The rising indie heroes top the chart
Andrew Trendell

19:00 5th August 2016

Viola Beach have scored a No.1 album with their posthumous debut album, following their tragic death earlier this year. 

The 'Swings And Waterslides' rising indie stars were killed with their manager when the car they were travelling in plunged from a bridge into the river below while driving through Sweden - before their families chose to release the album in their memory

- MORE: Why Viola Beach's debut album is so brilliant

Following Coldplay paying a touching tribute to vocalist Kris Leonard, guitarist River Reeves, bassist Tomas Lowe, drummer Jack Dakin and their manager Craig Tarry during their Glastonbury headline set, the band have now scored a No.1 album. 

“The tragedy that ended Craig, Jack, Kris, River & Tom's lives in Sweden and the pain and sense of loss will never leave us," say their families in a statement. "By sending the Viola Beach album to Number 1 the public have sent out an important message to the world.

“The tragic circumstance that met Viola Beach and their manager Craig that fateful night in Sweden will not now define their lives. What will now define their lives and what they will be remembered for, forever, is the music they were so passionate about making together.

“For that, we will be eternally humbled and ever thankful to every single person who by buying this glorious album has invested in their lasting musical legacy. The pain will never leave us but neither will the affection shown by every fan. Maybe one day that affection will live longer in the memory than the pain.

They add: "So from us all, a simple but heartfelt 'thank you’.”

- MORE: Why Viola Beach had what it takes to go all the way

Earlier this year, The Coral, Blossoms, The Courteeners and more came together to honour Viola Beach with a special tribute show. 

  • 10 January: David Bowie - The Thin White Duke's death shocked the world. It happened so soon after he released his 25th and final studio album, Blackstar, and he only told close family and friends about his illness. Bowie is what makes Britain great. Millions of people come to London just to visit roads like Denmark Street where he used to park his converted ambulance that he slept in when he was getting his career off the ground. He's about as close as a musician can get to a God. Hardly a day goes by where we don't hum a Bowie song to ourselves.

  • 28 January: Paul Kantner - The Jefferson Airplane and Starship founding member, guitarist and singer tragically passed away due to multiple organ failure and septic shock, aged 74. He had been unwell for some time and was reported to have suffered a heart attack earlier in the week of his death. He remains one of the most influential guitar players with his fuzzy dream-like reverb that became so important to the development of psych rock as a genre in its own right. Being a member of one of the greatest bands of all time was a great way to live his life. RIP.

  • 18 January: Glenn Frey - Legendary guitarist and founding member of Eagles, Frey died aged 67 from a combination of complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia. The multi-Grammy winning founding member co-wrote and sung such iconic tracks as 'Take It Easy', 'Tequila Sunrise', 'Lyin' Eyes', and 'Heartache Tonight' - as well as penning 'Hotel California' and 'Desperado' with Don Henley. He later formed a successful solo career, rising to fame in his own spotlight with the likes of 'The Heat Is On' and 'You Belong To The City'.

  • 24 January: Jimmy Bain - This rock legend was bass guitarist with the likes of Dio, Thin Lizzy, Gary Moore, and Rainbow. Bain died aged 68 when he was aboard Def Leppard's inaugural Hysteria On The High Seas cruise. He was performing on the cruise with the group Last In Line. He has an incredible back catalogue and tour history, having played with some of the greatest classic rock bands to have ever lived. No cause of death has been revealed.

  • 17 January: Dale Griffin - Mott The Hoople drummer and founding member, Dale Griffin, passed away, aged 67. Griffin died peacefully in his sleep. He had been suffering from Alzheimer's since 2009. Mott The Hoople, who rose to fame with the likes of 'Roll Away The Stone' and David Bowie's 'All The Young Dudes', made eight albums in their '70s heyday before splitting after five and a half years. They reformed in 2009, but Griffin was too unwell to participate in the reunion shows. They made some of the best glam rock ever written.

  • 5 January: Nick Caldwell - Caldwell was an American R&B singer with The Whispers, who are best known for their 1980 disco hit 'And the Beat Goes On', which is taken from their self titled platinum selling album. The track was sampled by Will Smith on his 1997 hit single 'Miami', and featured in video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. It's one of the smoothest disco tunes that was ever. He died of congestive heart failure at his San Francisco home, aged 71.

