Monday night, the GRAMMYs will pay tribute to the many musicians we’ve lost recently. Before then, it’s worth it to revisit the amazing songs that these talented artists created.
David Bowie

News of the death of this musical legend was everywhere last month, and there’s nothing I can write here that hasn’t already been said. The man was an icon, a chameleon, and a visionary. His oeuvre is so varied, with no two albums sounding the same. Much has been made of Blackstar, the album released just two days before his death. It’s almost a shame that it will forever be identified as his “last album,” because it’s simply a great record in its own right. (I’m also a big fan of The Next Day, which Bowie released without much fanfare in 2012.) In honor of Bowie, we showed the kids the 1980’s cinematic classic Labyrinth a few weeks ago, and we haven’t stopped singing the songs since.

 

Glenn Frey

The Eagles have one of the most recognizable catalogs in rock. Through the line-up changes and hiatuses, the band’s backbone was always Glenn Frey and Don Henley. They’re both talented musicians, singers and songwriters, but in the documentary The History of the Eagles, Henley comes off as brusque, whereas Frey seems more genuine. Frey’s solo career didn’t have the number of hits as Henley’s, but he released a lot of quality songs without the band that made him famous. And of course it goes without saying that Hotel California—the album, not just the single—is one of music’s masterpieces. (I’m personally a sucker for New Kid in Town.)

 

Maurice White

Everybody loves Earth, Wind & Fire. How can you not want to sing along at the top of your lungs to September or Shining Star?

 

Lemmy Kilmister

You don’t have to be a metalhead to appreciate Motörhead. Lemmy hay have been most easily identified visually by the two moles on his face, but there’s no mistaking the man’s snarl on Ace of Spades.

 

Scott Weiland

Weiland’s struggles with depression and addiction are well documented, but there’s no denying the man could sing. His voice powered Stone Temple Pilots in the 90’s, and those songs have outlasted the grunge era.

 

Natalie Cole

I can’t claim to be a huge fan, but she had some big hits along the way.

 

If you’re looking for a refresher on these late greats, check out this Spotify playlist.