Don Van Vliet (born Don Glen Vliet January 15, 1941– December 17, 2010) was an American singer. He is better known by his stage name Captain Beefheart. He was best known for his collaborations and (sometimes) rivalry, with long time friend, Frank Zappa. He is an inspiration to many "alternative" singers. He retired from music due to illness and spent his time painting. He was born in Glendale, California. His stage name came from a movie project Zappa was writing, but soon abandoned, "Captain Beefheart battles the Grunt People". His best known album was recorded in 1969. It was titled "Trout Mask Replica".
He died on December 17, 2010 at the age of 69, twenty-nine days short of his 70th birthday.