Don McLean's "American Pie" doesn't refer to anyone by their specific name, but he supposedly does mention a few in other ways. For example:
His widowed bride -- his, of course is Buddy Holly and of course, the day the music died refers to the death of Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper.
The quartet practiced in the park is a Beatles reference, and seargents played a marching tune is supposedly a reference to the Sgt. Pepper album.
The Jester (sang for the King and Queen; and later, on the sideline in a cast) is supposedly Bob Dylan.
The King is Elvis.
Eight miles high and falling fast is a Byrd's reference.
Jack Flash (sat ona a candlestick) is probably a Mick Jagger reference -- Jumpin' Jack Flash and the Stones playing at Candlestick Park. (Also heard it to be a John Glenn reference -- Jack, common nickname for John, sat on a candlestick, ie. rocket).
Moss grows fat on a rolling stone is a Jagger reference for how he looked at a concert.
I met a girl who sang the Blues -- supposedly the girl is Janis Joplin.
I've heard a couple of theories on the three men I admired the most, which ends the song:
1. It could be another reference to Holly, Valens and the Bopper.
2. I've also heard it to be a reference to JFK, RFK and MLK. Three leaders who brought hope to the decade but all were kllled.
3. I've dismissed the theory that because the song is takes you through the 1960s and the reference is at the end, that the three "men" are Joplin, Hendrix and Morrison, all who died around 1970-71 and supposedly gives closure. But the song was first performed in the spring, and while Joplin and Hendrix died in the summer and fall of 1970, Morrison didn't die until the summer of 1971.