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Beloved Artists We Lost In 2016

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As 2016 winds to an end, let us take a look at some artists we lost whose voices were silenced forever. These people made a mark on the world by making us appreciate the fine arts using their talents. The world is a poorer place due to their passing away:

1. George Michael

George Michael, the English singer, consummate songwriter and record producer died due to heart failure on 25th December 2016. He passed away peacefully in his bed at the age of 53. He rose to fame as the lead singer of the pop group Wham!, belting out hits like “Careless Whisper”, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and “Last Christmas”.

we lost

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Michael was a leading light of Pop Music in the ’80s and the ’90s, selling a bit more than 100 million records all over the world. In 1998, Michael came out of the closet and publicly accepted that he was gay. He was very active in promoting gay rights and AIDS prevention and in the latter years of his life said that he was bisexual.

Michael’s death has prompted an emotional outpouring of tributes from celebrities, musicians, as well as politicians.

2. Zsa Zsa Gabor

Zsa Zsa Gabor, the Hungarian-American actress, and popular socialite passed away at the age of 99 on December 18th, 2016. Gabor was crowned Miss Hungary back in 1936. In 1941, she immigrated to the United States from Hungary and became a much sought-after actress over the years.

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One of her most memorable roles was in 1952 in the film Moulin Rouge. Other notable films she starred in were “We’re Not Married” and “Lovely to Look At”. She was a regular guest on television programs, appearing with luminaries such as Johnny Carson, Howard Stern, David Frost and Phil Donahue to name a few.

Gabor’s personal life was the talk of the town as she was married a total of nine times. One of her marriages was annulled, and she got divorced seven times. Her final marriage lasted the longest period, from 14th August 1986 to her death on 16th December.

3. Sharon Jones

Sharon Lafaye Jones, the American soul singer, passed away at the age of 60 on 18th November 2016 after a long bout with pancreatic cancer. Jones grew up in Brooklyn, New York and achieved success late in life, being nominated for a Grammy Award in 2014. Jones used to sing gospel music in church early in her life and took part in local talent shows back in the 70’s.

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Not getting a recording contract, she worked as a corrections officer for many years in Rikers Island. She received a mid-life break in 1996, as a backup singer for Lee Fields, the deep funk, and soul legend. She grew from strength to strength and eventually became part of a group called “Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings”. They released 4 albums between 2002 to 2010 and are seen to be at the forefront of a revival of soul as well as funk.

Jones died in Cooperstown, New York after a three-year battle with cancer exacerbated by two strokes she suffered on successive days while watching the results of the United States Presidential Election.

4. Gene Wilder

Jerome Silberman, professionally known as Gene Wilder, the American actor, film director, screenwriter and author passed away on 29th August 2016 at the age of 83.

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Wilder was nominated for an Academy Award for the Best Supporting Actor in “The Producers”, the 1968 film for his depiction of Leopold Bloom. He was also well known for acting as Willy Wonka in the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Wilder wrote and directed several of his films, including the popular 1984 release, the Woman in Red.

Wilder expired at his home in Stamford, Connecticut due to complications that arose from Alzheimer’s disease.

5. Prince

Prince Rogers Nelson, the popular singer, producer and songwriter passed away of 21st April 2016 at the age of 57. Having sold more than 100 million records all over the world, he is one of the best-selling musicians of all time. During his career, he was awarded 7 Grammy Awards, 1 Golden Globe Award, 1 Academy Award and 1 American Music Award. In 2004, Prince was ranked 27 on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Artists.

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Prince signed a recording contract at the age of 18, with Warner Bros. and released his debut album in 1978. His next album Prince, released in 1979, went platinum and his successive releases established him in the pantheon of great musicians. He was a prolific singer and songwriter, releasing a total of 39 studio albums, 5 compilation albums, 4 live albums, 5 soundtrack albums and 17 video albums.

Prince died on 21st April 2016 as a result of a fentanyl overdose in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

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We also lost legends such as David Bowie, Florence Henderson, Alan Thicke and Alan Rickman, among too many others. They will be sorely missed.

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