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Rock and metal musicians who have died in 2021

Rock Musicians Who Have Died in 2020
(Image credit: Stanley Bielecki/ASP/Getty Images/Kevin Nixon/Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images)

Here's to the rock'n'rollers, among them musicians, producers, writers and more, who have sadly left us in 2021. 

Thank you for the music.

Metal Hammer line break

Alexi Laiho (Children Of Bodom), 8 April 1979 – late December 2020

Former Children Of Bodom leader Alexi Laiho’s death at the age of 41 was announced on January 4. Although no cause of death was specified, the Finnish singer and guitarist had reportedly been suffering from what were described as “long term health issues”.

Laiho founded Children Of Bodom in 1993, and led them until they split up at the end of 2019. In 2020, he formed a new band, Bodom After Midnight.


Gerry Marsden (Gerry And The Pacemakers), 24 September 1942 – 3 January 2021

Gerry Marsden, singer and guitarist with early 60s Merseybeat stars Gerry And The Pacemakers, died at the age of 78 after a short illness. Contemporaries of The Beatles, The Pacemakers became the first band to reach the top of the UK singles chart with their first three releases: How Do You Do It?, I Like It and the evergreen You'll Never Walk Alone.


William ‘Jesus’ Jellett, 6 June 1941 – 8 Jan 2021

William Jellett, aka "Jesus", was a legendary UK music fan known for his frequently naked appearances at UK music festivals throughout the 70s and 80s. The Dorset-born Jellett was a fixture at gigs by everyone from Cream and Queen and to Hawkwind and Motörhead. He famously got his nickname at Blind Faith's Hyde Park show in June 1969, when DJ Jeff Dexter publicly referred to him as "Jesus" over the PA.


Marsha Zazula (Megaforce Records co-founder) 21 April 1952 – 10 January 2021

Marsha Zazula, who co-founded powerhouse US metal label Megaforce with her husband Jon, passed away on January 9 after a battle with cancer. The Zazulas were responsible for launching the careers of Metallica, Anthrax, Testament, King’s X and more. “Marsha Z is the Metal Matriarch of the East Coast. She was our mother when I had none,” said James Hetfield in a tribute. “She made great sacrifices for Metallica to grow.”


Mark Keds (Senseless Things) died 11 January 2021

Former frontman with early 90s British indie-punks Senseless Things Mark Keds died of unspecified causes at the age of 50. Keds was also briefly a member of The Wildhearts, as well as Jolt, Lams, Trip Fontaine and Deadcuts.


Tim Bogert (Vanilla Fudge/Cactus/Beck Bogert & Appice), 27 August 1944 – 13 January 2021

US bassist Tim Bogert died on January 13 at the age of 76. He made his name as a member of Vanilla Fudge, Cactus and Beck & Bogert Appice in the late 60s and early 70s. He later worked with Boxer, Rick Derringer and Hollywood Monsters.