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The Musical Legacy of Robin Williams

Celebrity deaths in the news are not uncommon, but it is rare to see such an outpouring across the world as we’ve witnessed with the untimely passing of Robin Williams at age 63. Such a tragic loss, such a shock to the system—and yet, it is renewing important conversations all over the world about the realities of depression and suicide, and how even the seemingly funniest and most joyful among us can still suffer inside.

While mainly remembered as an actor and comedian, Williams also frequently (and fearlessly) entertained us through music, as well, as Billboard recently pointed out—from immortalizing the phrase “I Yam What I Yam” in Popeye (1980); to voicing the penguin Ramón on Happy Feet (2006) singing Sinatra’s “My Way,” in Spanish, no less; to his rousing rendition of “Blame Canada” during the Academy Awards live broadcast in 2000.  And who could forget his pièce de résistance, “Friend Like Me,” as the Genie of the Lamp in the Disney animated classic Aladdin? Among his many, many awards, Williams even won five Grammys. (Okay, so those were basically for spoken-word and comedy albums, but hey—a Grammy is a Grammy.)

Suffice it to say that Robin Williams touched the music community as much as he did any other field of entertainment—not to mention millions of fans around the world.  Among the millions of tributes filling the airwaves, the Internet and social media, some of the top names in music have also chimed in.  Here are just a few of them:


RIP, Robin Williams. We are grateful for the many belly laughs, and we will miss you terribly.

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About the Author


Jeff McQ is a songwriter/composer/musician with a diverse resume that includes everything from directing music in church to scoring short films. In addition to his role as chief editor for Music Is My Oxygen (and writing our DIY Musician Channel), Jeff also covers the local music scene for Examiner.com in his hometown of Denver, Colorado, and maintains The Developing Artist [http://artistdevelopmentblog.com], a blog dedicated to offering advice and encouragement to indie musicians.

When he's not tinkering in his home studio or blogging for hours on his laptop at the local coffee shop (to the annoyance of the baristas), Jeff McQ enjoys taking in local shows, going on road trips, wandering aimlessly, and talking to himself.

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