As we near 2017, it is easy to realize that 2016 has been a tumultuous year. There have been a series of ups and downs in politics and society, as well as in the passing of some of the most influential people to grace the world. Before we step into 2017, we’re taking the time to remember some of the lives we lost in 2016.
You might recognize Ricky Harris from his most recent work as Malvo from Everybody Hates Chris. Although he is probably known for this role the most, he also appeared in several films. He first starred in the 1993 film Poetic Justice as well as the 1995 film Heat. He passed away in December 2016 from a heart attack at the age of 54.
If you’ve been a fan of hip hop, there’s no chance you missed the mark that the song “Dey Know” made when it was released in 2008. Shawty Lo was a southern rapper and member of the group D4L, known for their single “Laffy Taffy.” In September 2016, he died in a single-car accident at the age of 40.
Thomas Mikal Ford
“He ain’t got no job!” Tommy Ford was actually a well-known man for his job as an actor. Although he appeared in films like Class Act and appeared in the TV show The Parkers, he is most known for his role as Tommy Strawn on the classic 90s TV show Martin. In October 2016, Ford died after suffering from an aneurysm. He was 52.
Maurice White was the founder of the group Earth, Wind, & Fire. After their start in the 70s, White won a total of 7 Grammys and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the group. The group is known for their hit singles like “Shining Star,” “Let’s Groove,” and “September.” In February 2016, White died in his sleep at the age of 74 due to his suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
Although you might’ve never dialed the number for a conversation with Miss Cleo, if you’re a 90s fan, you’d definitely know who she is. Youree Harris took on the persona of Miss Cleo, a psychic hotline spokeswoman. She could be seen gracing the TV screen from 1997 to 2003. In July 2016, she died from colon cancer.
Muhammad Ali is recognized for having inspired thousands of people and for his talent in the boxing ring. His boxing career was a sports headliner during the 60s and 70s. Ali was also known for his opposition of the Vietnam War and for refusing to enter the draft, a decision which led to his conviction although successfully appealed in 1971. Muhammad Ali suffered from Parkinson’s for many years before he died in June 2016 from septic shock at the age of 74.
The death of Prince was possibly one of the most shocking deaths of 2016. He was known as an innovator of his sound and for breaking barriers of androgyny. Prince accomplished many things during his lifetime, one of which is having sold over 100 million records, a feat that makes him one of the best-selling artists of all time. He has won seven Grammy Awards and a Golden Globe. Prince is known for several top charting hits like “When Doves Cry,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” and “Kiss.” In April 2016, news broke out of his death and in early June it was released that he died from an accidental fentanyl overdose. He was 57.
Many amazing people were lost in 2016 and even though the news of their passing is sad, we must remember the amazing mark and legacy they left on society.