Originally Posted by Dennis
No they aren't remembered the same. I'll explain why. When someone dies young there is always the matter of what else they could have done and this sort of speculation is much kinder to an artist than any possible continuation of their career might have been. While many artists go on to be considered legends while living long lives - Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen - the fact remains that every artist reaches a creative peak and while they may continue to put out new stuff - The Rolling Stones being a prime example - they are no longer the creatively influential artists they once were.
Death muddies the waters and allows us to ask "what if?"; the classic impossible to answer question. Back in the 60's their rate of musical output was a lot more prolific than it is today so the older artists have a lot more to look to or refer to as opposed to say, Kurt Cobain who only had a few records and didn't really appear with other artists either. But I'm sure Eddie Vedder will be remembered in a very Springsteen-esque way.