Aaron Spears Dies at 47: Drummer Remembered by Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber & More

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Aaron Spears, who worked as a drummer for Usher, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus and countless other music stars, has died at age 47, his family announced Monday (Oct. 30).

The drummer was nominated for a Grammy for his work on Usher’s 2004 album Confessions and had just turned 47 last week.


“It is with a heavy heart and overwhelming sadness that I share the news of the passing of my beloved husband, Aaron Spears,” Spears’ wife, Jessica, said in an Instagram post. “Aaron was not only an incredibly accomplished drummer, admired by many for his unparalleled talent and passion for music, but he was also a devoted father to our precious son, August. His love, guidance, and warmth were the pillars of our family, and his absence leaves a void that words cannot describe. We were blessed to have him in our lives, and his legacy will live on through the beautiful rhythms he created and the love he shared with us. We appreciate all the thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Please remember Aaron for the incredible person he was and the amazing music he brought into our world. At this time we ask for privacy as we work our way through this.”

The many artists who worked with Spears shared an outpouring of condolences to social media.

Along with a photo of Spears, Grande shared this message to her IG Story: “I can’t wrap my head around this. We were all so incredibly lucky to know Aaron. The absolute brightest light of a human being. Always the kindest, always smiling. I am so honored and thankful that our paths crossed and to have spent so much very special time together. Thank you for your utter brilliance, for our laughs, and for your kindness always. I will miss your hugs. You are so, so loved and will be so very missed.”

“It’s been a painful season for all of us,” Justin Bieber wrote in an Instagram post, adding in his Story: “We lost a beautiful man and inspiration to all of us drummers. @aspears prayers for your family and loved ones you will be remembered and celebrated.”

Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker commented on Jessica’s post, “I have no words. I love you so much my brother and will miss you. This doesn’t seem real. Praying for you Jessica and August.”

The Roots’ Questlove shared a video of Spears drumming along with a heartfelt message about his fellow drummer on Instagram. “The world lost a legend today. Husband, father, producers music director, leader drumgod & just a Cotdamn BEAST in Aaron Spears. You’ve seen Aaron drum prolly 5-10 times in your life if you attend concerts & sometimes without knowing. That’s how much in demand his services were. … Condolences to his wife, family, community and all who loved him and were given joy through his musical contributions. This is devastating … rest in melody brother.”

See Jessica’s announcement below:

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