Celebrity Deaths in 2016 – The Worst Year EVER…

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RIP Prince

Motörhead singer Lemmy Kilmister died of cancer at 70 on Dec. 28. And then the hits kept on coming: Natalie Cole, David Bowie, Alan Rickman and others died in the weeks that followed.

Celebrity deaths come in threes? Not in 2016, where the year got off to an even sadder start with a slew of departed musicians, actors and entertainers.

Here’s a look at famous people we’ve said goodbye to in 2016:

  • Natalie Cole*, R&B singer and daughter of music legend Nat “King” Cole, died New Year’s Eve at age 65 from heart failure caused by lung disease.
  • Craig Strickland, rising country singer and frontman for Backroad Anthem, was found dead at 29 years old on Jan. 4 after going missing during a duck hunting trip in extreme weather.
  • Pat Harrington Jr., the “One Day at a Time” actor who famously played building superintendent Schneider on the 1970s sitcom, died Jan. 6 at 86.
  • Otis Clay, soul singer and Blues Music Hall of Famer best known for 1967’s “That’s How It Is (When You’re In Love),” died Jan. 8 at 73.
  • Angus Scrimm, best known for playing the Tall Man villain in “Phantasm” and its horror sequels, died Jan. 9 at 89.
  • Michael Galeota, former child actor who appeared in Disney’s “Clubhouse Detectives,” “The Jersey” and “Bushwhacked,” died at 31 of natural causes related to several health problems on Jan. 10.
  • David Bowie died Jan. 10, two days after his 69th birthday, after an 18-month secret battle with cancer. The music legend was well-known for hisfashion, movie roles, Ziggy Stardust and hit songs like “Space Oddity,” “Fame” and “Let’s Dance.”
  • David Margulies, character actor who played “Ghostbusters” mayor and “Ace Ventura” doctor, died Jan. 11 at 78.
  • Monte Irvin, who nearly broke baseball’s color lines before Jackie Robinson, died Jan. 11 at 96. He played seven seasons with the New York Giants, served as MLB’s first black executive, and was elected to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
  • Brian Bedford, best known for voicing the title character in Disney’s 1973 animated film “Robin Hood” as a fox, died Jan. 13 at 80. The British stage actor also had a role in 1995’s “Nixon” and appeared on TV shows like “Murder, She Wrote,” “Cheers” and “Frasier.”
  • Rene Angelil, husband and manager of Celine Dion, died Jan. 14 of cancer at age 73. The “My Heart Will Go On” singer’s brother Daniel Dion died two days later.
  • Alan Rickman, “Harry Potter” actor and “Die Hard” villain, died of cancer at 69 on Jan. 14.
  • Dan Haggerty, “Grizzly Adams” actor and ’70s star best-known for his beard and rugged looks, died of cancer at 74 on Jan. 15.
  • Dale “Buffin” Griffin, drummer and co-founder for Mott the Hoople, died at 67 on Jan. 17 after a decade-long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Clarence Reid, better known as funk/R&B singer Blowfly, died Jan. 17 at 76. He wrote and produced tracks for artists like Sam & Dave and KC & the Sunshine Band, and his often R-rated solo songs were sampled by rappers like Snoop Dogg and Jurassic 5.
  • Mic Gillette, Tower of Power founder and trumpet player, died of a heart attack over the weekend of Jan. 16-17 at 64.
  • Glenn Frey, The Eagles guitarist and co-founder, died at 67 on Jan. 18. Frey co-wrote hits like “Hotel California” with Don Henley.
  • Jimmy Bain, former Dio and Rainbow bassist, died at 68 over the weekend of Jan. 22-24.
  • Abe Vigoda, character actor in “The Godfather” and “Barney Miller,” died at 94 on Jan. 26.
  • Paul Kantner, Jefferson Airplane co-founder and guitarist, died at 74 on Jan. 28.
  • Signe Anderson, the original Jefferson Airplane singer who was replaced by Grace Slick, died at 74 on Jan. 28, the same day as Kantner.
  • Frank Finlay, Oscar-nominated actor who played Iago in Laurence Olivier’s “Othello,” died Jan. 30 at 89.
  • Sir Terry Wogan, BBC radio and television personality and Eurovision Song Contest commentator, died Jan. 31 at 77.
  • Jon Bunch, former Sense Field and Further Seems Forever singer, died Feb. 2 at 46.
  • Bob Elliott, one half of legendary TV-radio comedy duo Bob and Ray with Ray Goulding, died Feb. 2 at 92.
  • Joe Alaskey, a voice actor originally from Troy, N.Y., died from cancer at age 63 on Feb. 4. He was the principal voice of multiple Looney Tunes characters, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Sylvester the Cat and Tweety Bird, after Mel Blanc’s death in 1989 and voiced Yosemite Sam in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”
  • Maurice White, a founding member of disco-funk group Earth, Wind & Fire, died Feb. 3 at 74.
  • Dave Mirra, a Central New York native who rose to fame as a BMX biker at the X-Games, had his own video games and hosted an MTV reality show, died Feb. 4 of an apparent suicide at 41.
  • Dan Hicks, who led ’60s band Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, died Feb. 6 at 74.
  • Daniel Gerson, co-writer of “Monsters, Inc.” and “Big Hero 6,” died Feb. 6 of brain cancer at 49.
  • Vanity, an ’80s singer-actress and Prince protege also known as Denise Katrina Matthews, died Feb. 15 at 57.
