When MJ died, music lost something. When John Lennon died, music lost something. When Dio died, music lost something. When Chuck Schuldiner died, music lost something. The list goes on of people who passed away and made an impact on the music industry.
Some of the musicians that are still with us: Jimmy Page, one of the greatest guitarists to ever live (though I am biased and think he is THE best <3), Eddie Van Halen, Madonna, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, that list goes on, though many are now retired or going to be retiring soon (rumours of a farewell tour in either 2011 or 2012 coming from the Stones camp).
When these people die, it is going to be a blow to the music industry. All of these people did something to influence or change music, made an impact in one or many ways, and have many copiers in the music industry (especially Madonna with all these little pop girls trying to rip her off).
Looking at music today and the artists who flood our radio stations, who cares if these people pass away? To make it clear in what I am trying to say, I am not speaking in terms of 'meh, whatever, glad they are dead', but in terms of, if they die, it's not a huge loss to the industry. Money wise, sure, lame musicians like Justin Beiber, who are only popular because the young girls think he is SO OMG HOT AND CUTE, make the industry a lot of money, but, really, none of these people did anything to make a gigantic impact on the industry by changing it or influencing it or creating something.
Bands just aren't made like they used to be. There will never be another Jimmy Page. They will never be another Keith Moon. There will never be another Jimi Hendrix. There just aren't any musicians now that stick out as greats. There are people whom you might think are great but the people I mentioned are seen as greats all across the board, even from people who aren't fans. No one now really stands out.
Just look at what is popular these days. It's either Madonna wannabes or boy bands. Nothing new, creative or amazing. Lady GaGa is everywhere but what has she done to get there? She has completely ripped off Madonna in each and every single way, yet people still try to claim that she is making some sort of impact on the industry. She is raking in the money, yes, but she isn't being individual about what she does, she is just ripping page after page after page out of Madonna's book, from the sexual aspect to the religious controversy.
After all of the classic musicians die out, I just don't see the music industry being anything more than a cookie cutter world, which is already mostly is. We still have guys like Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi sticking around from the old days but once these guys disappear, it's going to be all the same sh!t and no one will really be special. Everyone blends in too much and you don't get the awesome guy in a band who stands out and whom everyone agrees in on a 'greatest' list. It's all the old school musicians.
Just my opinion on it. I was thinking about this the other day. It's going to be a sad world when the last of the greats leave us and all we have are Justin Beibers and Beyonces.