Of course, it is not just the music industry that is reeling from celebrity deaths. From rock-and-roll legends and pop icons, to actresses and famed athletes, the entertainment world — and the millions of people whose lives these artists touched — have suffered a huge loss in 2016.
The English musician and actor, whose alter ego Ziggy Stardust changed the face of music forever in the 1970s, succumbed to cancer on January 10, just days after the release of his final album “Blackstar.” Known for challenging traditional music, fashion and gender norms, Bowie was hailed worldwide as a genius and an innovator in his craft. The voice behind “Space Oddity” and “Let’s Dance” was 69.
Ali, a world-renowned boxer, died from complications to Parkinson’s Disease at 74. This heavyweight champion was arguably the best boxer in history, and additionally became a voice for political activism all throughout his 30-year career.
With his menacing British accent, Rickman was one of the best-known British actions on both stage and screen. After playing the villain in Die Hard, he rose to fame for his portrayal of potions master Severus Snape in the famous Harry Potter franchise. Like Bowie, the Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning actor died of cancer at age 69.
Prince, or the musician formerly known as Prince, was found dead in his Minnesota home of an apparent drug overdose in April. Even though his music career started in the mid-1970s, he exploded on the music scene in the 1980s. Known for his guitar chops as well as his flamboyant personality, Prince is hailed as one of the most influential pop icons of Generation X. He overdosed on a powerful prescription painkiller; unfortunately, the overuse of medication is not limited to only celebrities. A whopping 82% of American adults take at least one medication daily, and 29% take five or more.
Perhaps best known for giving out golden tickets as Willy Wonka in Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory and for his titular role in Young Frankenstein, Academy Award winner Wilder succumbed to complications from Alzheimer’s disease in August.
The man behind the voice of adorable sidekick R2-D2 robot in the Star Wars franchise also died in August.