Gone But Not Forgotten: 12 Rock and Metal Heroes We Miss

It can be easy to forget that our idols are actual real-life people with real life issues. Therefore, when one of them dies it can come as a complete shock. That’s right, although our heroes might seem untouchable, at the end of the day they are just like everybody else and are open to the same dangers and temptations as regular people. So, to celebrate those who have left us, here are 12 rock and metal heroes that we miss. Get those tissues ready!

12. Paul Gray (1972-2010)

Paul Gray, also known as The Pig, was best known for being one of the original members of the Grammy Award winning metal band Slipknot. Not only did Gray play bass but he also helped write the songs, some of which include the band’s most famous tracks. Sadly, Gray was found dead in a hotel room in 2010 after overdosing on morphine and a variety of pills. Rest in peace Pig.

11. Scott Weiland (1967-2015)

Scott Weiland was a force to be reckoned with within the metal scene but was mostly known for his role as lead singer in the band, Stone Temple Pilots. However, Weiland was also a member of the supergroup Velvet Revolver, which also involved none other than Guns ‘n’ Roses star, Slash. In 2015, Weiland died of a drug overdose while on a tour bus in Minnesota, he was later referred to as being among one of three “voices of the generation” along with Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley. Now that’s a supergroup.

10. Randy Rhoads (1956-1982)

Randy Rhoads had such an influence on heavy metal that he is often credited with inventing the neoclassical metal music genre. Rhoads was also a friend of Ozzy Osbourne’s, and played with him when Ozzy left Black Sabbath. In 1982, while on tour with Osbourne in Florida, Rhoades boarded a small plane without Ozzy. Unfortunately, after just five minutes in the air, the plane crashed, exploded into flames and killed Rhoades instantly.

9. Ronnie Van Zant (1948-1977)

Ronnie Van Zant was the lead vocalist for hard rock southerners and firm favourites, Lynyrd Skynyrd. In 1977, Van Zant was aboard a plane which was carrying the band between shows. The plane crashed, and Van Zant, who was only 29 years old at the time, was killed instantly. Bandmates Steve Gaines and Cassie Gaines were also killed, along with the assistant road manager, Dean Kilpatrick as well as the pilot and co-pilot. Tragic beyond belief.

8. Frank Zappa (1940-1993)

Frank Zappa’s career lasted for a whopping 30 years and he is now considered to be one of the most innovative and stylish musicians to have ever graced the earth. That’s right, Zappa was a whiz when it came to the tunes and experimented in rock, pop, jazz and even orchestral music. Sadly, at just 52 years old, Zappa died of prostate cancer and not the severe amount of drugs and alcohol that he consumed throughout his career.

7. Cliff Burton (1962-1986)


Cliff Burton was best known as the second bass guitarist for the legendary metal band, Metallica. In fact, Burton is so well respected that he was selected as the ninth greatest bassist of all in time in Rolling Stone Magazine. While touring in southern Sweden, Burton had earlier won a bet that led to him choosing his preferred bunk, sadly later that evening the bus crashed causing him to fly through the window killing him instantly.

6. Chris Cornell (1964-2017)

Chris Cornell was loved by a number of musicians as well as fans. Mostly known for his work as lead vocalist for rock bands Soundgraden and Audioslave, Cornell was also active in several other musical projects. Cornell was also voted “Rock’s Greatest Singer” by readers of Guitar World as well as the 4th best singer in “Heavy Metal’s All-Time Top 100 Vocalists” by Hit Parader. Cornell struggled with depression and in 2017 just after performing a concert with band, Soundgarden, he sadly committed suicide by hanging.

5. Ronnie James Dio (1942-2010)

Ronnie James Dio, or just “Dio”, was mostly known for fronting metal group Black Sabbath, among other metal rock bands. Dio had a major influence on metal music and is often credited with popularizing the “metal horns” hand gesture that is now highly prominent within the metal music scene. Unfortunately, in 2009, Dio was diagnosed with stomach cancer which later led to his death a year later.

4. Jani Lane (1964-2011)

Jani Lane was the lead vocalist for glam metal band Warrant as well as the frontman of rock band, Saints of the Underground. Lane is mostly known for the self-penned hit, “Cherry Pie” however he was said to have hated the track due to its popularity. In 2011, Lane was found dead of acute alcohol poisoning in his hotel room in California, he was just 47 years old.

3. John Bonham (1948-1980)

John Bonham, of Led Zeppelin fame, is probably regarded as one of the best drummers in the world as well as one of the most influential musicians of all time. In fact, Bonham is often ranked the number 1 best drummer ever in a number of polls and is respected worldwide. In 1980, while rehearsing for the band’s upcoming tour, Bonham had started day drinking heavily and continued on until the evening. Bonham later fell asleep, with the band putting him to bed and placing him on his side. The next day, Bonham was unresponsive and was later pronounced dead at just 32 years old.

2. Lemmy Kilmister (1945-2015)


Lemmy, real name Ian Fraser Kilmister, was mostly famed for fronting legendary rock band, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mot%C3%B6rhead”>Motörhead who are credited with being the founders of heavy metal. Lemmy (and his distinctive mutton chops) was a favourite among fans and was highly respected by his peers. Sadly, four days after his 70th birthday, Lemmy died from prostate cancer, cardiac arrhythmia and congestive heart failure.

1. “Dimebag” Darrel Abbot (1966-2004)

Dimebag, real name Darrell Lance Abbott, was part of the well-known rock band Pantera, along with his brother. The band were known for kickstarting the “groove metal” genre and had generated a huge following as well success. In 2004, while performing on stage, a gunman began firing manically killing Dimebag and three other audience members. The event shocked the world with fans across the globe distraught at losing one of their greatest heroes.

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