A NewsOne gallery of the celebrities we have lost so far in 2017.
1. Bernie Casey, 78
Bernie Casey, the actor, poet and former NFL player, died September 21 in Los Angeles. He appeared in a number of films and television series, including “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka,” and “L.A. Law.”
2. Fats Domino, 89
Fats Domino, the American Rock and roll singer, songwriter and pianist, died of natural causes Tuesday, October 24 in Louisiana. He was known for hits, including “Blueberry Hill,” and “Ain’t That a Shame.”
3. Jim Vance, 75
Jim Vance—an African-American TV news broacast pioneer, died after a battle with cancer on July 22. He was one of the first Black anchors at a major media network.
4. Robert Guillaume, 89
Robert Guillaume, known for his role on “Benson” and as Rafiki in Disney’s 1994 animated film “The Lion King,” died at his home Tuesday, October 24 following a battle with prostate cancer.
5. Fresh Kid Ice, 53
2 Live Crew’s Christopher Wong Won, also known as Fresh Kid Ice, died at 7:50 AM on Thursday, July 13 at a Miami hospital of an undisclosed illness, according to the group’s manager.
6. Tom Petty, 66
Tom Petty, known for his nasally southern singing voice as much as the wails of his guitar, died October 2 in Los Angeles after suffering a cardiac arrest.
7. Charlie Murphy, 57
Comedian Charlie Murphy, 57, died April 12 at a New York York City hospital after a battle with leukemia.
8. Chuck Berry, 90
Berry, father of rock ‘n’ roll, passed away Saturday, March 18 at his home near Wentzville, Missouri. Police found him unconscious, and he was pronounced dead after first responders failed to revive him. He was 90.
9. James Cotton, 81
The legendary blues musician known for his innovative harmonica style, died of pneumonia at St. David’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas on March 16. He was 81.
10. Joni Sledge, 60
Songstress Joni Sledge, a member of the group Sister Sledge, was discovered dead Friday, March 10 at her home Phoenix, Arizona. The group of sisters recorded the dance anthem “We Are Family” in 1979.
11. Clyde Stubblefield, 73
Clyde Stubblefield died of kidney failure on Saturday, February 18, at a Madison, Wisconsin hospital. A drummer for James Brown, Stubblefield was sampled “on 1000-plus songs, including Public Enemy’s ‘Fight the Power,’ Dr. Dre’s ‘Let Me Ride’ and George Michael’s ‘Freedom ’90,’” reports The Detroit News.
12. Al Jarreau, 76
Jazz legend and unique-voiced virtuoso Al Jarreau died February 12 at a Los Angeles hospital. A week earlier, he had had been hospitalized for exhaustion and was told by doctors that he had to retire from touring.
13. Mary Tyler Moore, 80
Moore, an award-winning actress, enjoyed a successful, decades-long career. She rose to fame as a regular on ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ in the 1960s, which led to the eponymous ‘Mary Tyler Moore Show’ in the 1970s. Moore died in a Connecticut hospital on January 25.
14. Lee “Q” O’Denat, 43
The media mogul known affectionately as “Q,” died on January 24 from heart failure after he was found unresponsive in a San Diego shopping center. O’Denat was responsible for creating WorldStarHipHop.com, a groundbreaking hub for entertainment and news pertaining to urban culture.
15. Bishop Eddie Long, 63
Bishop Long, a controversial Atlanta megachurch pastor, died on January 15 after a years long battle with an unspecified form of cancer. Rumors surrounding the pastor’s health swirled after he was spotted several times with a significantly thinner frame.
16. Roy Innis, 82
Innis, the longtime leader of the Congress of Racial Equality, died in Manhattan on January 8. He reportedly died from complications relating to Parkinson’s disease.