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2016: The Year the Music Died

Los Angeles (CNN) February 3, 1959… Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper killed in a plane crash.

It was the day the music died…

big bopper & gang

Then, came a sad 11 month stretch in 1970-71 when the world lost Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Louis Armstrong.

joplin & gang

Both stretches of time were awful but, perhaps, 2016 has been the most bitter pill to swallow.

Like a jukebox of sad songs on repeat… so many legends were lost.

2016 losses

It began January 10th — when David Bowie, the iconic Ziggy Stardust singer — lost his 18-month long battle with cancer. He was 69.

bowie clean

A week later — Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey and co-writer of “Hotel California” died from rheumatoid arthritis complications at age 67.

glen frey

Founding members of Jefferson Airplane, Earth Wind & Fire, Emerson Lake & Palmer and A Tribe Called Quest passed away in 2016, as well.

founders

The tragedies did not end there…

On April 6th, we lost grizzled country music legend Merle Haggard. The 79-year old died from pneumonia complications.

haggard

April 21st — we learned what it sounds like when the doves cry. The prolific and timeless sound of Prince silenced by an overdose of pain killers. He was just 57.

prince

On November 10th, Canadian crooner and “Hallelujah” writer Leonard Cohen died at 82. He released an album about mortality and god earlier in the year.

cohen

Three days later, “the master of time and space” Leon Russell died in his sleep at 74.

leon

On November 18th, soul and funk singer Sharon Jones lost her battle with cancer. She was 60.

sharon

And then, on Christmas Day — British pop star George Michael died from heart failure. From “Faith” to “Freedom” — the 53-year old singer sold more than 100 million albums worldwide.

george michael

2016 — a year some might say, “The music died.”

Written and produced by: Ben Bamsey for “CNN Newsroom.”

2016 acts

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