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2012 Death Notices

Shankar in 1988.

Ravi Shankar, (7 April 1920 – 11 December 2012) the world renowned sitarist, passed away from natural causes. Shankar is best known as the man who brought Indian music to the foreground in the West by being the sitar teacher of former Beatles member George Harrison. Ravi Shankar played throughout the world including his famous set at Woodstock in 1969. He was 92.

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Jenni Rivera

Dolores Janney Rivera (July 2, 1969 – December 9, 2012), better known as Jenni Rivera, was an American singer-songwriter, actress, television producer, and entrepreneur of Mexican heritage, known for her work within the banda and norteña music genres. She began recording in 1992, and her recordings often have themes of social issues, infidelity, and relationships. Her tenth studio album, Jenni (2008), became her first number-one album in the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart in the United States. In 2010, she appeared in and produced the reality TV show Jenni Rivera Presents: Chiquis & Raq-C. She also appeared in and produced I Love Jenni starting in 2011 and Chiquis ‘n Control in 2012. Her acting debut was in the film Filly Brown, scheduled to be released in 2013.

Rivera, along with six others, died in a plane crash near Iturbide, Nuevo León, México, on December 9, 2012…

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Dave Brubeck, October 8, 1954

David Warren “Dave” Brubeck (December 6, 1920 – December 5, 2012) was an American jazz pianist and composer, considered to be one of the foremost exponents of progressive jazz. He wrote a number of jazz standards, including “In Your Own Sweet Way” and “The Duke”. Brubeck’s style ranged from refined to bombastic, reflecting his mother’s attempts at classical training and his improvisational skills. His music is known for employing unusual time signatures, and superimposing contrasting rhythms, meters, and tonalities…

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Andy Williams in 1969

Howard Andrew “Andy” Williams (December 3, 1927 – September 25, 2012) was an American popular music singer. He recorded seventeen Gold and three Platinum-certified albums. He hosted The Andy Williams Show, a TV variety show, from 1962 to 1971, as well as numerous television specials. Most recently, he performed at his Moon River Theatre in Branson, Missouri, which was named after the Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini song “Moon River”, with which he is closely identified…

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Marvin Frederick Hamlisch (June 2, 1944 – August 6, 2012) was an American composer and conductor. He was one of only eleven EGOTs – those who have been awarded an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. He was also one of only two people to have won those four prizes and a Pulitzer Prize (the other being Richard Rodgers). Hamlisch also won two Golden Globes…

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Bob Welch (left) and recording engineer Jimmy Robinson at the Record Plant in Sausalito, California.

Robert Lawrence “Bob” Welch (August 31, 1945 – June 7, 2012) was an American musician. A former member of Fleetwood Mac, Welch had a successful solo career in the late 1970s. His singles included “Hot Love, Cold World”, “Ebony Eyes”, “Precious Love”, and his signature “Sentimental Lady”…

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Dunn playing in 2007

Donald “Duck” Dunn (November 24, 1941 – May 13, 2012) was an American bass guitarist, session musician, record producer, and songwriter. Dunn was notable for his 1960s recordings with Booker T. & the M.G.’s and as a session bassist for Stax Records, which specialized in blues and gospel-infused southern soul which became known as Memphis Soul. At Stax, Dunn played on thousands of records including hits by Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, William Bell, Eddie Floyd, Johnnie Taylor, Albert King, and many others. Dunn also performed on recordings with The Blues Brothers, Muddy Waters, Freddie King, Isaac Hayes, Levon Helm, Neil Young, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Wilson Pickett, Guy Sebastian, Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan, Roy Buchanan, Steely Dan, Tinsley Ellis and Arthur Conley…

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Dick Clark in 1961

Dick Clark (born Richard Augustus Wagstaff Clark, Jr.; November 30, 1929 – April 18, 2012) was an American radio personality and television personality, as well as a cultural icon who remains best known for hosting American television’s longest-running variety show, American Bandstand, from 1957 to 1987. He also hosted the game show Pyramid and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, which transmitted Times Square’s New Year’s Eve celebrations worldwide. He is also best known for his trademark sign-off, “For now, Dick Clark. So long!”, accompanied with a military salute…

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Sherman in 2002.

Robert Bernard Sherman (December 19, 1925 – March 5, 2012) was an American songwriter who specialized in musical films with his brother Richard Morton Sherman. Some of the Sherman Brothers’ best known songs were incorporated into movies and animations like Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Slipper and the Rose, Charlotte’s Web and the theme park song of “It’s a Small World (After All)”.

Robert B. Sherman died in London on March 5, 2012. He was aged 86. A public funeral was held for him on March 9, 2012 at Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary in Culver City and he was later buried there…

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Don Cornelius at the 40th anniversary event for Soul Train.

