Planes Mistaken For Stars Rocker Gared O’Donnell Dies at 44

by Evan Reier
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Tragic news surfaced on November 25 as reports that Planes Mistaken for Stars frontman Gared O’Donnell has died at 44.

The announcement first came from the band, who penned a tragic but loving statement after his passing. O’Donnell was diagnosed with Stage 3 esophageal cancer in 2020, per Spin.

“It is impossible to express the depth of sorrow in which we must announce that Gared O’Donnell, our brother, our leader, our captain, who has done more to cultivate love and light in this world than any of us can understand, has moved on from his physical form here with us and crossed the rainbow bridge into the eternal ether,” the statement began. “In his final days/hours, he was surrounded by the love of his family, his friends, his bandmates, and many others from afar.”

O’Donnell formed the band with other members Matt Bellinger, Mike Ricketts and Aaron Wise. Hailing from Peoria, Illinois, the group made noise in the post-hardcore scene.

Their first two albums, F*ck with Fire and Up in Them Guts propelled the band to prominence in the indie hardcore scene. They broke up for a period at the end of the 2000s and had members come and go, but O’Donnell was a mainstay. The only other member to stay through the band’s two runs is Ricketts, who plays drums for the group.

Planes Mistaken for Stars and O’Donnell’s Legacy Will Live

The loss of O’Donnell is devastating for the band. But it’s evidenced in their statement that his passing is not an end to their music or O’Donnell’s.

In fact, the group says that the singer was able to spend his final year continuing to create.

“Gared spent the last year of his life doing exactly what he loved,” Planes Mistaken for Stars said. “Writing and recording music. We are currently working hard to bring these multiple final projects to completion. It is heartbreaking to do this without him, but we know that he would want for us to complete what we had started together. We will do our absolute best to honor his legacy and spread word of the legend that he embodied.”

It’s a beautiful reminder that no one is really “gone,” and its clear O’Donnell isn’t. It is the time for mourning, but its beautiful to hear the group stress the importance of continuing his legacy.

“Love to you all,” Planes Mistaken for Stars said. “May the light of our collective love carry Gared onto his next journey. Thunder in the night forever!”

Outsider sends its condolences to O’Donnell’s family and the members of Planes Mistaken for Stars.

Outsider.com