Deaths of Beloved Celebrities Made 2016 a Year to Remember

Staff Writer: Hannah Johnson

As we are coming into 2017, I’d like to recap some of the things that have happened in the past year. 2016 will forever be the most hated year ever, with the drama over who would be the next new president, the tons of terrorist attacks all over the globe, and yes, the tons of celebrity deaths that saddened fans all over the world. Let’s pay a homage to them as we think about the impact they all have made in many people’s lives.


Fan tribute to Aladin Sane following Bowie’s death.


Pictures: Creative Commons

 David Bowie

Right off the bat, 2016 went sour. David Bowie, famous musician and actor, died on January 10, at the ripe old age of 69 years old from liver cancer. David impacted many fan’s lives, including yours truly, and it was a very devastating thing to happen. Having played “Jareth the Goblin King” back in the 80’s in the popular film Labyrinth Bowie played a huge role in the childhood of many children born at the time. His music has brought lots of excitement and joy in the lives of his fans and hopefully his memory will live on forever in the wonderful lyrics he had written. Rest in peace Ziggy Stardust!


David Bowie entertaining the masses at a concert


April 21 was the day music died, Prince Rogers Nelson died at the age of 57 years old from accidental fentanyl opioid overdose. Prince was a man with many, many talents that started from a very young age. It is said that Nelson could play up to 27 instruments, not only that, he had the voice of an angel and wrote beautiful poetry that could bring tears to a grown man’s eyes. Prince had a huge impact on many individuals in the African-American community and although he is gone, he continues to be a huge inspiration. He is now in the Purple Rain.


Prince pausing on stage between songs

Alan Rickman

Fans of the Harry Potter felt the blow on this one, Alan Rickman, famous actor and director, died on January 14 at the age of 69 years old from pancreatic cancer. Rickman was in many, many films during his career but I think people will always remember him as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series. His character brought a lot of suspense and joy among viewers and he will always be loved and remembered for that amazing role. Alan Rickman did many things in his life with his wonderful talent, and that will always count for something! To see people’s faces light up with joy to see him on television is hopefully something he would have loved and appreciated. “He was a huge part of my childhood, I can’t believe he is gone”- Jessica Reid, freshman at WHS.


Alan Rickman’s famed headshot

Muhammad Ali

I know this death really felt like a punch in the chest. On June 3, one of the greatest, most celebrated sports figures of the 20th century, Muhammad Ali, died. Ali was one of the best professional boxers of all time, as well as an activist for the African American community. It was said that he was a very inspiring person inside and outside the ring. Muhammad even helped set an example for African-American resistance to white domination during the Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s. His legacy will live on as one of the most amazing boxers of all time, this shows from the many, many awards, titles, and medals he had won during his career. Muhammad Ali may be gone from this world, but trust me, he will never be forgotten!


Here we see Muhammad Ali preforming a TKO on his opponent

Carrie Fisher

Just when you thought it was all over, 2016 decided it wanted to take yet another beloved star. Carrie Fisher, famous actress and writer, dies on December 27, at the age of 60 from cardiac arrest. Carrie is best known for her role as Princess Leia in the wildly popular Star Wars series. This role not only made a huge impact in her life, it also made an impact in the lives of many young girls in the 70’s, to see such a beautiful princess totally kick butt and take names really shined a light on the fact that girls can do just as much as boys can. Princess Leia was a strong female influence that girls really needed. Fisher’s legacy will forever be known and kept in the hearts of Star Wars fans forever! “She was such strong, hilarious woman, so sad to hear about her passing”- Tammy Freiberger.


Carrie Fisher at ComiCon

George Michael

Just when you think it was going to be a nice, peaceful Christmas, this happens… Singer/songwriter/producer George Michael passed away at the age of 53 from heart failure. George is best known for his work in the popular pop group Wham! They’re hit song “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” had and will always have people in a great mood, along with their and his solo hits too! Michael was also a huge LGBT rights activist as well as a HIV/AIDS charity fundraiser, he was a patron of the Elton John HIV/AIDS foundation and worked hard to help those in need. George Michael will always be remembered and will live on in our hearts forever! “Growing up in the 80’s George Michael was a huge part of my childhood, I sobbed the day he died.”- Martin Freiberger.


George Michael aiming his microphone for the masses to sing along

Although not mentioned, there are many more celebrities that, unfortunately, meet their maker in 2016, such as: Gene Wilder, Debbie Reynolds, Florence Henderson, Alan Thicke, Glen Fry, Nancy Reagan, etc. These celebrities made us laugh, cry, and smile with excitement, the past year was a devastating time for many fans all around the globe. These Hollywood legends will live on forever in the spirits and hearts of those who loved them so dear.

All pictures derived from Creative Commons

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