  • 26 January: Colin Vearncombe - 'Wonderful Life' singer Colin Vearncombe, who went by the stage name, Black, died at the age of 53, two weeks after being injured in a car crash. The Liverpool singer's super hit 'Wonderful Life' reached the top ten in Switzerland, Germany, the UK, France, Austria, the Netherlands and Italy when it was released in 1987. The album of the same name sold more than 1.5 million copies and peaked at number three. Although he is best known for the aforementioned album, he was a prolific songwriter and released 15 albums under his own name or Black.

  • 7 January: Troy Shondell - In 1961 this Indiana born rock n' roll singer sold 3 million copies of his hit 'This Time'. It remains a brilliant track to this day. Shondell's real name was Gary Schelton and he died at a nursing facility in Picayune, Mississippi after suffering complications related to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

  • 4 January: Long John Hunter - Blues guitarist Long John Hunter died aged 84 in his sleep at his home in Phoenix. Hunter, who was born in Louisiana, was also a singer-songwriter whose best-known tracks are 'El Paso Rock' and 'Alligators Around My Door'. He had an incredible style of playing and James Brown, Buddy Holly, and Etta James are known to have attended his shows at the Lobby Bar in Juarez, Mexico. It was at the Lobby Bar that Hunter developed a technique for holding his guitar by the neck in one hand while continuing to play. With his free hand, Hunter would grab a rafter above the stage and start to swing but never missed a beat. What a guy.

  • 17 January: Clarence Reid - The late soul singer, songwriter and producer performed under the alias Blowfly. He was a proto-rap innovator and was a pioneer of American outsider music writing and releasing many albums that were sexually explicit and scatalogical in nature through the '70s and '80s. He also wrote and released singles under his own name. He was incredibly prolific and consistently churned out amusing funk music. He was suffering from terminal liver cancer and died in hospice care in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, aged 76.

  • 8 January: Otis Clay - R&B legend Otis Clay was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2013. He made a name for himself with hits 'Trying To Live My Life Without You', 'The Only Way Is Up' , and 'She's About A Mover'. He started out in gosepl groups before branching out to secular music in the mid-60's and he continued making albums right up until 2013.He died in Chicago aged 73 due to a heart attack.

  • 6 April: The world bid farewell to The Poet of The Common Man, Merle Haggard - who sadly died of pneumonia on the same day that he celebrated his 79th birthday. He'll always be remembered for his voice and incredible way with words on the likes of ‘That’s The Way Love Goes’ and ‘Same Old Train’ and his 38 No.1 country hits.

  • 22 March: Phife Dawg of the legendary A Tribe Called Quest has passed away at the age of 45 from complications arising from diabetes. He inspired a generation of rappers, with the likes of Chuck D, El-P and Kanye West speaking out in loving memory of one of hip-hop's finest and most enduring voices.

  • 15 January: Denise Katrina Matthews, AKA Vanity - a former protege of Prince and lead singer of the 80's girl group Vanity 6, died at the age of 57 from heart problems. Prince spotted Vanity in 1980 and Prince encouraged her to take on the name Vanity and front the band Vanity 6. The group were best known for the chart topping 1982 hit 'Nasty Girl'. The group toured with Prince on his '1999' tour but she quit after that in 1984. She went on to sign a solo record deal with Motown and released two solo records, Wild Animal and Skin on Skin. She also starred in a number of films including The Last Dragon, 52 Pick-Up and Action Jackson.

  • 28 January: Signe Toly Anderson, original vocalist and founding member of Jefferson Airplane, died at the age of 74. In a somewhat extraordinary and tragic coincidence, it's been revealed that Anderson - who had been suffering from a series of health problems - died on the same day as her former bandmate Paul Kantner. In a statement, Jefferson Airplane co-founder Marty Balin wrote, "One sweet Lady has passed on. I imagine that she and Paul woke up in heaven and said 'Hey what are you doing here? Let's start a band'."

  • 16 March: Frank Sinatra Jr. - son of the late singer Frank Sinatra and younger brother of Nancy Sinatra - died of a heart attack at the age of 72 while on tour in Florida. Sinatra Jr. was himself a musician and conductor, and released seven albums over the course of his career. His last, That Face!, was released back in 2006 and saw him performing Great American Songbook tunes, along with one self-written number.

  • 4 February: Maurice White, the founder of soul group Earth, Wind & Fire, died aged 74. The singer died in his sleep yesterday morning, having been suffering from Parkinson's Disease. Earth, Wind & Fire's 45 year career included hits such as 'September', 'Boogie Wonderland', 'After The Love Is Gone' and 'Shining Star'.

