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Charles Hardin Holley (7th September 1936 - 3rd February 1959) known professionally as Buddy Holly, was an American singer-songwriter and a pioneer of rock and roll. Although his success lasted only a year and a half before his death, Holly is described by critic Bruce Elder as "the single most influential creative force in early rock and roll." Ritchie Valens (Ricardo Esteban Valenzuela Reyes; 13th May 1941 - 3rd February 1959) was a Mexican-American singer, songwriter and guitarist. Jiles Perry "JP" Richardson, Jr. (24th October 1930 - 3rd February 1959) commonly known as The Big Bopper, was an American disc jockey, singer, and songwriter whose big voice and exuberant personality made him an early rock and roll star. He is best known for his recording of "Chantilly Lace". On 3rd February 1959, on what has become known as The Day the Music Died, Richardson was killed in a small-plane crash in Iowa, along with Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.