In Memoriam: Celebrities We Lost In 2016 was originally published on kysdc.com
1. Tony Burton, 78
Tony Burton, who played the corner man to both Sylvester Stallone and Carl Weathers in the Rocky film saga, died Thursday, February 25.
2. Vanity, 57
Denise Matthews, who as Vanity fronted the group Vanity 6, died in early February at a hospital in Fremont, California.
3. Maurice White, 74
Singer Maurice White, who founded Earth, Wind & Fire died at his Los Angeles home Wednesday, said his brother, Verdine White. The 74-year-old found the popular R&B group in the late 1960s, and went on to sell more than 90 million albums across the globe.
4. Abe Vigoda, 94
Actor Abe Vigoda, known for his role as Tessio in “The Godfather,” died of natural causes on Jan. 26, 2016. The 94-year-old character actor was known for his distinct look — his slouched shoulders and sunken eyes made for powerful portrayals and pop culture fodder. He is survived by his daughter. His wife, Beatrice, died […]
5. Natalie Cole, 65
Cole, the daughter of music icon Nat King Cole, passed away of heart failure induced by lung disease. The singer created her own footprint in the world of R&B and soul with her powerful voice and rendition of her father’s song, “Unforgettable.”
6. David Bowie, 69
The iconic singer and songwriter died January 10 after a quiet 18-month battle with cancer. Bowie was beloved for his inventive sound and ever-changing looks.
7. Nicholas Caldwell, 71
Caldwell, the co-founding member of the legendary R&B group The Whispers, died of congestive heart failure. Caldwell also wrote some of the group’s hit singles, including “Lady.”
8. Monford “Monte” Merrill Irvin, 96
Hall of Famer Monte Irvin made his mark in history through baseball. Alongside Jackie Robinson, he was one of the first African-Americans to play on the field. He passed of natural causes in January.
9. Glenn Frey, 67
The co-founder of legendary rock band the Eagles died in January after succumbing to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia. The artist fought a battle with rheumatoid arthritis for over 15 years.
10. Rene Angelil, 73
The husband and former manager of Celine Dion passed away after battling throat cancer. The two had been together for 21 years. The singer publicly announced their relationship when she was 19 years old. Angelil is survived by Dion, their six children, and seven grandchildren.
11. Robert Stigwood, 81
The former manager of the Bee Gees and Cream passed away in January. He was known for his impressive music taste and productions of classics such as Hair, Grease, Saturday Night Fever, and Jesus Christ Superstar.
12. Otis Clay, 73
Blues Hall of Famer Otis Clay passed away of a heart attack in January. The famed singer started his career in gospel before shifting over to R&B in the ’70s. Clay continued singing well into his older years, with a total of 16 albums.
13. Dan Haggerty, 74
Actor and former animal trainer Dan Haggerty was known for his popular role as Grizzly Adams in the 1974 movie “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams.” Life nearly imitated art for the star. After his movie career, the Cali native lived on a small ranch in Malibu Canyon, rescuing abandoned animals. He died of […]
14. Alan Rickman, 69
Known for his iconic roles in “Die Hard” and the “Harry Potter” films, Alan Rickman passed away in January after a battle with cancer. The London native was a proud advocate of the artistic rights of performers. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in August and was surrounded by close friends and family at the […]