April 16 – 21: R.I.P. Dick Clark, Levon Helm and Men at Work’s Greg Ham
This year has been tough on the music industry. A number of iconic figures have died and this week took on a few massive losses.
Dick Clark wasn't a musician, but his impact on the record business was significant. Pop, rock, country, R&B stars and fans mourn the loss of the entertainment giant who died of a heart attack Wednesday at the age of 82.
Clark's career began in radio and later included hosting and producing some of the television's most popular music programs, "American Bandstand" and "New Year's Rockin' Eve."
The legendary The Band drummer and vocalist Levon Helm lost his battle with throat cancer Thursday. He was 71. Before The Band made a mark with their 1968 debut, "Music From Big Pink," the group backed Bob Dylan.
After Helm's passing, Dylan said he was having a difficult time coping with his friend's death. "He was my bosom buddy friend to the end, one of the last true great spirits of my or any other generation," Dylan said in a statement posted on his website.
Thursday also included the death of Men At Work member Greg Ham, who was 58. Though the cause of death has not yet been disclosed, concerned friends found the saxophone and flute player dead in his home in Melbourne. Ham's Australian band received the prestigious Best New Artist Grammy in 1983.
Fans of another late influential music figure assembled in Kingston, Jamaica Thursday to celebrate his memory. Thousands of reggae fans joined in a local park to view a screening of "Marley," a 2 1/2 hour documentary about his life told through the memories of family and friends.
Coachella attendants were stunned by the surprise guest appearance that has sparked a week's worth of follow up stories about the computer-generated rapper joining Dr. Dre on tour and even jumpstarting a trend that would include other artists.
Even stranger and ironic, considering the happenings this week, country king Willie Nelson released his song "Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die." The new record coincided with Friday's unveiling of a Willie Nelson statue in downtown Austin.