6 Musicians Who Became Famous After Death

Throughout history, there have been artists who worked their entire lives and never received the recognition they deserved until it was too late. Some truly great songsmiths have passed on before they were able to witness their influence. It, unfortunately, took their deaths for legends to be born.

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Below are 6 musicians who didn’t become famous until after death.

1. Johann Sebastian Bach

During his lifetime, composer Johann Sebastian Bach was known by only the most high-brow of culture connoisseurs, and his influence was limited to the elite. It wasn’t until well over a century after his death that he became regarded among the greats.

2. Eva Cassidy

A purveyor of the classics, songstress Eva Cassidy lent her musical interpretation to a number of ready-made hits. When she passed away in 1996, at the age of 33, her moving voice was virtually unknown to the masses. It wasn’t until the compilation album, Songbird, was released a few years after her passing that she began to climb the charts.

3. Nick Drake

It’s difficult to believe a musician like Nick Drake, who has influenced the careers of so many, received little recognition during his lifetime. Twenty-six years old at the time of his passing, Drake amassed an enviable catalog of spellbinding classics in a short time.

4. Jeff Buckley

Jeff Buckley’s life was snuffed out suddenly at the age of 30. His debut album, Grace, would, unfortunately, be his life’s work, but what an album it was. While Grace was met with critical acclaim upon its release, it didn’t reach the masses like it did after his passing.

5. Blaze Foley

Country troubadour Blaze Foley lived his life in near obscurity, crafting great music that received little recognition outside of the barroom circuit. A lot of his music was lost to time, but some was kept alive by covers from Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, and John Prine, forever cementing Foley’s songwriting legacy.

6. Jim Croce

Jim Croce was on an upward trajectory at the time of his unexpected death. He saw little success from his early work, but his breakthrough came with his third album, You Don’t Mess Around with Jim. It was released a year before his passing. His fourth and final album, Life and Times, arrived just months before his death and quickly began to climb the charts, proving he was on his way up.

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