock band that swept the world throughout the 60s. He was a peace activist whose words of wisdom became a voice of sanity during the darkest days of the Vietnam War. His signature songs "Imagine" and "Give Peace a Chance" became the anthem of the anti-war movement.
In the end, however, his fame killed him. On December 8, 1980, John Lennon was assassinated, shot four times in the back by a man named Mark David Chapman, who later said he did it because Lennon was famous and killing him would create for the killer "instant notoriety, fame."
Lennon died in the arms of his wife, Yoko Ono.
Revered in death as he was in life, Lennon was declared by the Rolling Stones magazine to be the 5th greatest singer of all time. A BBC survey also named him the 8th Greatest Briton that ever lived.
Lennon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.
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