This year, the musical world lost many important figures, but not all of them were principally musicians. Some were inspirations and muses, some were major figures on the business side of show business, and some were creative dynamos who collaborated with rock bands on costumes and album covers. We honor 10 of them here.
Abrams, the first employee at Motown Records, was the publicist for artists including the Supremes and Stevie Wonder. He died of cancer on October 3rd, at age 74.
Alexander, the 36-year-old merch manager on tour with Eagles of Death Metal, was killed by terrorists during the attack at Paris' Bataclan on November 13th, along with journalist Guillaume B. Decherf, label exec Thomas Ayad and 86 other music lovers.
Arhos, the founder of the long-running PBS music program Austin City Limits (which has also become a festival of the same name) died of heart disease on April 11th. He was 80 years old.
Grammy-winning art director John Berg worked on more than 5,000 album covers during his time at Columbia Records, including Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run and Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits. Having suffered from pneumonia, he passed away on October 11th at age 83.
The cofounder of the music-streaming service Grooveshark died suddenly and surprisingly in his sleep on July 19th, at age 28.
The Oscar-winning costume designer for the Beatles movies Help! and A Hard Day's Night perished from a chest infection on May 30th. She was 94.
Cynthia Lennon, the mother of Julian Lennon, was the first woman to marry a Beatle: John Lennon, from 1962 to 1968. She died from cancer on April 1st at age 75.
Sheehan, U2's tour manager for more than three decades, had also worked with acts ranging from Led Zeppelin to Patti Smith. He died of a heart attack on May 26th — on the road with U2 at age 68.
The pioneering transgender actress starred in Andy Warhol films and inspired the first verse of Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side." She died from cancer on December 6th at age 69.
Gail Zappa, the widow of Frank Zappa and the mother of four children with him, had overseen his archives since his death in 1993. She died on October 7th, at age 70, after a long spell of lung cancer.