Another year has gone into history. 2016 is no more. Many musicians left us during the last 12 months. Many were famous, but many more weren’t as well-known as David Bowie, Leonard Cohen or Prince. They were still incredibly talented and some left a major mark in the history of music, and produced awesome music.

At RREVERB, we want this “RIP 2016” list to be a celebration of the works of musicians that shared their talent with the rest of the world. We want this also to be an opportunity to discover many great musicians’ work, and explore new music genres or trends. Just by putting this list together, we have made many very interesting discoveries. We wish this to you too.

From the RREVERB team, have a great new year. Take care of your health and loved ones… and enjoy great music every moment you can!

All text taken from the Wikipedia page of each artist. Music video selection done by Nicolas Pelletier. There are no order, apart from the most legendary and influential musicians being placed in first. Consult our list of 2015 musicians who passed away here.

Click on the numbers at the bottom of the page to go to the next one.

DAVID BOWIE

David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie was an English singer, songwriter and actor. He was a figure in popular music for over five decades, regarded by critics and musicians as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s. His career was marked by reinvention and visual presentation, his music and stagecraft significantly influencing popular music. During his lifetime, his record sales, estimated at 140 million worldwide, made him one of the world’s best-selling music artists.

 

LEONARD COHEN

Leonard Cohen (September 21, 1934 – November 7, 2016) was a Canadian singer, songwriter, musician, poet, novelist, and painter. His work mostly explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality, and personal relationships. Cohen was inducted into both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame as well as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Cohen pursued a career as a poet and novelist during the 1950s and early 1960s, and did not launch a music career until 1967, at the age of 33.

His first four album (from 1967 to 1974), were mainly folk music. His 1977 record Death of a Ladies’ Man was a move away from Cohen’s previous minimalist sound. In 1979, Cohen returned with the more traditional Recent Songs, which blended his acoustic style with jazz and Oriental and Mediterranean influences. “Hallelujah” was first released on Cohen’s studio album Various Positions in 1984. I’m Your Man in 1988 marked Cohen’s turn to synthesized productions and remains his most popular album. In 1992, Cohen released its follow-up, The Future, which had dark lyrics and references to political and social unrest.

Cohen returned to music in 2001 with the release of Ten New Songs, which was a major hit in Canada and Europe. After a successful string of tours between 2008 and 2010, Cohen released three albums in the final four years of his life: Old Ideas (2012), Popular Problems (2014) and You Want It Darker (2016), the last of which was released three weeks before his death.

 

GEORGE MARTIN

Sir George Martin CBE (3 January 1926 – 8 March 2016) was an English record producer, arranger, composer, conductor, audio engineer and musician. He was referred to as the “Fifth Beatle” in reference to his extensive involvement on each of the Beatles’ original albums. Martin had 30 number-one hit singles in the United Kingdom and 23 number-one hits in the United States.
Martin’s more formal musical expertise helped fill the gaps between the Beatles’ unrefined talent, and the sound which distinguished them from other groups, which would eventually make them successful. Most of the Beatles’ orchestral arrangements and instrumentation (as well as frequent keyboard parts on the early records) were written or performed by Martin, in collaboration with the less musically experienced band. It was Martin’s idea to put a string quartet on “Yesterday”, against McCartney’s initial reluctance.

 

NEVILLE MARRINER

Sir Neville Marriner (15 April 1924 – 2 October 2016) was an English violinist who became “one of the world’s greatest conductors”. He founded the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, and his partnership with them is the most recorded of any orchestra and conductor. Initially a twelve-member chamber ensemble, it soon expanded to a chamber orchestra, and attracted musicians of a high caliber. Marriner made over 600 recordings covering 2,000 different works – more than any conductor except Herbert von Karajan.

 

PRINCE

Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) was an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. He was a musical innovator who was known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, extravagant dress and makeup, and wide vocal range. His music integrates a wide variety of styles, including funk, rock, R&B, new wave, soul, psychedelia, and pop. He has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time.

 

PAUL BLEY

Paul Bley, CM (November 10, 1932 – January 3, 2016) was a Canadian pianist known for his contributions to the free jazz movement of the 1960s as well as his innovations and influence on trio playing and his early live performance on the Moog and Arp audio synthesizers. His music has been described by Ben Ratliff of the New York Times as “deeply original and aesthetically aggressive.” Bley’s prolific output includes influential recordings from the 1950s through to his solo piano records of the 2000s.

 

PAPA WEMBA

Papa Wemba (14 June 1949 – 24 April 2016), was a Congolese singer and musician who played Congolese rumba, soukous, and ndombolo. Sometimes dubbed the “King of Rumba Rock”, he was one of the most popular musicians of his time in Africa and played an important role in world music. Papa Wemba was one of the first musicians to join the influential rock-rumba band Zaiko Langa Langa (ZLL) after it was created in December 1969 in Kinshasa.

 

W.D. AMAREDEVA

W.D. Amaradeva (5 December 1927 – 3 November 2016) better known by his adopted name, was a prominent Sri Lankan vocalist, violinist and composer. Primarily using traditional instruments like sitars, tablas and harmoniums, Amaradeva incorporates Sinhala folk music with Indian ragas in his work. Many consider Pandit Amaradeva’s contribution to the development of Sinhala music as unmatched, hence without argue cited as the Maestro of Sri Lanka Music.

 

RED ARMY CHOIR

On 25 December 2016, a jetliner of the Russian Defence Ministry, crashed into the Black Sea shortly after taking off from Sochi, Russia, while en route to Syria. All 92 passengers and crew aboard died. 64 were members of the Alexandrov Ensemble choir, the official choir of the Russian Armed Forces, including its director Valery Khalilov. He conducted the massed Russian military bands at the annual “Victory Day” parade held in the Moscow’s Red Square a record 14 times.

 

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier

Mélomane invétéré et rédacteur agréé, Nicolas pratique la critique en mode olympique: il parle de tout, tout le temps, depuis 1991. Il a publié 6 000 critiques de disques et concerts dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur-en-chef de 2009 à 2014. Il publie “Les perles rares et grands crus de la musique” en 2013, et devient stratège numérique des radios de Bell Média en 2015, participant au lancement de la marque iHeartRadio au Canada en 2016.