Charles Hardin Holley, known professionally as Buddy Holly, was an American singer-songwriter and a pioneer of rock and roll.
The sound of Buddy Holly And The Crickets prefigured the coming wave of rock 'n' rollers in the 1960s, influencing musicians like The Hollies and The Beatles.
In 1959 Holly began a tour of the Midwest with other musicians, including Ritchie Valens, and JP 'The Big Bopper' Richardson.
After a performance in Iowa, Holly chartered a single-engine plane to North Dakota. It took off in light snow and gusty winds but crashed a few minutes later - killing Holly, Valens, Richardson and the pilot.
The event was immortalised in the song American Pie by Don Maclean, as "the day the music died".
Holly was so prolific that his record label was able to release brand-new albums and singles for 10 years after his death. His story has inspired books, films and musicals.