It has been a rough start to 2016 for fans of music and cinema alike. In a mere 2 weeks we’ve lost some truly talented and inspirational people to cancer. These recent deaths have also brought about important questions. Is it appropriate to grieve celebrities the way we do? What does it say about the commercialization of death? On the other side, some argue that grieving celebrities should not be as taboo as it is. While we tend to not value the grief of pets, celebrities or distant friends as much as the death of friends and family members, grief is a normal, human emotion. What do you think? How did you feel when you learned of the death of these four celebrities?
2016 Celebrity Deaths
24 December 1945 – 28 December 2015
While technically in 2015, Lemmy’s death rocked the world (no pun intended). Motörhead has been such an influential and genre defining band, who after decades continued to play music and entertain. Considering Lemmy’s hard lifestyle of alcohol abuse and drug use, his death from cancer may have come as a surprise, although Fans knew Lemmy was fighting cancer for quite some time.
8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016
After fighting a battle with cancer, David Bowie passed away at 69 years of age on January 10th, 2016. It may be an understatement to talk about David Bowie as influential. His music shaped each decade and as Bowie reinvented himself, so did the world of music at large. Always pushing boundaries, Bowie was equally at home in the gritty New York punk scene as he was singing with Freddy Mercury inside a stadium. Bowie knew the end was approaching and prepared his last album, and last music video as a parting gift for his fans. Read all about Bowies life and share you favorite memories with his fans!
21 February 1946 – 14 January 2016
You may know him as Hans Gruber from Die Hard, or Snape from Harry Potter. But chances are you knew and loved Alan Rickman. Rickman’s distinctive voice and acting abilities led him to a prolific acting career. British born, it has often been said that Rickman is only known to American’s as a villain. Yet you may not know that he is a Tony Award winning stage actor and director. If you are anything like us, you are in for a weekend of Die Hard, Harry Potter and Robin Hood marathons.
January 16, 1942 – January 14, 2016
René Angélil was a french Canadian singer and manager and importantly, the manager and husband of Celine Dion. Not an uncontroversial figure in his home province of Quebec, Angélil has been credited with transforming Celine Dion from an unknown teenage singer to international megastar. Their marriage was by all account (except for the tabloids) a happy one and they had three children together. Angélil will be remembered in Canada for launching the careers of many singers, as well as his often tabloid friendly life.