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This Is Already The Saddest Year In Music History

A shockwave was felt throughout the world on Thursday as news of Prince’s death spread across the globe. The music icon — widely regarded as one of the greatest artists of all time — was only 57.

Prince’s talent was singular, but it’s hard not to reflect on the mounting number of losses the music industry has already suffered so far in 2016. Before Prince, there was David Bowie, and Phife Dawg, and Merle Haggard, and Maurice White and many more.  Suffice it to say, it has been a hard year for music fans.

Reading through the tributes, re-listening to our favorite songs and albums and reliving concert memories helps ease the pain, but it doesn’t take it away completely. Each death feels so personal because “it’s like an extended member of our family dies,” as psychologist David Kaplan, chief professional officer of the American Counseling Association, told The Huffington Post.

It’s only April, and yet it’s already clear that 2016 will go down as one of the saddest years in music history, if not the saddest. Just look at who we’ve lost.

  • Prince
    Kevin Winter via Getty Images
    The legendary singer died April 21, 2016. He was 57 years old.
  • David Bowie
    Terry O’Neill via Getty Images
    David Bowie, legendary singer, artistic chameleon and Grammy-winning songwriter, died on Jan. 10, 2016. He was 69.
  • Maurice White
    Ed Perlstein via Getty Images
    Singer Maurice White, 74, the founder of soul group Earth, Wind & Fire, died on Feb. 3, 2016.
  • Merle Haggard
    Paul Natkin via Getty Images
    Country legend Merle Haggard, who earned 38 No. 1 hits over the course of his career, died on April 6, 2016. He was 79.
  • Phife Dawg
    Andrew H. Walker via Getty Images
    Malik Isaac Taylor, better known as his stage name Phife Dawg, reportedly died on March 22, 2016, at the age of 45.
  • Glenn Frey
    Don Arnold via Getty Images
    Founding Eagles guitarist Glenn Frey died on Jan. 18, 2016, at the age of 67.
  • Paul Kantner
    Clayton Call via Getty Images
    Paul Kantner, one of the founding members of 1960s San Francisco psychedelic rock band Jefferson Airplane, died on Jan. 28, 2016, at 74.
  • George Martin
    Michael Buckner via Getty Images
    George Martin, the music industry legend who worked on nearly every Beatles recording, died on March 8, 2016. He was 90.
  • Ernestine Anderson
    Gilles Petard via Getty Images
    Ernestine Anderson, the internationally celebrated jazz vocalist who earned four Grammy nominations during a six-decade career, died on March 10, 2016. She was 87.
  • Gato Barbieri
    John Parra via Getty Images
    Leonardo “Gato” Barbieri, a jazz saxophonist who was considered a pioneer in Latin jazz and who won a Grammy Award for his music in the film Last Tango in Paris, died on April 2, 2016, at 83.
  • Frank Sinatra Jr.
    Frank Sinatra Jr., the son of famed singer and actor Frank Sinatra, who carved out his own career as a singer and conductor, died on March 16, 2016, at 72.
  • Keith Emerson
    Bobby Bank via Getty Images
    Keith Emerson, the legendary keyboard player in Emerson, Lake and Palmer (ELP), died on March 10, 2016, at 71.
  • Denise Matthews (Vanity)
    Ron Wolfson via Getty Images
    The 1980s pop star and model Denise Matthews, known by the stage name Vanity, died on Feb. 15, 2016 at the age of 57.
  • Otis Clay
    Daniel Boczarski/MSBB14 via Getty Images
    Hall of fame rhythm and blues artist Otis Clay, 73, known as much for his big heart and charitable work as for his singing internationally, died on Jan. 8, 2016.
  • Nicholas Caldwell
    Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images
    Nicholas Caldwell, co-founder and singer with the California R&B group The Whispers, died on Jan. 5, 2016.He was 71.
  • Pierre Boulez
    MIGUEL MEDINA via Getty Images
    Pierre Boulez, the former principal conductor the New York Philharmonic and one of the leading figures in modern classical music, died, on Jan. 5, 2016 at age 90.

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