Nothing feels better than doing what you love but in certain instances, this might come with an unexpectedly tragic ending and this is the case of these black musicians who died “in the line of duty”.
These popular musicians absolutely loved their trade. They stopped at nothing in thrilling audiences and fans with mind-blowing performances anytime they hit the stage.
Though they may be gone, they’ll forever be remembered as iconic entertainers who died doing what they loved.
Scroll through to take a look at them.
Born with the name Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba, Congolese singer Papa Wemba started his career in religious choirs and then became one of Congo’s most sought-after music legends. In his special genre, Congolese rumba or soukous, he chalked up success after success including hit records L’Esclave and Le Voyageur with his bands Zaiko Langa Langa, Isifi and Viva La Musica.
Wemba collapsed while performing at the Urban Music Festival of Anoumabo (FEMUA) in Ivory Coast in 2016. He died before he could be taken to the hospital.
Born in 1941, Wynne was an African-American musician who is best remembered as one of the lead singers of then popular R&B group The Spinners. He died of a heart attack while performing at a nightclub in Oakland, California in 1984.
Johnny “Guitar” Watson
Known for his flamboyant lifestyle, Johnny “Guitar” Watson was an African-American blues, soul, and funk musician. He died of a heart attack in 1996 while performing in Yokohama, Japan.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1929, Johnny Ace was an African-American R&B singer. He accidentally shot himself with a 32-calibre revolver after taking a break from a performance at the City Auditorium in Houston, Texas on Christmas Day in 1954.
There are, however, disputed claims on how it happened. Some say it was as a result of playing Russian roulette while others say he accidentally shot himself under the influence of alcohol. He reportedly thought there was no bullet in the gun when he was playing with it and to prove it, he pulled the trigger and fatally shot himself.
Lee Morgan was a very popular African-American jazz trumpeter during his time. Just like Johnny Ace, he was taking a break from a performance at Slugs’ Saloon, a jazz club in New York City when his common-law wife, Helen Moore shot him after an argument.
He died of his wounds before an ambulance arrived.