  • George Gaynes, who starred on “Punky Brewster” and played Commandant Lassard in all seven “Police Academy” movies, died Feb. 15 at 98.
  • Angela “Big Ang” Raiola of “Mob Wives” died at 55 on Feb. 18 after a battle with throat, brain and lung cancer.
  • Harper Lee, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” died Feb. 19 at age 89.
  • Douglas Slocombe, Oscar-nominated cinematographer for three “Indiana Jones” movies, died Feb. 22 at age 103.
  • Sonny James, country singer behind hits like “Young Love,” died Feb. 22 at age 87.
  • Lennie Baker, the voice of Sha Na Na’s doo-wop hit “Blue Moon,” died Feb. 24 at age 69.
  • Tony Burton, who played Apollo Creed’s trainer Duke in six “Rocky” movies, died Feb. 25 at 78.
  • George Kennedy, tough-guy character actor best known for “Cool Hand Luke” and the “Naked Gun” movies, died Feb. 28 at 91.
  • Gil Hill, who played Detroit police inspector Todd in the “Beverly Hills Cop” films, died Feb. 29 at 84.
  • Lee Reherman, former Cornell football star best known for playing Hawk on “American Gladiators,” died March 1 at 49.
  • Tony Warren, creator of long-running British soap opera “Coronation Street,” died March 1 at age 79.
  • Joey Feek, who performed with her husband as country duo Joey + Rory, died March 4 of cancer at age 40.
  • Pat Conroy, author of “The Prince of Tides” and “The Great Santini,” died March 4 at age 70.
  • George Martin, the “Fifth Beatle” best known as a producer for The Beatles, died March 8 at 90.
  • Richard Davalos, “East of Eden” and “Cool Hand Luke” actor, died March 8 at 85.
  • Singer Gogi Grant, whose song “The Wayward Wind” topped the charts for 6 weeks in 1956, died March 10 at 91.
  • Keith Emerson, founder and keyboardist of the progressive-rock band Emerson, Lake and Palmer, died March 11 at 71.
  • Sylvia Anderson, “Thunderbirds” co-creator and voice of the Lady Penelope puppet character, died the week of March 15 at age 88.
  • Frank Sinatra Jr., singer and son of Ol’ Blue Eyes, died March 16 of cardiac arrest at 72.
  • Lee Andrews, ’50s doo-wop singer and father of The Roots drummer Questlove, died March 16 at age 79.
  • Daryl Coley, Grammy-nominated gospel singer, died the week of March 16 at age 60.
  • Paul Daniels, English magician and star of the BBC’s “The Paul Daniels Magic Show” for 15 years, died March 17 at 77.
  • Steve Young, outlaw country singer best known for “Seven Bridges Road,” died March 17 at 73.
  • Joe Santos, “The Rockford Files” and “The Sopranos” actor, died March 18 at 84.
  • Phife Dawg, Grammy-nominated A Tribe Called Quest rapper, died March 22 of diabetes at 45.
  • Joe Garagiola, former baseball broadcaster and “Today” show host, died March 23 at 90.
  • Ken Howard, “White Shadow” actor and SAG-AFTRA president, died March 23 at 71.
  • Garry Shandling, comedian and ‘The Larry Sanders Show’ star, died March 24 at 66.
  • Earl Hamner Jr., “The Waltons” creator and “Twilight Zone” writer, died March 24 at 92.
  • Jim Harrison, “Legends of the Fall” author, died March 26 at age 78.
  • David Baker, Grammy-nominated jazz composer and Pulitzer Prize nominee, died March 26 at 84.
  • James Noble, “Benson,” “10” actor and Broadway veteran, died March 28 at 94.
  • Patty Duke, Oscar and Emmy-winning actress, former child star and mother of “Lord of the Rings” actor Sean Astin, died March 29 of sepsis from a ruptured intestine at 69.
  • Ronnie Corbett, British comedian and star of “The Two Ronnies,” died March 31 at age 85.
  • Gato Barbieri, Grammy-winning Latin jazz musician and “Last Tango in Paris” composer, died April 2 at 83.
  • Porn star Amber Rayne, whose real name was Meghan Wren, died April 2 at age 31 after appearing in more than 200 adult films.
  • Erik Bauersfeld, the voice of Admiral Ackbar (“It’s a trap!”) in “Star Wars” films, died April 3 at age 93.
  • Leon Haywood, ’70s soul singer best known for “I Want’a Do Something Freaky to You” (sampled by Dr. Dre for “Nothin’ But a G Thang”), died April 5 at 74.
  • Merle Haggard, country music legend who had more than 30 No. 1 hits, died April 6 on his 79th birthday.
  • Blackjack Mulligan, a former New York Jets player, ’70s WWE star and father of pro wrestlers Barry Windham, Kendall Windham and former SU wrestler Mike Rotunda (a.k.a. Irwin R. Schyster or I.R.S.) and grandfather of Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas, died April 7 at 73.
  • Tony Conrad, an artist, musician, experimental filmmaker, University at Buffalo professor, and member of the pre-Velvet Underground band The Primitives with John Cale and Lou Reed, died April 9 at 76.
  • David Gest, a producer, Michael Jackson collaborator, reality TV star and ex-husband of Liza Minelli, died April 12 at 62.
  • Doris Roberts, Emmy-winning actress on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” died April 18 at 90.
  • Victoria Wood, British comedian, singer and writer, died April 20 at 62.
  • Joanie “Chyna” Laurer, WWE wrestling legend and Rochester native, died April 20 at 46.
  • Guy Hamilton, director of “Goldfinger” and three more James Bond films, died April 21 at 93.
  • Prince Rogers Nelson A.K.A. Prince was found dead today. 

*Natalie Cole technically died in 2015, but her death was announced Jan. 1.

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