'If I Leave Here Tomorrow:' Musicians Who Died In Plane Crashes

Ronnie Van Zant of Lynyrd Skynyrd, being interviewed on July 10, 1976 at Stouffer's Hotel in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Tom Hill/WireImage)

The course of rock 'n roll history took a turn when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper perished in a deadly airplane crash in Iowa -- an event Don McLean would later describe as "The Day the Music Died." Many musicians have died in plane crashes, among them Patsy Cline, Otis Redding, Jim Croce, Ronnie van Zant of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and John Denver. Most of the 12 hit-makers here were still in their artistic prime when they met their untimely ends -- just imagine how much more music they might have given us if these musicians hadn't died in airplane crashes.

"If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me?" Ronnie van Zant sang in "Freebird," a song some have called prophetic. Remember them? We couldn't forget the artists behind "Peggy Sue," "Crazy," "Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay," "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown," "Sweet Home Alabama," and "Country Roads, Take Me Home" if we tried.