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Music History Events: Crashes

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October 23, 2002 Kanye West, recently signed to Roc-a-Fella Records, falls asleep at the wheel and crashes his car into an oncoming vehicle. His jaw is shattered, inspiring his song "Through The Wire," which he records with his jaw wired shut. The song appears on his debut album, The College Dropout, in 2004.

April 25, 2002 30-year-old Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes (of TLC) dies in a car accident in La Ceiba, Honduras, after swerving to avoid an oncoming vehicle and losing control. The only passenger fatally injured, she's thrown from the car and dies instantly.

August 25, 2001 After shooting the music video for "Rock The Boat" in The Bahamas, 22-year-old Aaliyah dies in a plane crash along with eight others when the overloaded aircraft goes down shortly after takeoff.More

October 12, 1997 John Denver, an avid amateur pilot who loves flying experimental aircraft, dies at 53 when the plane he is flying crashes into the Pacific Ocean.More

March 20, 1990 Near Scranton and heading for a show in Syracuse, Miami Sound Machine's tour bus is hit by a tractor trailer on a snowy highway. Gloria Estefan suffers a serious spinal injury requiring four hours of surgery.More

September 27, 1986 Cliff Burton (Metallica's second bassist) dies in a bus crash in Sweden during Metallica's Damage Inc. tour in support of the Master of Puppets album. Burton, age 24, is asleep in his bunk when the bus skids off the road. He is thrown from the window and crushed when the vehicle rolls over him.

October 8, 1985 Little Richard crashes a rented Nissan 300SX into a telephone pole in West Hollywood. The accident nearly kills him, and his right leg is so badly broken it requires two operations to repair. He credits God with saving his life and continues to preach.

December 31, 1984 Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen loses an arm when he crashes his Corvette. He continues with the band, using computer aids and relying more on his feet.More

March 19, 1982 Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist Randy Rhoads dies when he takes a plane ride with a pilot who tries to buzz Ozzy's tour bus. When the wing hits the bus, the plane crashes into a nearby house, killing Rhoads, the pilot, and the tour costume designer/hairdresser.

July 16, 1981 Harry Chapin dies in a car crash at age 38.

October 20, 1977 Lynyrd Skynyrd members Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines die in a plane crash in Mississippi. Gaines' sister Cassie, a backup singer with the group, is also killed along with two pilots and the band's manager. Other members of the group are badly injured.More

August 4, 1975 While vacationing on the Greek Island of Rhodes, Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant and his family are badly injured in a car accident, forcing the cancellation of an upcoming US tour. Doctors tell Plant he may never walk again, but he makes a full recovery.

September 20, 1973 Jim Croce is killed in a plane crash in Natchitoches, Louisiana, at age 30. More

November 11, 1972 Berry Oakley (bassist for The Allman Brothers Band) dies at age 24 after a motorcycle accident in Macon, Georgia, just three blocks from the site of Duane Allman's fatal motorcycle crash a year earlier.

April 12, 1966 In an eerie recreation of the duo's single from the year before, Jan Berry of Jan & Dean crashes his Corvette into a parked truck on Beverly Hills' Whittier Drive, near a stretch of road in Los Angeles known as Dead Man's Curve. Berry suffers paralysis and extensive brain damage, and will require four years of rehabilitation to be able to talk and a full decade in order to perform live again.

March 18, 1965 On Moosic Street in Scranton, Pennsylvania, a tractor-trailer carrying 15 tons of bananas loses control and crashes into cars, telephone poles, and houses on its way down the hill, injuring many people and killing the driver. Singer-songwriter Harry Chapin tells the story of the tragic event in his song "30,000 Pounds Of Bananas."

April 17, 1960 "Summertime Blues" singer Eddie Cochran dies in England when the taxi he is riding in crashes. He is just 21.

February 3, 1959 Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson are killed in a plane crash. Don McLean would call it "The Day the Music Died" in his 1971 hit "American Pie."More

February 25, 2009 Memphis bluesman Mark Sallings (Mark Sallings and the Famous Unknowns) dies in a car accident in Arkansas at age 56.

September 19, 2008 Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and DJ AM are seriously injured when the plane they are riding in hurtles off the end of a runway in South Carolina and hits a highway embankment.More

December 30, 2006 R&B superstar Brandy is involved in a car accident on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles that kills a 38-year-old woman who is struck by her Land Rover. No criminal charges are files, and a civil suit is later settled.

October 31, 2005 En route to the next stop on their Never Sleep Again tour, the van carrying Bayside skids on a patch of ice and flips over on a highway in Cheyenne, Wyoming, killing 31-year-old drummer John "Beatz" Holohan. Most of the other band members sustain minor injuries, except for bassist Nick Ghanbarian who breaks his back when he's thrown from the vehicle.

April 25, 2004 Billy Joel, who is much better behind a piano than at the wheel of a car, gets in another car accident - his third in two years.

December 8, 2003 Ozzy Osbourne suffers several fractures in his upper body in an ATV accident.

November 24, 2003 Glen Campbell is arrested for drunk driving and hit-and-run charges in Phoenix, Arizona, after crashing his BMW into another car at another intersection and continuing on. The 67-year-old Campbell, who is sentenced to ten days in jail, allegedly knees an officer's groin during the arrest.

October 15, 2003 The members of veteran independent rock act Dub Narcotic Sound System are involved in a car accident, forcing the hospitalization of frontman Calvin Johnson and bassist Chris Sutton.

June 1, 2003 Slipknot bass player Paul Gray is arrested after colliding with another car in his hometown of Des Moines, Iowa. Gray, who dies from an overdose on May 24, 2010, is charged with possession of marijuana, cocaine and drug paraphernalia, as well drunk-driving.

January 25, 2003 Billy Joel crashes his Mercedes while driving in Long Island, New York. The singer later says that he was in a "mental fog" around this time, caused by relationship issues and a lingering depression after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

December 28, 2002 Meri Wilson, known for the 1977 hit "Telephone Man," dies in a car crash at age 53.

November 24, 2001 Pop singer Melanie Thornton (lead singer for La Bouche) dies in a plane crash (Crossair Flight 3597) near Zurich, Switzerland, at age 34.

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