By Kyle Anderson
December 20, 2011 at 10:08 PM EST

The music world lost a number of great contributors and classic artists this year, and far too many of them clearly had unfinished business. EW has already memorialized many of them, from the tragic end of taken-before-their-time artists like Amy Winehouse, Heavy D, and Gerard Smith of TV on the Radio, to the decades-long influence of industry icons such as Jerry Lieber, Clarence Clemons, Don Kirshner, and Nick Ashford. They will all be missed because each one of them left an indelible mark on the music world.

In an effort to tip our collective hat to them one last time before the year is out, we’ve put together a special (though by no means exhaustive) playlist, which features a key song that best sums up the career of the dearly departed, from the one hit wonders to the career giants. Enjoy reliving each one’s greatest moments.

Amy Winehouse, “Tears Dry on Their Own”

Nate Dogg, “Regulate” (with Warren G)

Phoebe Snow, “Poetry Man”

Heavy D, “Nuttin’ But Love”

Poly Styrene, “Oh Bondage! Up Yours!” (with X-Ray Spex)

Jerry Leiber, “Jailhouse Rock” (performed by Elvis Presley)

Jani Lane, “Heaven” (with Warrant)

Clarence Clemons, “Jungleland” (with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band)

Gil Scott-Heron, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”

Gladys Horton, “Please Mr. Postman” (with the Marvelettes)

Gerard Smith, “Golden Age” (With TV on the Radio)

Nick Ashford, “You’re All I Need to Get By (written with Valerie Simpson, performed by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell)

Don Kirshner, “Last Train to Clarksville” (performed by the Monkees)

Mikey Welsh, “Hash Pipe” (with Weezer)

John Walker, “Make It Easy On Yourself” (with the Walker Brothers)

Pinetop Perkins, “Down in Mississippi”

Honeyboy Edwards, “Long Tall Woman Blues”

Manuel Galban, “Caballo Viejo” (with Ry Cooder)

Loleatta Holloway, “Love Sensation”

M-Bone, “Teach Me How to Dougie” (with Cali Swag District)

Eugene McDaniels, “Feel Like Makin’ Love” (performed by Roberta Flack)

Dan Peek, “Horse With No Name” (with America)

Gerry Rafferty, “Night Owl”

Charlie Louvin, “Cash on the Barrelhead” (with the Louvin Brothers)

Trish Keenan, “Echo’s Answer” (with Broadcast)

Joel “Taz” DiGregorio, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” (with the Charlie Daniels Band)

Sylvia Robinson, “Rapper’s Delight” (performed by the Sugarhill Gang)

Carl Gardner, “Young Blood” (with the Coasters)

Cory “Flattus Maximus” Smoot, “Release the Flies” (with GWAR)

Vesta Williams, “Sweet, Sweet Love”

Hugh Martin, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (performed by Frank Sinatra)

Gary Moore, “Waiting For an Alibi” (with Thin Lizzy)

Mike Starr, “Would?” (with Alice in Chains)

Billie Jo Spears, “Blanket on the Ground”

Andrea True, “More More More”

More on EW.com:

Adele, Florence and The Machine, Bon Iver, or Fleet Foxes: Who made EW’s album of the year?Adele, Florence and The Machine, Bon Iver, or Fleet Foxes: Who made EW’s album of the year?

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