In the early-morning hours of February 1, 2012, officers responded to a report of a shooting at 12685 Mulholland Drive and found Cornelius with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead by the Los Angeles County Assistant Chief Coroner. According to former Soul Train host, Shemar Moore, Cornelius may have been suffering from early onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and his health had been in decline…

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Yauch performing in 2007

Adam Nathaniel Yauch (pronounced /ˈjaʊk/; born August 5, 1964) is a founding member of hip hop trio the Beastie Boys. He is frequently known by his stage name, MCA, and other pseudonyms such as Nathanial Hörnblowér. Yauch was born an only child in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Frances and Noel Yauch, who is a painter and architect. His father was Catholic and his mother was Jewish. In high school, he taught himself to play the bass guitar, and formed Beastie Boys. They played their first…

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Tony Sly

Anthony J. Sly (born November 4, 1970) is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist, best known as the frontman of seminal punk rock band No Use for a Name. Most recently, he is also known for his acoustic solo career, with one acoustic split album he released with Lagwagon frontman Joey Cape and two solo albums of his own. Tony Sly joined No Use for a Name in 1989, when he was 18 and a half years old. He was the vocalist and lead guitarist. Their first album Incognito was released in 1990 on the label New Red Archives and featured a heavy…

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Robin Gibb at the meet-and-greet after the Dubai Jazz Festival on 1 March 2008

Robin Hugh Gibb, CBE (born 22 December 1949) is a singer and songwriter. He is best known as a member of the Bee Gees, co-founded with his twin brother Maurice and elder brother Barry. Born in the Isle of Man to English parents, the trio started their musical career in Australia, and found major success when they returned to England. With record sales estimated in excess of 100 million, the Bee Gees became one of the most successful pop groups of all time. Born to Barbara (née Pass) and Hugh Gibb on the Isle of Man, Robin was…

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Donna Summer in 2009

LaDonna Adrian Gaines (born December 31, 1948), known by her stage name, Donna Summer, is an American singer/songwriter who gained prominence during the disco era of the 1970s. She has a mezzo-soprano vocal range. Summer is a five-time Grammy winner and was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach number one on the US Billboard chart. She also charted four number-one singles in the United States within a thirteen-month period. Donna Summer was…

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Onstage, October 1, 2005

Chuck Brown (born August 22, 1936) is a guitarist and singer who is affectionately called “The Godfather of Go-go”. Go-go is a subgenre of funk music developed in and around Washington, D.C. in the mid- and late 1970s. While its musical classification, influences, and origins are debated, Brown is regarded as the fundamental force behind the creation of go-go music. Brown’s musical career began in the 1960s playing guitar with Jerry Butler and The Earls of Rhythm, joining Los Latinos in 1965…

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Helm playing mandolin in 1971

Mark Lavon “Levon” Helm (born May 26, 1940), is an American rock multi-instrumentalist and actor who achieved fame as the drummer and frequent lead and backing vocalist for The Band. Helm is known for his deeply soulful, country-accented voice, and creative drumming style highlighted on many of The Band’s recordings, such as “The Weight”, “Up on Cripple Creek”, “Ophelia” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”. His 2007 comeback album Dirt Farmer earned the…

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Montrose in 1974

Ronnie Montrose (born November 29, 1947, San Francisco, California, United States) is an American rock guitarist who has headed his own bands as well as performing with a variety of musicians, including Sammy Hagar, Herbie Hancock, Van Morrison, The Beau Brummels, Boz Scaggs, Beaver & Krause, Gary Wright, Tony Williams, The Neville Brothers, Dan Hartman, Edgar Winter and Johnny Winter. In 1969, he started out in a band called Sawbuck…

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Jones in Sydney, Australia, 1968

David Thomas “Davy” Jones (born 30 December 1945) is an English rock singer-songwriter and actor best known as a member of the Monkees. Jones was born in Manchester, England on 30 December 1945. At the age of 11, he started his acting career and appeared on the British television soap opera Coronation Street as Ena Sharples’s grandson, Colin Lomax. He also appeared in the BBC police series Z-Cars. However, after the death of his mother from emphysema when he was 14 years old, he left acting and trained as a jockey with Basil Foster…

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Houston performing “Saving All My Love for You” on the Welcome Home Heroes concert in 1991

Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American recording artist, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, the Guinness World Records cited her as the most-awarded female act of all time. Her awards include two Emmy Awards, six Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, and 22 American Music Awards, among a total of 415 career awards in her lifetime. Houston was also one of the world’s best-selling music artists, having sold over 170 million albums, singles and videos worldwide. Houston began…

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Johnny Otis

Ioannis Alexandros Veliotes (December 28, 1921 – January 17, 2012), better known as Johnny Otis, was an American singer, musician, talent scout, disc jockey, composer, arranger, recording artist, record producer, vibraphonist, drummer, percussionist, bandleader, impresario and pastor. Born in Vallejo, California, he is commonly referred to as the “Godfather of Rhythm and Blues”. Otis was the child of Greek immigrants Alexander J. Veliotes, a Mare Island…

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Etta James

Etta James performing in San Jose, California, in 2000.

Etta James (born Jamesetta Hawkins; January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012) was an American singer. Her style spanned a variety of music genres including blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, gospel and jazz. Starting her career in the mid-1950s, she gained fame with hits such as “Dance With Me, Henry”, “At Last”, “Tell Mama”, and “I’d Rather Go Blind” for which she wrote the lyrics. She faced a number of personal problems, including drug addiction, before making a musical resurgence in the late…

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Leslie Carter

Leslie Barbara Carter (June 6, 1986 – January 31, 2012) was an American pop singer best known as the sister of fellow singers Nick and Aaron Carter. Leslie Carter was born in Tampa, Florida, the third of five children of Jane Elizabeth (née Spaulding) and Robert Gene Carter (born September 23, 1952). She was born at the Garden Villa Retirement Home, where the Carter family were living and working at the time. She was the older sister of Aaron Charles (born December 7, 1987), and younger sister of…

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