I came across an expression "the late Buddy Holly" and additionally gathered two more examples of it, all of which I don't understand.
The rock 'n roll revival has provoked the Record Industry Assn. of America to award two records by the late Buddy Holly for Gold Records.
Here's one of two previously unreleased sides which find the late Buddy Holly working with the swinging tenor man, King Curtis.
Lead singer Freddie Garrity bore something of visual resemblance to the late Buddy Holly, with similar big black eyeglasses and a skinny frame.
I googled who Buddy Holly was, I worked out "the late" is likely to be referring to his occupation, as in the singer Robert Smith or the painter van Gogh. But I still can't figure out what this profession is.
Could it mean a late-night (talk show) host?
Could it refer to a younger-generation artist whose style resembles Buddy Holly's?
Could it mean the deceased Buddy Holly?