Plane crashes have claimed the lives of many famous people, cutting short their glorious lives, painting a picture of a tragedy that is most unfair. It’s an atmosphere of absolute disbelieve and shock when such an unexpected event claims the life of someone whom we have admired and loved. Some of them hit a little too hard on us and we still remember them with a sense of loss.
Here are ten most famous people whose lives ended tragically in a plane crash
10. Glenn Miller
Alton Glenn Miller was a popular American musician, composer and bandleader of one of the best known big bands. He was the best-selling recording artist from 1939 to 1943 with notable recordings such as In the Mood and Moonlight Serenade. On December 15, 1944, during World War II, Miller was flying from the United Kingdom to France to play for the soldiers there. His plane departed from Clapham and disappeared in bad weather while flying over the English Channel.
9. Jenni Rivera
Jenni Rivera was a Mexican-American Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and actress. Her tenth studio album was a number one hit on the BillboardTop Latin Albums chart in the United States. Rivera died in a plane crash in the December of 2012. After a performance in Mexico, Rivera, along with her staff, departed from Monterrey International Airport. The plane lost contact with air traffic control not far from Mexico. The wreckage of the plane was found later that day and Rivera’s father Pedro Rivera confirmed that his daughter had died in the crash.
8. Stevie Ray Vaughan
Stevie Ray Vaughan was an American musician, singer, songwriter and guitarist of the Grammy award-winning group Double Trouble. He is considered one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of blues music. He died on August 27, 1990 after the helicopter he was traveling in crashed into a hill. He had boarded the helicopter with three others just after a performance in Wisconsin. The crash killed all on board including the pilot. Vaughan’s memorial was held at Laurel Land Cemetery in Dallas, where he was buried next to his father.
7. Aaliyah Haughton
Aaliyah Dana Haughton was an American singer, dancer, actress, model and teen idol. On August 25, 2001, Aaliyah and the members of her record company, after completing filming the music video for “Rock the Boat”, boarded their plane at the Marsh Harbour Airport in Abaco Islands. The plane crashed shortly after takeoff, about 200 feet from the runway. Overweight cargo and an unqualified pilot were cited as the cause of the crash. Aaliyah’s funeral was held in Manhattan with her body set in a silver-plated copper-deposit casket carried in a glass hearse and drawn by horses.
6. Ricky Nelson
Ricky Nelson was a popular American singer-songwriter, actor and musician. He placed 53 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1957 and 1973. In the December of 1985, following shows in Florida and Alabama, Nelson and his band members took off for a New Year’s Eve extravaganza in Dallas, Texas. The plane crash-landed not far from Dallas, less than two miles from a landing strip, killing seven of the nine occupants. Hundreds of fans and mourners gathered to attend Nelson’s funeral On January 6, 1986.
5. Ritchie Valens
Ritchie Valens was a rock and roll artist and a forefather of the Chicano rock movement. Valen’s career lasted only eight months but he created several hits including “La Bamba” in that short time. He died on February 2, 1959 in a plane crash in Iowa, along with Buddy Holly and “The Big Bopper” Richardson. The three were flying out of Iowa after a performance in Clear Lake when their plane crashed shortly after takeoff due to a snowstorm, killing all three passengers and the pilot. His remains were buried at San Fernando Mission Cemetery, Mission Hills, California and February 3 came to be known as “The Day the Music Died.”
4. John Denver
John Denver, was an American singer-songwriter, actor known for songs like “Take Me Home, Country Roads”, and “Rocky Mountain High.” He was one of the most popular and best-selling acoustic artists of his time. Denver was killed when his plane crashed near Pacific Grove, California on October 12, 1997. The crash had disfigured Denver’s head and body so bad that it was impossible to make identification by dental records and records of his fingerprints were used to confirm that it was him. Denver, who was the only occupant of the aircraft, was a pilot with over 2,700 hours of experience. Denver also had pilot license ratings for single-engine land and sea, multi-engine land, glider, and instrument.
3. Richard Rockefeller
Dr. Richard Gilder Rockefeller was the great-grandson of American business magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and also a nephew of the late U.S. Vice President Nelson Rockefeller. Richard was a physician who practiced and taught medicine. He was also an experienced pilot. On June 13, 2014, he was flying home after visiting his father at the Rockefeller family estate in New York. Rockefeller took off from Westchester County Airport in dense fog and steady rain. In less than 10 minutes of takeoff, the Federal reported Rockefeller’s plane crashed less than a mile from the airport in the town of Harrison. Rockefeller, the pilot, was the only person on the private plane.
2. Audie Murphy
Audie Leon Murphy was a highly decorated World War II hero- turned-actor. As a soldier, a 19-year-old Murphy managed to hold off an entire company of Germans single-handedly for an hour in January 1945, then he leads a successful counterattack while wounded and out of ammunition. He received every military combat award for valor available from the U.S. Army, plus French and Belgian awards for heroism. A much-loved actor of his time, Murphy is remembered for his movies like To Hell and Back. Murphy was killed in a plane crash on 28 May 1971. The private plane in which he was traveling crashed into Brush Mountain, near Catawba due to a rainstorm. Murphy was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
1. John F. Kennedy Jr
John F. Kennedy Jr., son of the late U.S.President John F. Kennedy, was an American lawyer and journalist. In July 16, 1999, Kennedy was piloting a small plane carrying his wife Carolyn Bessette and her sister Lauren to attend the wedding of Kennedy’s cousin Rory Kennedy. But the plane failed to arrive and the three were reported missing. It turns out the plane had crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. On the afternoon of July 21, the three bodies were recovered from the ocean floor by Navy divers.