The world of music lost many of its treasured voices in 2012, from the heartbreak of Whitney Houston and Adam Yauch, to the unmatched influence of Dick Clark and Don Cornelius. Iconic guitar pickers, banda stars, disco and jazz icons, a sitar legend, a hip-hop mogul, songwriting legends, and beloved singers — all gone, but never forgotten. As we prep for 2013, help us take a look back at what we’ve lost.
August 26, 1939 – January 1, 2012 (Age 72)
Made rock and roll history on doo-wop hits with Dion and the Belmonts in the 1950s. Above, Milano is pictured (far right) with his Dion & The Belmonts band mates in the late ’50s.
November 1, 1947 – January 3, 2012 (Age 64)
Fleetwood Mac guitarist played on the band’s albums “Penguin” and “Mystery to Me.”
December 28, 1921 – January 17, 2012 (Age 90)
The “godfather of rhythm and blues” wrote and recorded the R&B classic “Willie and the Hand Jive” and for decades evangelized black music to white audiences as a bandleader and radio host.
January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012 (Age 73)
The soul, R&B, rock and gospel icon turned “At Last” into a multi-generational standard.
September 27, 1936 – February 1, 2012 (Age 75)
The “Soul Train” host was the arbiter of cool and a brilliant TV showman who used his purring, baritone voice to seduce mainstream America into embracing black music and artists.
March 13, 1957 – February 1, 2012 (Age 54)
The R&B and Gospel singer had a string of hits in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including “Two Wrongs (Don’t Make It Right).”
August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012 (Age 48)
The pop music queen, whose voice was lost to years of drug use and erratic behavior, died on the eve of the Grammys.
Read more: Billboard