Over the last few years, several music artists have died with an abundance of music that never made it to the public’s ears. Some music fans, however, are lucky enough to be able to listen to their favorite artist one last time. From Michael Jackson to Jimi Hendrix, new music has been released from beyond the grave. Whether or not it is appropriate is up for debate for some.
Late rapper Mac Miller’s newest album, “Circles,” has been critically acclaimed by many and is a hit with the students here at Keene State. Ben Stock, a sophomore, said the album was great. As the lead singer of local band Hot Donnah, Stock knows a lot about music. He said two of his favorite artists who have passed are David Bowie and Chris Cornell. Stock has also listened to a lot of Led Zeppelin’s music that was released after the death of drummer John Bonham. He said he thinks that music released after an artist’s death is a way of honoring their legacy.
“It’s not really about the money toward the artist usually, it’s more just honoring them,” he said. “The person who dies is going to live on more through that [new] music, too.”
Someone else who agrees with Stock is sophomore Casper Hayner. He enjoys listening to just about any kind of music, old and new alike, and said hearing about Mac Miller’s death was really hard. Hayner commented on the death of rapper XXXTentacion and how his family wanted to make money off of the music released for months on end after his passing.
“It’s their work and their art that’s still being produced,” he said. “You want to make sure that music is being released for a reason, and not just because people want money.”
Nathan Nelson, a sophomore, is also a member of the band Hot Donnah and plays the drums. Sharing a similar music taste with Stock, Nelson listens to Chris Cornell and Led Zeppelin as well. He said “Celebration Day,” Led Zeppelin’s live album released in 2012, is one of his favorite Led Zeppelin albums, despite being released decades after John Bonham’s death in 1980. When it comes to music being released after the death of a popular artist, Nelson said as long as it is their own original music it is acceptable.
“If the person actually wrote the songs then it’s okay… if someone took it and manipulated it [and made it] their own and then put it out there, it wouldn’t really be that person’s work,” Nelson said.
A famous music artist dying can upset anybody, especially their biggest fans. Most music fans would love to hear one last song from their favorite deceased artist. While it is very controversial on whether it is appropriate or not to do so, most can agree that honoring the artist and their work is what is most important. The respect of a deceased artist’s work is most valuable to their fans and families.
Jillian Rivers can be contacted at