How Did David Roback Die? Founding Member Of Mazzy Star Dead At 61

Rest in peace, David Roback.

How Did David Roback Die? Founding Member Of Mazzy Star Dead At 61 facebook

While the name David Roback may not mean anything to those outside of Generation X, his was the voice that helped define a generation. As one-half of the influential Mazzy Star, he — along with Hope Sandoval — gave "90's Babies" one of the most beautiful love songs of all time: "Fade Into You."

But there was much more to Roback than the "one-hit wonder" song. And now, his legacy will be remembered, as it was just announced that Roback has died at the age of 61. 


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How did David Roback die? Let's look at what we know about his death. 

1. How did David Roback die? The cause of death has not yet been released. 

On February 25, 2020, David Roback died at the age of 61. The cause of death has not yet been released to the public. The news of his death was released on February 26, 2020. 


2. Roback worked with Maggie Chung in 2004. 

Considered "reclusive" by his colleagues, Roback teamed up with actress Maggie Chung to write and record songs for Clean, her breakthrough film. He also enjoyed a resurgence in popularity when in 2009, his songs were used in both a Virgin commercial and in the video game Gears of War. The popularity surge was so great, in fact, that Roback was back on the British music charts for a time. 

3. He was considered the founder of a new wave of "California psychedelic" bands. 

Before Mazzy Star, Roback was considered a successful, and influential, singer-songwriter. His best-known band prior to Mazzy Star was the Rain Parade, which was considered the leader of the so-called "Paisley Underground" musical movement in the 1980s. After he left Rain Parade — for which he only recorded one album — he co-founded Opal with Kendra Smith. While these albums were considered classics in their time, disputes with the SST label that housed both bands led to the music being largely forgotten in the digital era.


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4. Roback didn't want to be famous. 

Unlike many popular musicians of his day, Roback was staunchly opposed to the so-called "cult of personality." “So much about music is overdetermined by television and what people write and say about it. You have to leave something to people’s imagination, so they feel they can participate. Music is music. We don’t want to be part of that over-determination. We feel you should be able to shut your eyes and listen to it," he said.

5. Mazzy Star was formed by accident. 

The formation of Mazzy Star — Roback's most successful band — was completely by accident. Opal, his prior band, was on tour with The Jesus and Mary Chain when Smith, who was the singer, departed unexpectedly in the middle of a tour. Quick to find a replacement, Roback tapped Hope Sandoval, and the rest, as they say, is history. 

6. Despite a hiatus, Mazzy Star released a new album 2 years ago. 

After the wild success of "Fade Into You," Mazzy Star enjoyed a relatively successful career, though they went on hiatus in 1997. However, in 2013, they released Seasons of Your Day — their first album in 17 years. The band's last album was the Still EP, which was released in 2018. 


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Our thoughts are with David Roback's family and friends during this difficult time. 

Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, publicist, and photographer whose work has appeared in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post,, and more.