RIP 2021: Artists We Lost in 2021

Alas, here is my annual tribute to artists we lost the previous year. They include numerous classic rock band members including the Rolling Stones, ZZ Top, The Moody Blues, The Monkeys, Bay City Rollers, and The Animals. We also lost epic artists from numerous other genres: R&B (The Supremes), disco (The Gap Band), hip-hop (The Roots), reggae-pop-fusion (UB40), pop (Wham!), country (Everly Brothers), and more. 

There are more than enough tracks to create an entire tribute ride just for 2021, or select a few and give a tip of the hat in one of your regular rides, perhaps including some from previous years.

Below are a few suggestions to include in your tribute.

One thing is certain, I think we should all include this track as an intro or recovery song in honor of the late Betty White who left us on the final day of 2021: the theme song to the Golden Girls.

After we lost Graeme Edge, the drummer of the Moody Blues, I used this song in a class and it’s perfect for an 85 rpm flat, either as a moderate segment or a high-intensity interval. 

A few months before Edge, we lost another famous rock drummer, Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones. Everyone has their favorite Stones song, but this is one of mine. “Paint it Black,” 160 bpm/80 rpm. Use it as a fast climb with standing surges on the chorus, or stay in the saddle and push to Zone 5 (above threshold) for 3 minutes. 

Leonard Hubbard, longtime member of The Roots, passed away in December. As I was searching for songs to include I came across this amazing gem. I’d heard it before but had never used it in a class. It’s wonderful! “The Fire,” 87 bpm. Make sure to share the amazing lyrics with your riders!

There’s something in your heart
And it’s in your eyes
It’s the fire
Inside you
Let it burn
You don’t say good luck
You say don’t give up
It’s the fire
Inside you
Let it burn

Here is the ICA RIP 2021 Tribute playlist. If you have any additions, please leave them in the comments.

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