A new year is always a great moment of clarity — a fresh start, a clean slate, a starting point from which the cycle of life can continue. But while it’s important to renew ourselves when we want to, it’s also important to remember those who have fallen on their march through the desert. Mourning our dead is important, especially in a culture as obsessed with the idea of dying as heavy metal.
Here, if only to say their names and remember their lives one more time before the new year, is a list of all those we lost in 2021.
Heavy Metal Magazine model and pinup icon Julie Strain passed away January 10th, 2021. She was 58 years old. Read her full obituary here.
Marsha Zazula, cofounder of Megaforce Records and one of the people who discovered Metallica, died on January 10th, 2021. She was 68 years old. Read our write-up here, and make sure to check out Metallica’s heartfelt tribute to her.
Tim Bogert, bassist for seminal hard rockers Vanilla Fudge and Cactus, died of “a serious illness” on January 13th, 2021. He was 76. Check out our full obit here.
New York Dolls guitarist Sylvain Sylvain died on January 13th, 2021, after battling cancer for two and a half years. He was 69 years old. Read his full obituary here.
Former I Killed The Prom Queen bassist Sean Kennedy died on February 2nd, 2021. He was only 35 years old. Check out our full obituary here.
Legendary outlaw cartoonist S. Clay Wilson died in his wife’s arms on February 7th, 2021. He was 79. Check out our write-up here.
Founding Entombed vocalist L-G Petrov died on March 7th, 2021, from a form of inoperable bile duct cancer. He was only 49. Read our full write-up here.
Gerri Miller, longtime editor for Metal Edge Magazine, lost a battle with cancer on March 17th, 2021. She was reportedly 67 years old. Check out her obituary here.
Corey Steger, founding guitarist for Underoath, was killed in a car accident on March 17th, 2021. He was believed to have been 42 years old at the time. Read our complete obit here.
Jim Steinman, the rock composer who wrote Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell and Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” passed away Monday, April 19th, 2021, at 73 years old. Check out our obituary here.
Kevin Alexander Clark, the child actor and drummer who played Freddy “Spazzy McGee” Jones in 2003’s School of Rock, was killed in a car accident on May 26th, 2021. He was only 32. Check out our complete write-up here.
John Lawton, vocalist for Uriah Heep and Lucifer’s friend, died on June 24th, 2021. He was 74 years old. Check out his full obituary here.
Former Skid Row vocalist Johnny Solinger died June 26th, 2021. He was 55 years old. Read his obituary here.
Jeff LaBar, guitarist for glam rock legends Cinderella, died on July 14th 2021. He was 58 years old. Read our full obit here.
Joey Jordison, founding drummer of Slipknot and member of acts including Murderdolls and Sinsaenum, died July 26th, 2021. He was 46 years old. Check our full obituary here.
ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill passed away July 28th, 2021, at the age of 72. Read his obituary here.
Eric Wagner, the founding vocalist of doom metal legends Trouble, died of COVID-related pneumonia on August 22nd, 2021. He was 62. Check out our write-up here.
Charlie Watts, career-spanning drummer for the Rolling Stones, died August 24th, 2021. He was 80 years old. Read our obituary right here.
Iron Butterfly drummer Ron Bushy passed away August 29th, 2021. He was 79. Read his obit here.
Richard H. Kirk, founder of industrial pioneers Cabaret Voltaire, died September 21st, 2021. He was 65. Check out our obit here.
Pagan and black metal musician Andrea Meyer was one of five people killed in a bow-and-arrow attack in Norway on October 14th, 2021. She was 52. Read our write-up here.
Founding Moody Blues drummer Graeme Edge died November 11th, 2021, at the age of 80. Read his obituary here.
Hank Von Hell, former frontman of Norwegian sleaze-rockers Turbonegro, passed away November 19th, 2021. He was 49. Though a cause of death has not been revealed, Hank’s manager made a point of saying that it was not suicide. Read his complete obit here.
Anne Rice, author of the infamous Vampire Chronicles, including Interview with the Vampire and Queen of the Damned, died December 11th, 2021, due to complications with a stroke. She was 80 years old. Read our full write-up here .
Matt Wolfe, longtime drummer for groove metallers Byzantine, died on or around December 19th, 2021. He was 46 years old. Check out our obit here.
To the families, friends, fans and collaborators of all those who we lost this year, everyone at The Pit sends their collective heart.
Words by Chris Krovatin