Three well-known musicians die on same day in series of holiday tragedies

On Thursday, just before Christmas, the music industry lost three of its own on the same day–and their ages spanned from 22 to 79.

Rapper Big Scarr, a Memphis, Tennesse rising star who released his first mixtape in 2021, died Thursday at age 22 from an accidental prescription drug overdose, according to TMZ.

Rapper Big Scarr dies of accidental overdose at age 22

Big Scarr had a serious car accident in 2016 that gave him his rap name, and he was also shot in 2020, resulting in an emergency appendectomy, his uncle said. It was unclear whether his injuries had necessitated the medications or whether they were obtained in another way.

The rapper also suffered with depression. Police do not suspect foul play in his death.

Big Scarr was a protege of Gucci Mane, who made him a member of the 2022 XXL Freshman Class and appeared on his mixtape along with others in the industry.

New Orleans musician Walter “Wolfman” Washington dies at 79

Walter “Wolfman” Washington, a fixture of New Orleans nightlife for 60 years, also died Thursday at age 79.

Washington died of cancer at Passages Hospice.

He and his band, the Roadmasters, performed a synthesis of blues, funk, R&B and soul at various bars around the city, punctuating his offerings with his trademark howl.

Washington got his nickname because he engaged in “wolfing,” or challenging others on the guitar, to prove his skill. He played all the most famous bars in the city and released several albums over his six-decade career.

Soul producer Thom Bell died at 79

Finally, Grammy-winning musician-turned-producer Thom Bell, best known for producing bands that had the Philadelphia soul sound, also died Thursday at age 79.

Bell’s cause of death was unknown; his wife Vanessa said he died after a lengthy but unspecified illness.

Bell produced soul bands in the 1970s including The Delphonics, The Spinners, and the O’Jays. The bands he produced were a precursor to disco in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

He won a Grammy Award for producer of the year in 1974, and went on to work with Dionne Warwick, David Bowie, and Elton John on various singles.

Devastated fans

These three deaths rocked the music industry and devastated fans around the U.S.

Whether a young person gone too soon or someone who lived a long, full life, it’s still a blow to lose someone whose music was beloved by many thousands of fans.