The Day The Music Died: 15 Music Legends Who Died In Plane Crashes

Glenn Miller

Patsy Cline

Jim Reeves

Otis Redding

Jim Croce

Ronnie Van Zant

Randall "Randy" Rhoads

Ricky Nelson

Dean Paul Martin

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Bill Graham

John Denver


Melanie Thornton

55 years ago today, the burgeoning rock 'n' roll sound lost three crucial pioneers. Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson were killed when their rented single-engined Beechcraft plunged into a corn-field near Clear Lake, Iowa. The event became known as "The Day The Music Died" after being immortalized in Don McLean's song "American Pie," and we still mourn the loss of these musical icons today. Who knows how music history would be changed had these men lived to progress and grow as artists? It's a tantalizing thought, indeed...

Ever since this dreadful accident more than half a century ago, plane crashes have tragically become one of the many hazards of the rock 'n' roll life style. Constant travel brings certain risks, and a distressingly high number of musicians have paid the ultimate price. From soul legends like Otis Redding, southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, and even 21st century songstresses like Aaliyah, their deaths hit us like a gut punch every time. They may be gone, but thankfully their music lives on forever. Head up to the gallery above for 15 legendary artists we lost to air accidents.

[Photo: Getty Images]