Explore NPR Music's interactive memorial to the musicians, songwriters and producers who died in 2011. NPR hide caption

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NPR

The Music They Left Behind

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Jazz Extraordinaire Sam Rivers Dies At 88

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Abstract expressionist artist Helen Frankenthaler, pictured above in 1956, adopted Jackson Pollock's technique of painting canvases laid flat on the floor. She sought to "marry" the paint with the canvas, she said. Gordon Parks/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images hide caption

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Gordon Parks/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

Abstract Artist Helen Frankenthaler Dies At Age 83

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Clockwise From Top: Courtesy Sondra Russell; Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images; Martin Cohen; kaiscapes via Flickr.

Remembering Some Remarkable Lives Lost In 2011

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'Barefoot Diva' Of Cape Verde Islands Dies At 70

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Jazz Musician Bob Brookmeyer Dies At 81

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Korean Central News Agency photo released on Jan. 18, 2009, showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Il posing with soldiers. STR/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Former Czech President, Playwright Vaclav Havel Dies

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during a visit to Siberia in August. He died Saturday at age 69, according to state-run North Korean television. Dmitry Astakhov /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Dmitry Astakhov /AFP/Getty Images

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Il Dies At 69

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Former Czech President Vaclav Havel died Sunday in his weekend home in the northern Czech Republic. He was 75. Sean Gallup/Getty Images hide caption

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Albright Remembers Havel As An Artist, Hero

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As a dissident playwright, Vaclav Havel led the Velvet Revolution to bring down Czechoslovakia's communist regime in 1989. AP hide caption

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AP

Vaclav Havel, Leader Of The Velvet Revolution, Dies

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Grammy-Winning Singer Cesaria Evora Dies

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Christopher Hitchens, shown here in 2010, began a lifelong battle with a God he didn't believe in when he was just 9 years old. David Levenson/Getty Images hide caption

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For Hitchens, In Life And Death, An Unaware Cosmos

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