Musicians Who Died in 2023

Musicians-Who-Died-in-2023

The music world bid farewell to numerous talented musicians who died recently, leaving behind enduring creative legacies built over careers both long and tragically short. As fans mourn, their iconic songs continue delighting audiences worldwide. This diverse group of musicians crossed generational divides and transcended borders through creative talents translating universal human experiences into powerful art.

Some concluded decades-spanning journeys reshaping their genre’s trajectories before health-forced retirement. Others met abrupt, premature ends cutting short only nascent careers ascending into stardom. Despite the varied circumstances, each musician’s inimitable flair for crafting captivating compositions remains immortalized in recordings.

As we reflect on 2023’s profound losses, these creative spirits endure through the timeless artistry of sound and lyrics they gifted before their passing. Their musical imprints will continue inspiring future artists carrying their creative torch.

Gangsta Boo

Lola Chantrelle Mitchell, widely recognized by her stage name Gangsta Boo, was an influential American rapper born on August 7, 1979, in Memphis, Tennessee. Rising to fame as the only female member of Three 6 Mafia, she contributed to the group’s debut album “Mystic Stylez” and four subsequent albums before departing in 2001 to pursue her solo career. Gangsta Boo released notable solo albums, including “Enquiring Minds” (1998) and “Both Worlds *69” (2001). She collaborated with artists such as Eminem, Run the Jewels, and Yelawolf.

Gangsta Boo

Tragically, Mitchell passed away at the age of 43, found dead on her mother’s porch in Memphis on January 1, 2023. She was among the famous musicians who died at this age. The cause of her death was later revealed to be an accidental overdose involving fentanyl, cocaine, and alcohol, as disclosed on June 15, 2023. Authorities confirmed no evidence of foul play. At the time of her death, Gangsta Boo was actively working on an album titled “The BooPrint.” Her contributions to the rap scene and collaborations with various artists left an enduring impact on the genre.

AKA (Rapper)

Kiernan Jarryd Forbes, professionally known as AKA, was a renowned South African rapper, record producer, and businessman. Born on January 28, 1988, in Cape Town, Forbes rose to prominence with hits like “Victory Lap” from his debut album “Altar Ego” (2011). He continued his success with albums like “Levels” (2014), “Be Careful What You Wish For” (2017), and “Mass Country” (2023).

AKA (Rapper)

Tragically, on February 10, 2023, Forbes met an untimely death when he was shot outside a restaurant in Durban. Known for his significant contributions to South African hip hop, Forbes was celebrated as one of the country’s greatest-selling artists. His career spanned collaborations with artists such as Anatii, Stogie T, and Nasty C. Despite personal ups and downs, including relationships and engagements, Forbes left an indelible mark on the music industry, with his final album “Mass Country” reaching platinum status in South Africa. The circumstances surrounding his death, marked by a sudden shooting, shocked the music community and fans alike.

Costa Titch

Costantinos Tsobanoglou, known by his stage name Costa Titch, was a prominent South African Amapiano rapper and dancer, born on September 10, 1995. His father, of Greek descent, and his South African mother shaped his multicultural background. Initially a dancer, Costa Titch transitioned into a rapper after relocating to Johannesburg in 2014.

Costa Titch

In 2020, he gained widespread recognition with his debut album, “Made In Africa,” featuring collaborations with notable South African artists like AKA, Riky Rick, and Boity. The album garnered critical acclaim and commercial success, solidifying his status as a rising star in South African music.

Tragically, on March 11, 2023, during a performance at the Ultra South Africa music festival in Johannesburg, Costa Titch collapsed. Although he initially recovered and resumed performing, he collapsed once more and, devastatingly, passed away at the age of 27. The exact cause of his untimely death remains unknown, leaving the music community and fans mourning the loss of the talented artist.

Moonbin

Moonbin, born as Moon Bin, was a South Korean singer, actor, and dancer, known for his association with the label Fantagio and his membership in the boy group Astro and its sub-unit Moonbin & Sanha. Born on January 26, 1998, in Cheongju, Chungbuk Province, Moonbin exhibited early talent as a child model and ulzzang, making appearances in TVXQ’s music video in 2006 and acting in the drama “Boys over Flowers” in 2009.

