Musicians tend to be a mouthy lot. It takes a certain kind of soul to want and express your own inner world to the outer world at large. So when the time comes for them to shuffle off this mortal coil, they often have some very interesting exit lines...
10. Ludwig Van Beethoven, "Friends applaud, the comedy is finished."
Exactly what killed the composer of the most pop-oriented classical music of all time in 1827 is up for debate. Heavy liver damage showed that he might have set the standard for many rock stars to follow by drinking himself to death. His last words are not just poetry by a master lyricist. They are the traditional ending to performances of the commedia dell'arte, a now-extinct form of semi-improvisational theatre from which many classic operas drew their inspiration.
However, like his cause of death, Beethoven's last words are disputed. One biographer claims that the deaf composer's final statement was, "I shall hear in Heaven."