Pop Singer

Ricky Nelson’s death: What caused his plane to crash?

On the fateful night of December 31, 1985, the world lost Ricky Nelson, a beloved figure in the entertainment industry, in a tragic aviation accident.

Biography of Ricky Nelson

Ricky Nelson, born Eric Hilliard Nelson on May 8, 1940, in Teaneck, NJ, was a multifaceted talent known for his accomplishments as a singer, songwriter, and musician. He was the son of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson and rose to fame starring alongside his family in the popular series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. Nelson further cemented his place in the entertainment world with his music career, achieving his first #1 hit with “Poor Little Fool.”

His diversification into acting saw him nominated for a Golden Globe for his appearance in the iconic film Rio Bravo. Known for his charisma and talent, Ricky Nelson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, posthumously honoring his enduring legacy. Nelson accrued significant wealth during his lifetime, with his net worth being estimated at millions of dollars.

Plane crash

Ricky Nelson’s life was tragically cut short on December 31, 1985, due to an aviation accident and incident. He was traveling on a private aircraft when it crashed near DeKalb, Texas. Initial reports suggested that the cause of the crash might have been sparked by a malfunction or possibly a fire onboard the aircraft.


Nelson’s untimely death brought a wave of grief to his fans and the music industry at large. He was laid to rest at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, a poignant farewell to an artist whose influence spanned both music and television.

His legacy lives on through his recordings and the fond memories held by his family and admirers.