Moonbin

Debuting with Astro in 2016, Moonbin contributed to their success with albums like “Spring Up.” Throughout his career, he engaged in solo activities and ventured into acting, earning roles in dramas such as “Moments of Eighteen.” On April 19, 2023, at the age of 25, Moonbin was tragically found dead at his home in Seoul’s Gangnam District. The Seoul Gangnam Police indicated a possible suicide, and while an autopsy was under consideration, no signs of foul play were reported. Moonbin’s funeral, held privately, took place on April 22, 2023, following the shocking news that emerged a day before his scheduled performance at the Dream Concert in Busan with Moonbin & Sanha.

Rob Laakso

Rob Laakso, a renowned American musician, record producer, and engineer, was born in 1979 in Massachusetts. After graduating from Emerson College, Laakso became widely recognized as the recording partner of indie rock musician Kurt Vile and a multi-instrumentalist in the backing band, the Violators. His notable contributions included work on albums such as “God Is Saying This to You…” (2009) and “Smoke Ring for My Halo” (2011). In 2011, following guitarist Adam Granduciel’s departure, Laakso became a full member of the Violators and played a pivotal role in subsequent albums, including “Wakin on a Pretty Daze” (2013), “b’lieve I’m goin down…” (2015), “Bottle It In” (2018), and “(watch my moves)” (2022).

Rob Laakso

Apart from his collaboration with Vile, Laakso’s diverse musical journey involved projects with Swirlies, Mice Parade, and others, showcasing his influential role in the indie music scene. On May 4, 2023, at the age of 44, Rob Laakso succumbed to cholangiocarcinoma, a rare and aggressive form of bile duct cancer. His untimely death marked a significant loss in the music community. He is survived by his wife Mamie-Claire and their two children.

Pacho El Antifeka

Neftalí Álvarez Núñez, professionally known as Pacho El Antifeka, was a Puerto Rican rapper, notably recognized for his involvement in the duo Pacho & Cirilo. Throughout his career, El Antifeka showcased his versatile talent, collaborating with artists like Daddy Yankee, Bad Bunny, Wisin & Yandel, Jay Wheeler, Ovi, Alex Rose, Nicky Jam, and others. In October 2021, he released “All Star Game,” his debut single with Lunay under Duars Entertainment.

Pacho El Antifeka

However, his personal life faced legal challenges when, in 2015, he pleaded guilty to federal charges related to firearm possession and a machine gun, leading to a sentence later that year. Tragically, on June 1, 2023, at the age of 42, Pacho El Antifeka was fatally shot at the Plaza Tropical shopping center in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. The circumstances surrounding his death remain under investigation, with no confirmed arrests according to the Puerto Rico Police Bureau. His contributions to the music scene, marked by collaborations and his album “All-Star Game” in 2021, left a lasting impact on the Puerto Rican rap scene.

Coco Lee

Coco Lee, born Ferren Lee, was a Chinese-American singer and songwriter renowned for her significant impact on the music scene, often dubbed Asia’s Mariah Carey. Born on January 17, 1975, in Hong Kong or Wuhan, she embarked on a prolific career, releasing numerous albums and achieving international acclaim. Breaking barriers, Lee became the first Chinese singer to penetrate the American market with her English-language R&B album, “Just No Other Way,” in 1999.

Coco Lee

Tragically, on July 5, 2023, Coco Lee passed away at the age of 48. Struggling with health issues, including depression and a recent battle with breast cancer, she faced immense challenges. The circumstances leading to her death unfolded as she stood among the musicians who died of overdose. It was found that Coco Lee took an extra dose of sleeping pills on June 29, 2023. Rushed to the hospital, she briefly recovered but subsequently passed away on July 5, sparking widespread attention and condolences. The family has sought an investigation into her death, requesting an autopsy to ascertain the cause amid speculations and concerns about the circumstances surrounding her tragic demise.

Brian McBride (Musician)

Brian Edward McBride, an American musician, gained prominence as one-half of the influential duo Stars of the Lid and contributed significantly to ambient music. Born in 1970, he relocated to Austin, Texas, in 1990, where he co-founded Stars of the Lid with Adam Wiltzie. McBride, also associated with the now-defunct Pilot Ships and the duo Bell Gardens, showcased his musical prowess through two solo albums, “When The Detail Lost Its Freedom” and “The Effective Disconnect,” both released on Kranky.

Brian McBride (Musician)

In addition to his musical pursuits, McBride was an active member of the policy debate community, contributing to the University of Texas National Institute of Forensics and coaching policy debate at the University of Southern California. Tragically, Brian McBride passed away in August 2023 at the age of 53. According to his family, the coroner’s report attributed his death to natural causes. His legacy lives on through his impactful contributions to ambient and experimental music.

