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Tag: In Memoriam (31-40 of 323)

Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman dies

Jeff Hanneman, guitarist for legendary thrash metal band Slayer, has died of liver failure. He was 49. The band posted the news on their website and Facebook page Thursday. Hanneman founded the band with fellow guitarist Kerry King in 1981 and created a sound influenced by heavy metal and punk, writing Slayer classics like “Raining Blood” and “Angel of Death.”

The full statement on Slayer’s website reads:

Slayer is devastated to inform that their bandmate and brother, Jeff Hanneman, passed away at about 11AM this morning near his Southern California home. Hanneman was in an area hospital when he suffered liver failure. He is survived by his wife Kathy, his sister Kathy and his brothers Michael and Larry, and will be sorely missed.

In 2011, Hanneman suffered a spider bite and contracted a flesh-eating disease, taking time off from the band to recuperate, but it is unclear if this contributed to his death.

Chris Kelly of Kris Kross dead at 34

Rapper Chris Kelly, best known as one half of the rap duo Kris Kross, has died, the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office confirms to EW. He was 34.

Kelly (pictured, right) was reportedly found unresponsive at his Atlanta home Wednesday afternoon. No further details are currently available.

In the 1990s, Kris Kross — which comprised of Kelly and Chris Smith — was best known for their hit song “Jump” and wearing their clothes backward. In 1992, when both singers were just 13 years old, their debut album, Totally Krossed Out, was released and went on to sell four million copies in the U.S.

Performers and speakers announced for George Jones' funeral, plus how to watch it

Plans have been announced for George Jones’ public funeral, taking place Thursday at The Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. The service will include music from Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Vince Gill and Patty Loveless, Charlie Daniels, The Oak Ridge Boys, Kid Rock, Ronnie Milsap, Travis Tritt, Tanya Tucker, and Wynonna. Kenny Chesney will speak, as will Former First Lady Laura Bush, Grand Ole Opry VP&GM Pete Fisher, Governor Bill Haslam, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Barbara Mandrell, and CBS News’ Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer.

The service, which will begin at 11 a.m. ET, will be broadcast live on CMT, GAC, RFD, and FamilyNet, as well as local Nashville stations. Those not near a TV can watch online at, or listen in at or by tuning their radio dials to WSM 650AM and SiriusXM Willie’s Roadhouse (Ch. 56).

Read more:
George Jones tributes: Brad Paisley, Jimmy Buffett, Alan Jackson, and more play covers — VIDEO
George Jones: The Essential Playlist — LISTEN
Goodbye, Possum: The Oak Ridge Boys’ Joe Bonsall remembers George Jones
Legendary country star George Jones is dead at 81

George Jones tributes: Brad Paisley, Jimmy Buffett, Alan Jackson, and more play covers -- VIDEO

Since the April 26 passing of George Jones, country music artists and fans have been in mourning. But as we all know, music heals, which is why set-lists included tributes to the Possum over the weekend. Here are some that have made their way to YouTube. Jones’ funeral will take place May 2, at The Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, and be open to the public.

Brad Paisley, “Bartender’s Blues,” “The Race Is On,” “She Thinks I Still Care,” “This is Country Music” (his song, with new Jones-centric lyrics)


Goodbye, Possum: The Oak Ridge Boys' Joe Bonsall remembers George Jones

To honor George Jones, EW asked the Oak Ridge Boys’ Joe Bonsall to recall his fondest memories of the country legend, who died today at the age of 81. They include the time Jones told Bonsall he should’ve just kicked his ass — and hearing “He Stopped Loving Her Today” before its release.

By: Joe Bonsall

As fate might have it, last night at a show in Missouri someone yelled from the audience, “How is George Jones doing?”

Well, we had no answer. We were well aware that George was in the hospital again and had been there since the middle of the month, but for some reason we thought he was doing all right but we did not know for sure. We all looked at each other on stage after the question in wonder… Each man’s face registered concern at NOT knowing the answer.

Then we arrived home this morning and heard the sad news that the Possum has gone home. How very sad. What an incredible and devastating loss for all who knew him, respected him, admired him, and loved him.

So many memories come to mind. A young Joey Bonsall once driving from Philadelphia to Youngstown, Ohio in a ’59 Ford all alone… to see George Jones and Tammy Wynette. He was a bit on the edge that night (being kind), and I remember being mad at him. As a young man who was in total love with Tammy, I perceived him to be a bit disrespectful of her onstage and I considered waiting for him at the stage door to tell him so… but I just drove all night back home.

