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  • April 26, 2015

Music stars who have died in airplane crashes

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Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 10:59 am

Here are other notable musicians who lost their lives in air crashes:

-- Dec. 15, 1944: Glenn Miller, the trombonist and leader of a hugely popular dance band, was killed when his plane disappeared between England and Paris while Miller was entertaining troops.

-- June 30, 1954:  Gospel singers R.W. Blackwood and Bill Lyles died when the group’s private plane crashed in Clanton, Ala.

-- Feb. 3, 1959: Rock stars Buddy Holly, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and Ritchie Valens were killed when their chartered plane crashed near Mason City, Iowa, en route to a show.

-- March 5, 1963: Country singer Patsy Cline, whose hits included “Crazy” and “She’s Got You,” and fellow singers Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins died in a plane crash near Camden, Tenn.

-- July 31, 1964: Jim Reeves, a country balladeer known for “Four Walls” and “Welcome to My World,” was killed in the crash of a small plane in Nashville, Tenn.

-- Dec. 10, 1967: Soul singer Otis Redding died when his plane crashed into a lake near Madison, Wis.

-- Sept. 20, 1973: Singer Jim Croce, known for hits such as “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” was killed in a plane crash near Natchitoches, La.

-- Oct. 21, 1977: Lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Stevie Gaines of the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd died in a plane crash in McComb, Miss.

-- March 19, 1982:  Randall “Randy” Rhoads, lead guitarist in rock star Ozzy Osbourne’s band, along with two others, were killed when their Beechcraft Bonanza allegedly flew too low while “buzzing” a band van on tour in Leesburg, Fla.

-- Dec. 31, 1985: Rick Nelson, “Ozzie and Harriet” TV star turned rock ‘n’ roller, died when his plane caught fire and crashed near DeKalb, Texas.

-- March 21, 1987: Dean Paul Martin, former member of the 1960s band Dino, Desi and Billy and son of entertainer Dean Martin, was killed with his co-pilot. The two, flying an F-4 phantom, were members of the California Air National Guard.

-- Aug. 27, 1990: Blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan died when his helicopter crashed into a hill in East Troy, Wis., after departing from a concert.

-- Oct. 12, 1997: John Denver, 1970s superstar with hits like “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” died in the crash of his experimental plane off the California coast.

-- Aug. 25, 2001:  Actress and R&B singer Aaliyah was killed in a plane crash in the Bahamas along with eight others.  The twin-engine Cessna went down shortly after takeoff.

-- Nov. 24, 2001: Melanie Thornton, half of the pop duo La Bouche, which had ‘1990s hits such as “Be My Lover” and “Sweet Dreams,” died in an airline crash in Switzerland.

-- Feb. 12, 2009:  Two members of jazz musician Chuck Mangione’s band, Gerry Niewood and Coleman Mellett, were killed in a commuter plane crash outside Buffalo, NY, along with 48 others.

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