MohBad

Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba, professionally known as MohBad, was a prominent Nigerian rapper, singer, and songwriter born on January 3, 1996, in Ketu, Lagos state. Rising to fame through hits like “Ponmo,” “Peace,” and “KPK (Ko Por Ke),” he left a significant mark on the Nigerian music scene. MohBad, formerly signed to Naira Marley’s Marlian Records, departed from the label in 2022.

MohBad

Tragically, MohBad passed away on September 12, 2023, at the age of 27. He succumbed to complications arising from treatment by an unlicensed nurse for an infection. Survived by his wife Omawunmi and their son born in April 2023, MohBad’s untimely death prompted investigations into the circumstances, leading to the arrest of the unlicensed nurse. His musical legacy endures, with posthumous success marked by chart-topping releases and accolades, emphasizing the impact he had on the Nigerian music landscape.

Hiroshi Morie – Health (Musician)

Hiroshi Morie, renowned as Heath, emerged as a key figure in Japanese rock music, notably as the bass guitarist for X Japan from 1992 to 1997 and 2007 until his demise on October 29, 2023, at 55. Prior to X Japan, Heath contributed to bands like Paranoia and Media Youth. Joining X Japan in 1992, he played a vital role in albums like “Art of Life” (1993) and “Dahlia” (1996). After the band’s hiatus in 1997, Heath pursued solo endeavors, rejoined X Japan in 2007, and engaged in diverse projects.

Hiroshi Morie – Health

His musical legacy includes solo works like “Gang Age Cubist” (1998) and “Desert Rain” (2006), collaborations with Dope HEADz, and contributions to various albums. In his last public performance in August 2023, Heath played an integral role. Diagnosed with colon cancer in June 2023, he passed away, prompting X Japan leader Yoshiki to arrange a memorial concert, fulfilling Heath’s wishes. The farewell ceremony on November 28 drew 10,000 fans, featuring Yoshiki’s emotional rendition of “Endless Rain” and marking the conclusion of Heath’s impactful career in Japanese rock.

Johnny Ruffo

John Patrick Ruffo, known as Johnny Ruffo, was a versatile Australian artist, recognized for his talents as a singer, songwriter, dancer, actor, and TV presenter. Rising to fame with a notable appearance on The X Factor Australia’s third season, he secured a record deal and released successful singles like “On Top” (2012) and “Take It Home” (2012). Beyond music, Ruffo won Dancing with the Stars Australia’s twelfth season and ventured into acting with a role in Home and Away from 2013 to 2016.

Johnny Ruffo

Tragically, his life was marked by health challenges. Diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017, Ruffo demonstrated resilience as it went into remission, only to recur in 2020. Despite a valiant battle, Johnny Ruffo succumbed to his terminal cancer on November 10, 2023, at the age of 35. His enduring impact on Australian entertainment and his courageous fight against cancer left a lasting legacy.

Myles Francis Goodwyn

Myles Francis Goodwyn, born on June 23, 1948, was not only a prolific Canadian musician but also navigated a life marked by personal and health challenges. Raised in Nova Scotia and later residing in Quebec for decades, he eventually settled in the Halifax area. Goodwyn, married to a Jewish wife, faced the shared adversity of his son also dealing with diabetes. Beyond his musical pursuits, he found solace in the leisurely sport of golf.

Myles Francis Goodwyn

However, his life took a tumultuous turn when alcohol abuse led to a severe health crisis. In 2008, he collapsed and neared death due to internal bleeding. Following an arduous journey through rehabilitation, Goodwyn was inspired to share his story, committing to publish his autobiography. In recognition of declining health and a desire to avoid frequent travel, he retired from touring with April Wine in March 2023. The celebrated musician’s journey concluded tragically when Myles Goodwyn passed away at the age of 75 on December 3, 2023, in Halifax. Till now, he is among the famous musicians who died recently.

Conclusion

In 2023, we sadly departed many musicians among which were those who died young. From genre-shaping pioneers to rising stars cut short, their inimitable flair remains immortalized in recordings. As fans mourn, iconic songs continue to captivate, inspiring future artists to carry the torch of innovation. The losses of the year, marked by profound contributions, serve as a reminder of the timeless artistry that transcends borders and generations. These endings are not just farewells; they are echoes of musical journeys that will resonate eternally, woven into the very fabric of the universal language we call music.


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