I told him that story years later, and he told me I should have just kicked his ass and we both laughed.  READ FULL STORY

Missing George Jones -- and other late icons we never got to see live

The word “legend” gets thrown around a lot in music, but when you’re talking country great George Jones, it fits.

Jones, who died this morning at age 81 after being hospitalized April 18, was in the midst of his goodbye tour, and I was supposed to see him in June for the first time — a concert that had been postponed from last summer, when he canceled shows for health reasons.

Never having seen him live will remain one of my biggest regrets. While I console myself with some YouTube videos below, tell me who you wish you’d been able to see in concert before the opportunity was lost. READ FULL STORY

Woodstock singer Richie Havens dies at age 72

Richie Havens, who sang and strummed for a sea of people at Woodstock, has died of a heart attack Monday, his family said in a statement. He was 72.

Havens, a folk singer and guitarist, was the first performer at the three-day 1969 Woodstock Festival. He returned to the site during the 40th anniversary in 2009.

“Everything in my life, and so many others, is attached to that train,” he said in a 2009 interview with The Associated Press. READ FULL STORY

Divinyls' singer Chrissy Amphlett dies

Chrissy Amphlett, the raunchy lead singer of the Australian rock band Divinyls whose hit “I Touch Myself” brought her international fame in the early 1990s, died at her home in New York City on Sunday. She was 53 years old.

“Christine Joy Amphlett succumbed to the effects of breast cancer and multiple sclerosis, diseases she vigorously fought with exceptional bravery and dignity,” her musician husband Charley Drayton said in a statement.

“Chrissy’s light burns so very brightly. Hers was a life of passion and creativity. She always lived it to the fullest. With her force of character and vocal strength, she paved the way for strong, sexy, outspoken women,” he said.

Amphlett was an icon of Australian music renowned for her distinctive singing voice as well as edgy stage performances clad in school uniforms and fishnet stockings. READ FULL STORY

Music producer Phil Ramone dies at age 79

Music producer and 14-time Grammy winner Phil Ramone died Saturday morning in New York City, his family confirmed to CNN.

The 79-year-old (Updated: Initial reports indicated he was 72) worked with some of the best-known artists of the past 50 years, including Madonna, Bob Dylan, Bono, Carly Simon, and Aretha Franklin. Many of Ramone’s collaborators released statements and took to Twitter on Saturday to pay their respects.

“Phil Ramone was a lovely person and a very gifted musician and producer,” said Tony Bennett in an official statement. “It was a joy to have him work with me in the recording studio on so many projects as he had a wonderful sense of humor and a deep love of music. Phil had the admiration and respect from everyone in the entertainment industry and his passing is a great loss.”

Glee star Matthew Morrison tweeted, “Today the music business and the world lost a music icon in Phil Ramone. I am honored that I had the opportunity to work with him on my forthcoming album, which I dedicate to him.” Bette Midler called him “a giant in the recording world,” and Josh Groban said Ramone “made music the right way.”

Ramone produced songs and soundtracks for films like Ghostbusters, Flashdance, and Midnight Cowboy. He also contributed to theater productions, including Chicago and The Wiz.

According to his official website, Ramone was a pioneer in audio technology and an early proponent of digital and fiber optic recording techniques.

Motown producer Deke Richards dies

Motown songwriter-producer Deke Richards has died at a hospice at age 68.

Richards, whose real name was Dennis Lussier, died Sunday at the Whatcom Hospice House, Peace Health St. Joseph Medical Center spokeswoman Amy Cloud confirmed Monday.

Richards (pictured above, center) had been battling esophageal cancer, according to a statement from Universal Music.

As leader of the Motown songwriting, arranging and producing team known as The Corporation, Richards was involved in writing and producing many Jackson 5 hits, the Universal Music release said. Those songs included the Jackson 5′s first three No. 1 hits — “I Want You Back,” “ABC,” and “The Love You Save.”

He also co-wrote “Love Child” for Diana Ross & The Supremes, as well Ross’ solo “I’m Still Waiting.”

Other recording artists for whom Richards produced or wrote songs include Bobby Darin, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas.

He is survived by his wife, Joan Lussier, a brother and two nephews.

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