07/09/1936, Lubbock, Texas, U.S.A. - 03/02/1959, Clear Lake, Iowa, U.S.A. (plane crash)

American singer-songwriter who was a central and pioneering figure of mid-1950s rock and roll. During his short career, Holly wrote and recorded many songs. He is often regarded as the artist who defined the traditional rock-and-roll lineup of two guitars, bass, and drums. He was a major influence on later popular music artists, including Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, The Hollies (who named themselves in his honor), Elvis Costello and Elton John. He was among the first artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1986. He died in plane crash over the Clear Lake in Iowa.