These Are The Celebrities Who Passed Away In 2016

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We can all agree this year has been a bit of a shit show. Between political upheaval and war, we’ve also witnessed the passing of many beloved pop culture icons.

2016 has pin-balled us all from one tragedy to another but amid the chaos, most of us have managed to block out the sad losses.

So, in the spirit of respecting their memories, here’s a list documenting and honouring everyone who died this year. Read it and weep – literally.

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Lemmy Kilmister, aged 70

The frontman of Motorhead – whose song, Ace of Spades, and his trademark gravelly voice set the foundations for modern heavy metal – passed away at the end of 2015.

His passing marked the beginning of a year that had everyone questioning the mortality of superstars we thought were infallible.

24 December 1945 – 28 December 2015

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David Bowie, aged 69

The legendary pop culture icon who brought us Ziggy Stardust passed away at the start of 2016 just days after releasing his final album, Blackstar.

8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016

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Alan Rickman, aged 69

A nation mourned when the quintessentially British RADA-trained actor, Alan Rickman, died leaving a legacy of cinematic excellence, including credits such as the Harry Potter franchise and Die Hard.

21 February 1946 – 14 January 2016

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Glenn Frey, aged 67

In a post on The Eagles website, it was announced that Rock n Roll Hall of Famer, Glenn Frey had ‘succumbed to complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acute Ulcerative Colitis and Pneumonia.’

6 November 1948 – 18 January 2016

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Sir Terry Wogan, aged 77

The radio DJ, TV presenter and national treasure lost a ‘short but brave battle with cancer’ earlier this year.

3 August 1938 – 31 January 2016

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Harper Lee, aged 89

The author of To Kill A Mockingbird – and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom – Nelle Harper Lee passed away leaving us with her moralising tale of racial equality.

28 April 1926 – 19 February 2016

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Sir George Martin, aged 90

The Beatles’ producer and musical legend, whom Sir Paul McCartney described as a ‘second father’, died peacefully at home in Wiltshire.

3 January 1926 – 8 March 2016

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Paul Daniels, aged 77

The ‘Godfather of Magic’ will be remembered for his long-standing, self-titled television show. He died of a brain tumour.

6 April 1938 – 17 March 2016

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Ronnie Corbett, aged 85

The Scottish half of comedy duo, The Two Ronnies, spent a lifetime bringing joy to the British public. He died in hospital surrounded by his family.

4 December 1930 – 31 March 2016

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Amber Rayne, aged 31

The American porn star veteran who bravely spoke out about James Deen’s alleged sexual abuse, supporting Stoya’s widely publicised accusations, passed away at her LA home after taking an accidental cocaine overdose.

19 September 1984 – 2 April 2016

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David Gest

The TV entertainer, who spent much time in the spotlight of tabloids after his marriage to Liza Minelli, passed away at the Four Seasons hotel in Canary Wharf, London. Police reported stated he’d suffered a fatal stroke.

11 May 1953 – 12 April 2016

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Victoria Wood, aged 62

The lovable comedian, actress and writer known for her starring role in Dinnerladies and her notoriously funny musical skits passed away after being diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2015.

19 May 1953 – 20 April 2016

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Chyna, aged 46

The title-winning professional wrestler, glamour model, pornographic film actress, and bodybuilder – who made waves in male dominated industries – took a fatal accidental overdose of valium and ambien.

27 December 1969 – 20 April 2016

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Prince, aged 57

The news of the Purple Rain singer’s death sent shockwaves across the globe. Music fans everywhere mourned the loss of Prince to an accidental overdose of the painkiller fentanyl.

7 June 1958 – 21 April 2016

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Muhammad Ali, aged 74

The greatest boxer of all time succumbed to ‘septic shock due to unspecified natural causes’, according to his family.

The activist and three-time world heavyweight champion had a respiratory illness that was complicated with Parkinson’s disease.

17 January 1942 – 3 June 2016

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Kimbo Slice, aged 42

The Bahamian-born MMA fighter had been diagnosed with heart failure. It was reported that he needed a transplant days before he died, according to hospital records.

8 February 1974 – 6 June 2016

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Christina Grimmie, aged 22

The young American singer, who found fame on The Voice, was shot by 27-year-old Kevin James Loibl while she signed autographs following a performance in Orlando.

The shooter killed himself after committing the murder.

12 March 1994 – 10 June 2016

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Anton Yelchin, aged 27

A freak accident killed the Star Trek actor, who died from injuries sustained when his car pinned him against a wall. Yelchin died in under a minute, tragically joining the 27 Club.

11 March 1989 – 19 June 2016

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Bill Cunningham, aged 87

The fashion photographer known for his candid portraits of New Yorkers was hospitalised for a stroke and died soon after.

13 March 1929 – 25 June 2016

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Caroline Aherne, aged 52

The Royle Family actress died at her home in Timperley after a dramatic deterioration due to her terminal cancer. Tragically, she was alone as her family were unaware her health had taken a turn for the worse.

24 December 1963 – 2 July 2016

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Kenny Baker, aged 81

The actor behind R2D2 passed away at the hands of a long-term illness after living ‘a very long and fulfilled life’. According to the family, his passing was ‘expected but sad nonetheless’.

24 August 1934 – 13 August 2016

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Gene Wilder, aged 83

Jerome Silberman, known professionally as Gene Wilder, died after a three-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He has since been fondly remembered for his role as Willy Wonka.

11 June 1933 – 29 August 2016

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Alexis Arquette, aged 47

The actor and trans activist’s immediate cause of death was cardiac arrest, according to a death certificate. She had also battled HIV bravely for 29 years.

28 July 1969 – 11 September 2016

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Pete Burns, aged 57

The Dead or Alive singer, Pete Burns, passed away aged 57 after suffering a cardiac arrest, according to a public statement courtesy of his management.

5 August 1959 – 23 October 2016

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Leonard Cohen, aged 82

The Godfather of Gloom and soft rock crooner died during his sleep after suffering a fall in the middle of the night. He followed his muse, Marianne Ihlen, who died in July this year.

21 September 1934 – 7 November 2016

Our thoughts are with the families and friends of these great individuals.


Francesca Donovan

Francesca Donovan

A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you've never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.