From legendary boxers to iconic singers, 2016 has witnessed celebrity deaths to rival any year in recent memory. From Carrie Fisher to Prince and David Bowie to Muhammad Ali, here’s a look back at this year’s most shocking celebrity deaths.
According to the Wrap, David Bowie passed away just two days after releasing his 25th album to the world, Blackstar. The singer concealed his cancer diagnosis for years and finally succumbed to the dreaded disease on Jan. 10. Bowie was 69 when he died.
Of course, when it comes to the death of music icons, 2016 might be the worst yet. Apart from Bowie, CNN reports that a startling number of musicians died this year, including Prince, George Michael, Glenn Frey, Leonard Cohen, and Merle Haggard, just to name a few.
Prince’s passing in April may have been this year’s most shocking celebrity death. The pop and rock icon surprised the world when he was found unresponsive at his home in Paisley Park. Later reports revealed that Prince accidentally overdosed on prescription drugs. He was only 57.
George Michael was the latest music icon to pass this year. The Wham! alum was known for the hits “Faith” and “Freedom! ’90.” Aside from his music, Michael made headlines after coming out as gay and became active in several social movements. The British singer was 53 years old when he died.
Alan Rickman, known for his iconic roles in movies like Hans Gruber in Die Hard and Severus Snipe in Harry Potter, surprised fans worldwide when he passed at age 69. Rickman died after a short but secret bout with cancer.
John Glenn, the first American astronaut to orbit Earth, also passed away in 2016. According to the New York Daily News, Glenn was considered an American hero by many and only added to his legendary status after becoming the oldest person to venture into space at the age of 77. He passed away at 95.
After an unfortunate turn of events, TMZ is reporting that Carrie Fisher died after experiencing a heart attack on a flight bound for LAX. The actress had the heart attack only 15 minutes before the plane landed. Witnesses claim that Fisher looked lifeless as emergency personnel attempted to revive her.
The Star Wars actress was rushed to UCLA Medical Center and placed in intensive care. Family members later told fans that Fisher was in stable condition, though sources indicate she never regained responsiveness following the heart attack.
Prior to her death, Fisher was promoting her new memoir, The Princess Diarist. The book contained shocking details about Fisher’s career, including an affair Fisher had with Harrison Ford during the production of Star Wars. Fisher was 60-years-old at the time of her death.
Muhammad Ali’s death in June was met with worldwide mourning and celebration of his accomplishments in life. The heavyweight boxing champion was one of the most recognized celebrities in the world and had battled Parkinson’s disease for years. Ali eventually succumbed to septic shock at the age of 74.
MLB pitcher Jose Fernandez passed away in September after a horrific speedboat wreck in South Beach. The Miami Marlins pitcher tested positive for alcohol and cocaine during the time of his death. He was only 24-years-old.
In the world of politics, Nancy Reagan died from congestive heart failure in March while Janet Reno, the first female U.S. attorney general, passed away from Parkinson’s disease in November. Of course, communist leader Fidel Castro’s death was perhaps the biggest political passing this year. The cigar smoking despot headed Cuba for almost 50 years and was 90 when he died.
Tell us! Who do you think was the most shocking death of 2016 — Carrie Fisher, Prince, David Bowie, Alan Rickman or Jose Fernandez? Let us know in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images]