You can only be so devoted to your job: get up early in the morning, have a quick bite to eat and you’re ready to go give 100% at your workplace. But how dedicated to your job would you say you are? Sure, you’ll put in the extra few hours, brainstorm for other’s projects and even work some shifts on the weekends, but have you thought of anything that goes beyond this? We’ve compiled a list of 8 entertainers who died while entertaining their audience. Keep reading our list about singers who died on stage doing what they liked and see just how devoted some really are.
8. Tiny Tim
You might know this performer for singing children’s songs to adults. His distinct high pitch voice didn’t take long before making him and his ukulele famous around the globe. Best remembered for “Tiptoe Through the Tulips”, Tiny Tim was so dedicated and passionate about his music that he went against his doctor’s recommendations of taking it easy. As a consequence, he paid a heavy price during a gala benefit when he died after a heart attack singing his most loved song.
7. Judge Dread
Not all singers have it easy from the beginning. Take the example of Judge Dread. He started out as a wrestler, going by the “stage” name of “The Masked Executioner”. Shortly after this, he worked as a bouncer and a bodyguard, so it’s safe to say he was a tough one. Going after a career change, Judge Dread started making reggae songs and shortly became the only white singer with a reggae hit in Jamaica. His death matched the rhythm of his life. He collapsed from a heart attack, after stepping off the stage of the Penny Theatre in Canterbury.
6. Johnny “Guitar” Watson
Another victim of a heart attack on stage, Johnny Guitar Watson was the king of blues and a natural at playing guitar. He was renowned for lively shows and spontaneous stunts, but nothing could prepare his Japanese fans for what they were about to witness back in 1996. Watson was just getting ready to start the show when he suddenly collapsed on his back, leaving his audience wondering what kind of trick he was pulling. Sadly, they were about to find out their favorite artist had died on stage and was in a better place.
5. Hardin Armstrong
You probably know her as Louis Armstrong’s second wife, but she was also a talented jazz singer in her time. Even though the couple broke up, their respect and care for each other never faded away. Lil Hardin was heartbroken after Louis’ death and honored his memory a month after, by singing “St. Louis Blues”. It was during this performance at the piano that she suffered a fatal heart attack, leaving the audience and the paramedics baffled and feeling dismal.
4. Richard Versalle
The world of opera had its victims as well. Richard Versalle, best known for roles like Othello and Tristan that he played in music theaters, was performing in the “The Makropulos Affair” when misfortune struck. He was singing on the stage, up a ladder, delivering a dramatic line when he had a heart attack, causing his feet to give in and falling on the stage.
3. Leonard Warren
This baritone opera singer’s last lines on the stage included “To die! A tremendous moment!” Saying this is ironic would be an understatement. Leonard Warren was a highly talented singer, famous for many character he played, including Iago from “Othello”. His last performance was a play by Simon Boccanegra, which provided a dramatic background for the cerebral hemorrhage he suffered.
2. Ty Longley (Great White)
Though this example is slightly different than the rest, it definitely deserves a high ranking place in our list. Ty Longley was touring in 2003 and was in Rhode Island in an indoor venue when someone decided to experiment with pyrotechnics. Not everything ended up going according to plan and the show turned into a massive fire, taking over the whole club where the band was performing. More than 100 people lost their lives, including Ty, and 230 other were severely injured.
1. “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott (Pantera)
We’ve kept the weirdest death of them all for last. Darrell Abbott, or “Dimebag” for short, was part of “Pantera” before the band split, leading the members to go their separate ways. Dimebag formed another band, but this failed to satisfy Pantera’s fans, with some taking it very hard. During a show in Colombus, Abbott was shot by a furious fan of his ex band, who blamed Dimebag for the disappointing break up. The shooter, who was an ex marine, managed to get close to the stage and shot Abbott without him ever noticing anything.