Dave Williams (singer)

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Dave Williams
Birth nameDavid Wayne Williams
Also known asStage
Born(1972-02-29)February 29, 1972
White Plains, New York, U.S.[1]
DiedAugust 14, 2002(2002-08-14) (aged 30)
Manassas, Virginia, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Years active1988–2002
Formerly ofDrowning Pool

David Wayne Williams (February 29, 1972 – August 14, 2002)[2] was an American singer best known as the original lead vocalist for the rock band Drowning Pool.


He grew up in Princeton, Texas, living with his parents Charles Edward and Jo-Ann Williams. He grew up in a pious family which caused him to move away from religion. Notably, he also used to wear a T-shirt that read "Worship Satan and Smoke Crack".[3]

In 1999, he joined Drowning Pool, which had formed in 1996 and had previously performed as an instrumental three-piece. The band released their debut album with Williams, Sinner, in 2001. Williams soon gained recognition for his performances with the band; his nickname "Stage" came from Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell, who gave it to him because of his known stage personality.


On August 14, 2002, Williams was found dead in the band's tour bus in Manassas, Virginia.[4] An autopsy established that he had died from heart failure caused by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy[5] (heart muscle disease), which went undiagnosed until his death.[2]

A public funeral was held in Plano, Texas, on August 18, 2002, at 2:00 P.M. A DVD titled Sinema has since been released, chronicling his life. His lifelong dream was to buy his parents a house; the sales from Sinner fulfilled his dream posthumously.[6][7]

Williams's microphone was given to Cristian Machado from Ill Niño. They were good friends, so Drowning Pool and Williams' family gave it to Machado as a token of respect after his death.[8][9]


Williams was ranked in the top 100 metal vocalists of all time by Hit Parader at number 82.[10]

The Dallas, Texas music community honored Williams and his legacy with a multi-venue music festival named "Stage Fest". Stage Fest was held in downtown Dallas' Deep Ellum district on August 14, 2007, the fifth anniversary of his death, and played in seven Deep Ellum venues including Club Dada, The Curtain Club, The Lizard Lounge, The Darkside Lounge, Red Blood Club, Reno's Chop Shop, and Tomcat's.[11]

One of Williams's previous bands, Fugly, digitally released an album dedicated to him in 2008.[12]

On August 14, 2012, the 10th anniversary of his death, Drowning Pool released the ballad "In Memory Of..." dedicated to him.

For the 13th anniversary of Sinner, Bicycle Music Company released previously unreleased footage of Dave Williams and his bandmates answering questions about music, movies, and the Sinner album via their YouTube channel. [13]


  1. ^ "WILLIAMS, MR. DAVID "DAVE" WILLIAMS, age 30, of Princeton, Texas, passed away on August 14, 2002, in Manassas, Virginia. He was born February 29, 1972, in White Plains, New York". Legacy.com. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "To Celebrate the 40th Birthday of Former Drowning Pool Lead Singer Dave Williams…We Give You the Bird". Whfs.cbslocal.com. February 29, 2012. Archived from the original on January 27, 2016. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  3. ^ Boucher, Geoff (August 16, 2002). "Dave Williams, 30; Charismatic Lead Singer of Rock Band Drowning Pool". Archived from the original on May 16, 2020.
  4. ^ Joe D'Angelo (August 14, 2002). "Drowning Pool Singer Found Dead". Mtv.com. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  5. ^ Archive-Joe-DAngelo. "Drowning Pool's Dave Williams Died From Heart Disease, Coroner Says". MTV News. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  6. ^ "DROWNING POOL Label Spokesperson: DAVE WILLIAMS' Parents Will Get New Home". September 11, 2002. Retrieved January 26, 2024.
  7. ^ "David Williams Obituary (2002) - Dallas, TX - Dallas Morning News". Legacy.com. Retrieved January 26, 2024.
  8. ^ "Pandemic Interview: Cristian Machado – Revenant Media". September 14, 2020. Retrieved January 26, 2024.
  9. ^ Skyjoker (November 20, 2013). "Interview: Ill Nino's Frontman Cristian Machado". Spotlight Report. Retrieved January 26, 2024.
  10. ^ https://www.albumoftheyear.org/user/elsotemo/list/24842/hit-paraders-top-100-metal-vocalists-of-all-time/2/
  11. ^ "Dallas Rock And Metal Community To Honor Late DROWNING POOL Singer". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. March 1, 2007. Retrieved January 26, 2024.
  12. ^ "Fugly (Dave Williams, RIP, Drowning Pool)". ReverbNation. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  13. ^ https://www.youtube.com/hashtag/unluckysinner13

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