While there are almost always a few lost artists to reminisce about at the end of a year, 2016 seemed to take more than most could keep track of. It was a gloomy year full of controversy and sorrow, with a few bright spots in between, but a year that we will all be happy to get past I am very sure. Without further ado, here are a series of songs performed by artists who passed on in 2016 to send it off with something worth remembering by some people who will never be forgotten. I hope this helps any who hear through the end of this troublesome year with the knowledge that though these phenomenal people may not be hear in physical form, their music will live on forever. These are the top ten songs to send off circus that was 2016...
Lazarus - David Bowie
The passing of brilliant singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, painter, husband, father and music industry icon David Bowie was truly tragic, but the final fantastic album released by the man just days before his death in which he essentially envisions his own demise and possible afterlife in music ensured his legacy as one of the greatest musicians of all time was set in stone and in the stars themselves.
Bonus Track 1: Star Man - David Bowie
9. Purple Rain - Prince
Amazing artist and also amazing actor like the aforementioned Mr. Bowie, Prince, was another of a long line of seemingly out of the blue, or perhaps purple, losses of a one of a kind music maker and the creator of classic compositions with apparently countless hours of unreleased material locked away for another day at the time of his death. This thunderously powerful anthem of his needs no introduction, enjoy.
8. We the People... - A Tribe Called Quest
MC Phife Dawg was an integral individual in both one of the most time tested and honored hip hop ensembles ever assembled in A Tribe Called Quest, as well as the entirety of the worldwide phenomenon that is hip hop itself as we know it today. He was a thoughtful, intelligent, funny and unique lyricist like no other and will be seriously missed while he's on his quest into the musical Mount Olympus.
Bonus Track 2: Dear Dilla - Phife
7. That's the Way of the World - Earth Wind and Fire
Maurice White had a voice that sent shivers down your spine and a smile to your face, a godfather of soul and founder of the super group still beloved by millions to this day, Earth Wind and Fire. Maurice's music will make sure the love is never gone.
Bonus Track 3: After the Love is Gone - Earth Wind and Fire
6. Unforgettable - Natalie Cole
The daughter of classic crooner Nat King Cole with a well and away worthy voice to take the reigns of her family's passion Miss Cole was undoubtedly unforgettable.
5. Hotel California - The Eagles
Glenn Frey was the front man for one of my favorite bands from any era, the Eagles, he had a hand in writing multiple songs that could be called the best of any average artist's career including the entrancingly mysterious and beautiful Hotel California.
Bonus Track 4: Desperado - The Eagles
4. Somebody to Love - Jefferson Airplane
Paul Kantner was an originator in one of Rock's greatest groups struck by tragedy too soon, first with the loss of their lead singer Grace "The Chrome Nun" Slick, he helped bring us some of the strangest, most interesting and magnificent music of the psychedelic 60s such as their long standing radio song staple, Somebody to Love.
Bonus Track 5: The Other Side of This Life - Jefferson Airplane
3. Thriller - Michael Jackson
While he might not be on the stage with the dearly departed King of Pop, Rod Temperton was the one behind the scenes who wrote the timeless Thriller, may he rest in peace.
2. Thanks For Saving My Life - Billy Paul
Billy was not only a great singer, he was a great thinker, his lyrics were as thoughtful and thoroughly evocative and emotional as any poet could produce. His sentiment and sensitivity surely saved more than one life in the time he was here with us all.
Bonus Track 6: War of the Gods - Billy Paul
1. In My Life - The Beatles
A master of music production often referred to by music enthusiasts as the Fifth Beatle, Sir George Martin gave one of the most prolific rock groups in history their chance when all others would not and led to some of the century's most sensational songs. His ambition and lasting legacy will leave a mark on music that will go down as one of the most influential industry leaders, trend and standard setters to ever do it.
Bonus Track 7: A Day in the Life - The Beatles
Things Have Changed - Bob Dylan
To try to end on a more hopeful and uplifting note, this year Bob Dylan was awarded the presidential medal of freedom. Dylan is a man of such musical mystique he might one day find himself in the history books beside the likes of Edgar Allen Poe. He's writer with such visionary versatility he could cover any and all topics from philosophy, to political policy and so much more and we should take the tale of 2016 as a sure sign to appreciate the artists we have while we can still show them we care. Have a happy new year, 2016 may have been a trying time but all we can do is move right on through, hope for the best, help each other through the worst and attempt to improve anything that we disprove of in this ever evolving life on this ever revolving Earth.
Last Bonus Track: The Times They Are A Changin' - Bob Dylan
What are some of your favorite songs from these great musicians and are there any others you'd like to tribute or that weren't mentioned? Thanks for the read! and be sure to share and comment below if you enjoyed and/or have a story to tell about them!