Walter Carl Becker (February 20, 1950 – September 3, 2017) was an American musician, songwriter, and record producer. He was best known as the co-founder, guitarist, bassist and co-songwriter of Steely Dan.
Becker met future songwriting partner Donald Fagen while studying at Bard College. After a brief period of activity in New York, the two relocated to California in 1971 and formed the nucleus of Steely Dan, who enjoyed a critically and commercially successful 10-year career. Following the group’s dissolution, Becker moved to Hawaii and reduced his musical activity, working primarily as a record producer. In 1985, he briefly became a member of the British sophisti-pop group China Crisis, producing and playing synthesizer on their record Flaunt the Imperfection.
Becker and Fagen reformed Steely Dan in 1993 and had remained active, most notably including their 2000 Two Against Nature album, which won four Grammy Awards. Becker also released two solo albums, 1994’s 11 Tracks of Whack and 2008’s Circus Money.
Following an undisclosed illness,Becker died on September 3, 2017.
Glen Travis Campbell (April 22, 1936 – August 8, 2017) was an American singer, guitarist, songwriter, television host, and actor. He was best known for a series of hits in the 1960s and 1970s, and for hosting a music and comedy variety show called The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour on CBS television, from January 1969 through June 1972.
During his 50 years in the music business, Campbell released more than 70 studio albums. He sold 45 million records worldwide and accumulated 12 gold albums, four platinum albums, and one double-platinum album. He placed a total of 80 different songs on either the Billboard Country Chart, Billboard Hot 100, or Adult Contemporary Chart, of which 29 made the top 10 and of which nine reached number one on at least one of those charts. Among Campbell’s hits are “Universal Soldier”, his first hit from 1965, along with “Gentle on My Mind”, “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”, “Wichita Lineman”, “Dreams of the Everyday Housewife”, “Galveston”, “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Southern Nights”.
Campbell made history in 1967 by winning four Grammys in the country and pop categories. For “Gentle on My Mind”, he received two awards in country and western; “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” did the same in pop. Three of his early hits later won Grammy Hall of Fame Awards (2000, 2004, 2008), while Campbell himself won the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. He owned trophies for Male Vocalist of the Year from both the Country Music Association (CMA) and the Academy of Country Music (ACM), and took the CMA’s top award as 1968 Entertainer of the Year. Campbell played a supporting role in the film True Grit (1969), which earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Most Promising Newcomer. He also sang the title song, which was nominated for an Academy Award
Chester Charles Bennington (March 20, 1976 – July 20, 2017) was an American singer and songwriter best known as the frontman for the rock band Linkin Park. He was also the lead singer for Dead by Sunrise and fronted Stone Temple Pilots from 2013 to 2015.
Bennington first gained prominence as a vocalist following the release of Linkin Park’s debut album, Hybrid Theory, in 2000, which became a commercial success. The album was certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2005, making it the best-selling debut album of the decade, as well as one of the few albums to ever hit that many sales. Linkin Park’s following studio albums, Meteora (2003), Minutes to Midnight (2007), A Thousand Suns (2010), Living Things (2012), The Hunting Party (2014), and One More Light (2017) continued the band’s success.
Bennington formed his own band, Dead by Sunrise, as a side project in 2005. The band’s debut album, Out of Ashes, was released on October 13, 2009. He worked on new material with Stone Temple Pilots in 2013 to release the EP High Rise on October 8, 2013 via their own record label, Play Pen. Bennington has been ranked in the Top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalists by Hit Parader (No. 46).
On July 20, 2017, Bennington was found dead in his home in Palos Verdes Estates, California, from suicide by hanging with alcohol in use at the time of his death.