Luke the Drifter. Hillbilly Shakespeare. Timber Snake. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the man with so many timeless nicknames was rarely called by his actual first name. Hiram, or “Hank” Williams only lived to the age of 29, but he is widely regarded as one of the most significant American singer/songwriters of the 20th century. The prolific country star has earned accolades and credits of influence from monumental artists such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Bob Dylan. His legacy in country music remains present even to this day.
As front man of the iconic grunge trio Nirvana, Kurt Cobain was an iconoclast and musical legend. Unfortunately, a combination of heavy substance use, mental health issues, and personal struggles culminated in his untimely death at the age of 27.
From art films to Broadway plays to Hollywood blockbusters, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s was one of the biggest actors of the 21st century whose range and depth seemed endless. During his career, Hoffman was able to star in notable works such as Boogie Nights, The Big Lebowski, Capote, and The Master, working with a number of fellow actors and talented directors.
Rapper and multi-instrumentalist Mac Miller burst onto the rap scene at the ripe age of 17 and went on to become a national star in the music world. Unfortunately, Miller’s life came to a sudden end in September of 2018. During his short career, Miller was able to release 5 albums and a number of mixtapes, he also produced for a number of other artists, including SZA and Vince Staples, under the pseudonym Larry Fisherman.
Johnny Cash is one of the most revered figures in music, especially when it comes to country and rock and roll. Cash is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, he has sold more than 90 million records worldwide and is considered a country music legend who was influenced by other genres like rock and roll, blues, and gospel. During his career, Cash released over 50 studio albums and received 18 Grammy Awards for categories such as “Best Country Album: and “Best Male Country Vocal Performance”.
Known for his loud, outrageous, and energetic comedy style, Chris Farley was one of the most successful members of Saturday Night Live and was on his way to a robust film career before his untimely death in 1997. On December 18 of that year, Farley died from a cocaine and morphine overdose, drug issues that he had been struggling with for some years.
Brooklyn-born artist Jean-Michel Basquiat saw a rapid rise and a tragic fall in which he went from living homeless and selling one dollar postcards to grossing millions of dollars in the span of a few years.
Amy Winehouse, popular for songs like “Rehab” and “Back to Black”, had a fast, triumphant, and tragic career.
During his lifetime, Bradley Nowell lived a drug-fueled, fast life. He formed his band Sublime, along with two other members, in 1988 and made music until the day that he died. Sublime’s music still receives radio play with songs like “Santeria” and “What I Got”. The band released three albums during their 8 years together but their self-titled album released in 1996 received the most attention. The album is 5x times platinum and has sold over 5 million copies in the United States. However, Nowell was never able to see the success the band achieved.