Celebrities who died too young

Published On: Apr 04 2012 09:16:54 AM CDT   Updated On: May 13 2016 01:00:00 AM CDT

Friday marks what would have been Ritchie Valens' 75th birthday had the rock icon not died at age 17 in the same 1959 plane crash that claimed Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper. In his honor, take a look at Valens and other stars who died too young.

Eddie Cochran - celebs died too young
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Liberty Records

Rockabilly singer-songwriter and musician Eddie Cochran, the rock 'n' roll pioneer whose hit songs included "Summertime Blues," "C'mon Everybody" and "Somethin' Else," died on April 17, 1960, at age 21 of severe head injuries the day after being in a road accident in England in which he was thrown from a taxi. Cochran was riding in the backseat of the car along with his fiancée, songwriter Sharon Sheeley, and fellow singer Gene Vincent, when their speeding taxi blew a tire while traveling on a highway. The taxi lost control and crashed into a lamp post. Sheeley, Vincent and the taxi driver, George Martin, survived the accident, although Vincent suffered lasting injuries to his leg.

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