In Memoriam: The artists we lost in 2016

David Bowie, left, died Jan. 10; Leonard Cohen died Nov. 7.

It started with David Bowie on Jan. 10, and never seemed to stop. 2016 has been the annus horribilis of dying pop stars.

Three songs speak to the situation: Jim Carroll's "People Who Died," the Righteous Brothers' "Rock and Roll Heaven," and Ralph Stanley's "O Death." (Yeah, the bluegrass patriarch died this year, too.)

Here's a Spotify playlist paying tribute to music-makers who drew their last breath in 2016, with one glaring omission: Prince, the Minneapolis marvel whose death at 57 was the year's most shocking. His music can be heard only on Jay Z's streaming service, Tidal. 

David Bowie, "Golden Years." Changeling British rock star, 69.

Earth Wind & Fire, "Shining Star." Bandleader Maurice White, 72.

Funkadelic, "(Not Just) Knee Deep." Bernie Worrell, P-Funk keyboard player, 72.

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, "100 Days, 100 Nights." Leader of the soul revival, 60.

A Tribe Called Quest, "Scenario." Rapper Malik "Phife Dawg" Taylor, 42.

Tower of Power, "What Is Hip?" Mic Gillette, ToP trumpet and trombone player, 64.

Billy Paul, "Me and Mrs. Jones." Philadelphia soul singer, 81.

The Intruders, "Cowboys to Girls." Robert "Big Sonny" Edwards, founding member of the Sound of Philly vocal group, 77.

Bobby Vee, "Devil or Angel." Early 1960s teen idol. 73.

Jefferson Airplane, "Somebody to Love." Paul Kantner, guitarist for '60s San Francisco band, 74. Signe Anderson, the Airplane's original singer, died on the same day in January, also at 74.

Merle Haggard, "Silver Wings." All-time country great, 79.

Jean Shepard, "Satisfied Mind." Female 1950s and '60s country honky-tonk pioneer, 82.

Joey + Rory, "Cheater, Cheater." Joey Feek, one-half of wife-and-husband country duo, 39.

Guy Clark, master craftsman Texas troubadour, 74.

Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks, "I Scare Myself." Wry cowboy, jazz, swing singer, 74.

Buckwheat Zydeco, "Tee Nah Nah."  Stanley Dural, Louisiana accordionist and dance band leader, 68.

Mose Allison, "Everybody's Cryin' Mercy." Jazz-blues songwriter covered by Bonnie Raitt and The Who, 89.

Bobby Hutcherson, "Little B's Poem."Jazz vibraphonist, 75.

Juan Gabriel, "Querida." Mexican singing superstar, 66.

 

Leon Russell, "Tightrope." Wrecking Crew session player, songwriter, and sideman to the stars, 74.

Otis Clay, "Tryin' To Live My Life Without You." Chicago soul singer, 73.

The Eagles, "Take It Easy." Glenn Frey, with Don Henley, half of one of the most successful songwriting duos in history, 67.

Emerson Lake & Palmer, "Lucky Man." Keith Emerson, ELP prog-rock keyboard player, 71, and Greg Lake, guitarist and singer, 69. Only drummer Carl Palmer survives.

Leonard Cohen, "I'm Your Man." Revered Canadian song-poet, 82.

Ralph Stanley, "O Death." Bluegrass legend and O Brother, Where Art Thou superstar, 89.