The Year in Music 2023: Jeff Beck, David Crosby, Robbie Robertson among music greats who passed this year

It’s always sad when our favorite musicians pass away and 2023 was a doozie, with several beloved artists leaving us. 

The year started off with the loss of two two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Famers: guitar great Jeff Beck on January 10 at the age of 78 from bacterial meningitis, and David Crosby on January 18 at the age of 81. Although no official cause of death was ever announced for Crosby, the singer’s bandmate Graham Nash revealed in an interview that Crosby died while battling COVID-19.

Another death felt deeply in the music world happened on May 24, when legendary Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll Tina Turner died at the age of 83. Turner, another two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, battled multiple life-threatening illness over the years. 

And on August 9, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Robbie Robertson, guitarist and main songwriter for The Band, died at the age of 80 after a long illness. His death came not long after he finished working with his longtime friend and collaborator Martin Scorsese on the score for Scorsese’s film Killers of the Flower Moon.

Here’s a list of the many other music figures who died in 2023, in chronological order:

January 12: Robbie Bachman, drummer for the Canadian rock band Bachman-Turner Overdrive, 69

March 5: Gary Rossington, guitarist and last surviving original member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, 71

March 13: Jim Gordon, drummer for Derek and the Dominoes, 77

March 22: Tom Leadon, co-founder of Tom Petty’s early ’70s band Mudcrutch, 70

April 2: Sire Records founder Seymour Stein, who signed artists like Talking HeadsMadonna and Pretenders, from cancer, 80

April 28: Tim Bachman, guitarist and one of the co-founders of the Canadian band Bachman-Turner Overdrive, 71

May 22: Chas Newby, who played bass for The Beatles in their early days, 81

June 1: Grammy-winning songwriter Cynthia Weil (“You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” “We Gotta Get Out of This Place”), 82

July 26: Randy Meisner, founding member of the Eagles, due to complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 77

August 4: John Gosling, keyboardist for The Kinks, 75

August 16: Music executive Jerry Moss, who co-founded A&M Records with Herb Alpert, the label responsible for albums like The Police’s Synchronicity and Carole King’s Tapestry, 88

August 24: Whitesnake’s original guitarist, Bernie Marsden, 72

September 1: Beloved “Margaritaville” singer Jimmy Buffett, after a four-year battle with Merkel cell skin cancer, a rare and aggressive form of skin cancer, 76

November 30: The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan, 65

December 5: Denny Laine, co-founder of Moody Blues and co-founder and guitarist for Paul McCartney & Wings, from interstitial lung disease, 79

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.