Legendary DJ and radio host dies from heart attack aged 75
Legendary DJ and host of SiriusXM‘s classic rock channel Jim Ladd has died aged 75.
Ladd died on December 17 at his home in LA after suffering a heart attack, SiriusXM confirmed in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The broadcaster said: ‘Radio icon Jim Ladd, who for over 50 years championed classic rock and interviewed many of the greatest artists in his Los Angeles studios and on SiriusXM’s Deep Tracks channel, passed away on Sunday, December 17.’
is colleague DJ Meg Griffin also announced the news at the start of Ladd’s daily free-form music show Deep Tracks and hosted in his place on Monday.
After beginning his career in radio in the 1960s, Ladd became an influential figure in the music industry, receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005 in recognition of his achievements.
He also was known as the inspiration behind Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 2002 album The Last DJ and played an all-night DJ in Cameron Crowe’s 1989 film Say Anything….
Also in film, Ladd’s work has been featured in major motion pictures such as Tequila Sunrise, Rush, She’s Out of Control, and Defendor starring Woody Harrelson.
Ladd started his career in 1969 at KNAC, a small Long Beach rock station, before moving to LA’s KLOS and then KMET, where he was known to his listeners as The Mighty Met.
He later worked at KLSX and joined Sirius XM in 2012, where he hosted a daily show for more than a decade until his death.
Outside of music and screenwork, Ladd also released a semi-autobiographical book titled Radio Waves: Life And Revolution On The FM Dial based on his radio career and the rise and fall of freeform rock radio in LA in 1991.
The Doors were among those sharing tributes and memories of Ladd on social media.
They said on Twitter: ‘The Doors family is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of beloved rock DJ, Jim Ladd, who died of a sudden heart attack peacefully at home with his wife Helene at his side.
‘Jim, with his electric persona and cool voice, was an essential part of the culture of rock & roll.
‘Jim’s legendary interviews with Ray, John and Robby on The Doors and Morrison were later released as NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE, which still stands as the most definitive interview in the history of the group. Rest easy, Mr. Ladd.’
Ladd is survived by his wife, Helene Hodge-Ladd.
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