Whenever a musician passes away at a young age, the world bows its head in sadness. However, when a posthumous album becomes that artist’s greatest masterwork, the tragedy deepens as he or she never got to witness how their creation changed our lives.

This is amongst the rarest of occurrences in the rock and metal world, so much that we could only think of seven musicians for this list. In most of these cases, an artist finished recording an album only to pass away in the short period of time between the recording’s completion and release.

Our community has heard few voices with the beauty and raw power of Janis Joplin. Joplin remains the standard bearer for female vocalists in rock, even after passing away at the young age of 27. Just three months after overdosing, Pearl was released, giving us classic tracks like “Cry Baby” and “Me and Bobby McGee.” Pearl would hold the No. 1 spot on Billboard for nine straight weeks, ultimately selling over four million copies.

Sublime’s Bradley Nowell met a similar fate, succumbing to a drug overdose. Just two months later, Sublime released the band’s self-titled album, featuring “What I Got” and the iconic “Santeria.” With five million copies sold, Sublime is another undisputed masterpiece which would have propelled Nowell to unimaginable heights.

Check out our list of 7 Musicians Who Died Before Releasing Their Masterpiece in the video above.

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