  • 6 April: Dennis Davis, former long-time drummer of David Bowie, died of cancer, aged 65 after a battle with cancer. Davis played on seven Bowie albums in total, including Young Americans, Station to Station, Low, “Heroes”, Lodger, and Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) - and played as part of his live band in the early 2000s. He also played on Iggy Pop's The Idiot), Jemaine Jackson's Let’s Get Serious), and a number of Stevie Wonder albums, among many others.

  • 8 March: The legendary 'fifth Beatle' George Martin passed away at the age of 90. The record producer, who signed the Beatles and has worked with the likes of Shirley Bassey, Cilla Black and Gerry And The Pacemakers, produced more than 700 records over his career. News of his death was confirmed by The Beatles' drummer Ringo Starr, who wrote, "God bless George Martin peace and love to Judyand his family love Ringo and Barbara George will be missed xxx"

  • 10 April: Howard Marks died at the age of 70. Marks was in prison for 25 years after being caught smuggling cannabis - an occupation that began during his time as a student at Oxford University. Marks had many aliases, but became known as Mr. Nice after he bought a passport from convicted murdered Donald Nice. The autobiography he published after his release from prison - which became a cult hit - was called Mr. Nice. Thanks to the success of his book, Marks regularly spoke at music festivals such as Glastonbury, and collaborated with Super Furry Animals, Happy Mondays' Kav Sandhu and Reverend & The Makers. He also appeared as a guest on Never Mind The Buzzcocks, was a DJ and had his own record label.

  • 10 March: Keith Emerson, founding member and keyboardist of prog rock group Emerson, Lake & Palmer, died at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 71, with police ruling that his cause of death was a self-inflicted gun shot wound. He suffered a long and painful battle with depression - claiming that he had issues which dated back to the late 1970s.

  • 13 February: Viola Beach, consisting of rising indie stars Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe and Jack Dakin - along with their manager Craig Terry, tragically died when their car fell from a bridge into a canal in Sweden. They were destined for great things, and the likes of Courteeners, The Coral and more played a tribute show in their memory.

  • 21 April: His Royal Badness, The Purple One, Prince - died at his Minnesota home in Paisley Park at the age of just 57. The world went into morning at the loss of one of the most influential and prolific artists of all time. With his feline attitude, elastic dance moves, fluid musicianship, insane growl and unreal guitar skills, we'll never see his like again.

  • 24 April: Papa Wemba, one of the most famous Congolese musicians, died after collapsing onstage in an incident broadcast on local TV. The 66-year-old, who was hugely influential in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and was a member of the band Viva La Musica, was in the middle of a show in Ivory Coast when he slumped onto the floor behind a group of dancers.

  • 21 May: Nick Menza, the former drummer for Megadeth, died after collapsing. The 51-year-old, who was in the heavy metal band for nearly a decade, was performing with his band OHM in Los Angeles when he collapsed three songs in. Menza was taken to hospital, and was pronounced dead on arrival. He had suffered from a “massive heart attack.” In a statement, Menza’s bandmate Stephen Bauer said, “In the brief time I knew you, it was a pleasure. We will miss you.”

  • 19 May: John Berry, one of the founding members of The Beastie Boys, died aged just 52. Berry, who came up with the name of the band when they were teenagers, had been suffering from frontal lobe dementia, which had got worse in the past few months. He was a member of The Beastie Boys (who were initially called Young Aborigines) in 1978, alongside Michael 'Mike D' Diamond, Kate Schellenbach and Adam 'MCA'' Yauch. When Berry left after the release of the band's first EP, he was replaced by Adam 'Ad-Rock' Horovitz. Not only did Berry come up with the band's name, his apartment in New York City was also the venue for some of the band's first shows.

  • 10 June: Former Voice contestant Christina Grimmie was shot dead in an gun attack outside gig, where the assailant also shot and killed himself. Grimmie was signing autographs for fans after a concert in Orlando when the gunman opened fire. Her brother tackled him, before the attacker shot and killed himself - being pronounced dead at the scene. Christina, 22, later died of her injuries in hospital. The singer finished third during the third season of The Voice in the US in 2014. She released her debut album With Love in 2013, and other recent singles include 'Must Be Love', 'Cliche' and 'Shrug'.

Photo: Press