1. Al Freeman, Jr. died at the age of 78. He played Hon. Elijah Muhammad in Malcolm X.
2. Whitney Houston died in her hotel room in Beverly Hills. Forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht said he does not fully concur with the final anatomical diagnoses on Houston, noting that the water in her tub at the Beverly Hilton was extremely hot at 93.5 degrees. He believes this indicates that Houston was not sitting in her tub, and somehow accidentally drowned.
3. Donna Summer (LaDonna Adrian Gaines), singer, born 31 December 1948; died 17 May 2012
4. Maria Cole, the widow of Nat “King” Cole, the mother of Natalie Cole and a singer in Duke Ellington’s band in the mid-1940s.
5. Sylvia Woods, who left the rural bean patches of segregated South Carolina to become one of New York’s top restaurateurs as the vivacious “Queen of Soul Food,” died July 19.
6. Ms. Melodie, born Ramona Parker, was a founding member of the group Boogie Down productions and the ex-wife of landmark artist KRS-One.
7. Dick Anthony Williams (August 9, 1938-February 15, 2012) was an actor. Williams is known for his starring performances on Broadway in “The Poison Tree,” “What the Wine-Sellers Buy,” and “Black Picture Show.” He is also remembered for playing the character of Pretty Tony in “The Mack,” which starred Max Julien and Richard Pryor.
8. Belita Karen Woods (October 23, 1948 – May 14, 2012) was a lead singer of the late 1970s R&B group, Brainstorm. She also performed with Parliament-Funkadelic for two decades, beginning in 1992.
9. Erica Kennedy, a music writer turned novelist who came to wide attention in 2004 with the publication of her first novel, “Bling,” a satirical roman à clef about the world of hip-hop, was found dead at her home in Miami Beach. She was 42.
10. Michael Clarke Duncan, passed away in the hospital where he had been since a heart attack in July.
11. Randy Cain, a founding member of the Delfonics, who sang on such Philly soul hits as “La La Means I Love You,” and “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)”
12. Yvette Wilson died after losing her battle with stage 4 cervical cancer, according to multiple reports. She was 48.
13. Don Cornelius after a long illness and depression. His death was due to suicide.
14. Etta James, the earthy blues and R&B singer whose anguished vocals convinced generations of listeners that she would rather go blind than see her love leave, then communicated her joy upon finding that love at last, died. She was 73.
15. R&B and gospel singer, David Peaston passed away in Feb. 2012.
16. Johnny Otis, Otis produced and played on the original “Hound Dog,” by Big Mama Thornton in 1952, four years before it became a hit for Elvis Presley. He wrote Etta James’ first hit, “Roll With Me Henry,” and “Every Beat of My Heart,” (originally written for Jackie Wilson) for Gladys Knight and the Pips. Otis scored 14 top 10 R&B songs, including No. 1 hits “Double Crossing Blues,” “Cupid Boogie,” “Mistrustin’ Blues,” and “Willie,” and the “Hand Jive.”
17. Astronaut Neil Armstrong died at 82 due to complications from blocked coronary arteries.
18. Helen Gurley Brown was the Editor in Chief for Cosmopolitan Magazine for 32 years.
19. Mavin Hamlisch a composer made famous for his work on films like “The Sting”, “The Way We Were” and “Sophie’s Choice” and writing the score for “A Chorus Line”, died after a brief bout with illness. He is one of only 11 people to earn the illustrious EGOT, by winning an Emmy, Grammy, Obie and Tony. Hamlish also is a Golden Globe and Pulitzer Prize winner
20. Larry Hagman, actor of TV and film, died from complications due to throat cancer.
21. Jerry Nelson, voice actor and puppeteer, most known for voicing The Count in “Sesame Street”.
22. Ron Palillo, most known for his role as Horshack in “Welcome Back Kotter”, was found dead of an apparent heart attack
23. Phyllis Diller, revolutionary comedian, was found dead in her home. Diller was most known for her outlandish sense of humor and verbose laughter.
24. Former U.S. Senator, Arlen Specter, died after a long battle with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
25. Alex Karras, Former NFL player turned actor, passed away from kidney disease. He played for the Detroit Lions until 1971. Karras than went on to star in the hit TV series “Webster”. He was 77.
26. Johnny Lewis, best known for his role in “Sons of Anarchy”, was found dead in a driveway after apparently falling or jumping from the roof.
27. Gore Vidal Vidal died at age 86 from complications of pneumonia. His celebrated bestselling novels include Myra Breckenridge and Burr, and he worked on the screenplays of both Caligula and Ben Hur.
28. Andy Williams, singer/songwriter and TV Personality,passed away from cancer of the bladder. Andy is best known for singing “Moon River”.
29. Sherman Hemsley, recently buried died in his home. He is mosted nited at playing George Jefferson on The hit Norman Lear Comedies, The Jeffersons and All in the Fmily
30. Sally Ride became the first American woman to travel to space in 1983.
31. Film and TV icon Ernest Borgnine – who won an Oscar for the titular role in 1955’s “Marty” and starred in the classic series “McHale’s Navy” – died at age 95.
32. Actor and American icon, Andy Griffith died at the age of 86
33. Nora Ephron, notable director passed away after a long serious illness.
34. Rodney King, victim of an infamous police brutality case against four LAPD officers. He later appeared on Celebrity Rehab.
35. Henry Hill, the gangster whose life was featured in Goodfellas and played by Ray Liotta.
36. Richard Dawson passed away at the age of 79 following complications from esophageal cancer.
37. Kathryn Joosten, who appeared on the television series “Desperate Housewives” and “The West Wing,” died of lung cancer.
38. Robin Gibb passed away after a long bout with cancer. He was 62.
39. Chuck Brown, guitarist and musician was considered the “Godfather of Go-Go” music
40. Vidal Sassoon was found dead in his Los Angeles home at age 84
41. Adam Yauch was better known as “MCA” from the iconic hip hop group The Beastie Boys.
42. Dick Clark, died at the age of 82 after suffering a heart attack post-surgery.
43. Mike Wallace, long time news correspondent, passed away of natural causes. He was 93
44. Thomas Kinkade died of an overdose at the age of 54.
45. Jimmy Ellis, lead singer for the Trammps, known for their hit “Disco Inferno”,
46. Davy Jones, lead singer of The Monkees, who were known for their hit songs like “Daydream Believer” and “Last Train to Clarksville” a
47. Gary Carter, passed away due to complications from a brain tumor.
48. Dontavies Boatwright, Season 2 Sunday Best finalist and gospel recording artist
49. Robert Hegyes, an actor best known for his role as Epstein on the popular TV show “Welcom Back, Kotter”, died of a heart attack
May songs of the angels welcome them all home.
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