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It has been a truly terrible year for celebrities -A tribute to the stars we lost in 2016

Stefan Andrews

It is beyond any doubt that all of us will remember 2016 as a year that took away the lives of so many dearly beloved celebrities, without whom the world will never be the same again.

We at Vintage News were continually shocked and saddened upon receiving any of the heart-breaking stories. Therefore, we wish to pay one final tribute to all these glorious icons that were lost during the course of the past year.

On January 10th, 2016, just two days after his 69th birthday and the release of what would turn out to be his last album, Lazarus, we bade farewell to David Bowie. Clearly, Lazarus was written as his swan song and his way of saying goodbye to his fans, friends, family and our planet.

A few days later, on January 14th, Harry Potter fans cried when they heard of the death of actor Alan Rickman, famous for his memorable role of Severus Snape. Alongside his work in the Harry Potter series, Rickman left behind a body of work respected across the film industry. He too was aged 69.

In February, we parted with the American novelist Harper Lee, widely known for her novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, published in 1960. The book is continually featured in many top 100 all-time best novels list. Lee was aged 89.

Then, on April 21st, we had to say our final goodbyes to yet another music legend. Prince, with his wonderful music and flamboyant stage presence, passed away, aged 57.

On June 3rd, one of the greatest boxers of all time, Muhammad Ali, died aged 74. Two weeks later, we also lost Anton Yelchin. Only 27, Yelchin lost his life in a bizarre car accident. The young actor played Pavel Chekov in the Star Trek reboot series and was surely headed for more success and fame before his tragic death.

August was the month when we lost two more casualties of 2016. First, with English actor and musician Kenny Baker, best known for portraying the character R2-D2 in the Star Wars movies. Then, at the end of the month, Gene Wilder died, most memorable for his role as Willy Wonka, a portrayal that will always remain a defining image of many childhoods.

Our hearts ached at the beginning of November when the great Leonard Cohen died at age 82. A statement on his Facebook page read: “It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter, and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away. We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries.”

Following Cohen came the loss of Fidel Castro. Maybe not a celebrity in the same sense as the other people in this tribute, but the Cuban revolutionary and politician can undoubtedly claim the status of icon and inspiration for many generations of radicals.

If that was not enough, December proved 2016 to be a merciless year right up to its very last days. 18th December marked the date when iconic Hollywood star Zsa Zsa Gabor, passed away, aged 99. Gabor will remain as one of the most extravagant and glamorous personalities in the history of Hollywood. She starred in many classic movies such as We’re Not Married! and Moulin Rouge.

Then, Last Christmas never sounded so sad or tragic as we heard of the death of British pop icon and champion of gay rights, George Michael. He passed away on Christmas Day, aged 53.

Read another story from us: Goodbye, fierce Princess: A tribute to Carrie Fisher, talented actress, writer, warrior and an inspiration to people of all ages

And just when we thought we are finished with all the sad news for 2016, a great disruption within the Force took place. Millions expressed their shock and paid their tributes as Carrie Fisher, the fierce and noble woman best known for her unforgettable portrayal of warrior-princess Leia Organa in Star Wars, passed away after suffering a major heart attack.

We will certainly remember 2016 as a year of great loss. Let’s hope for less tragic news in 2017.

Stefan Andrews

Stefan is a freelance writer and a regular contributor to The Vintage News. He is a graduate in Literature. He also runs a blog – This City Knows.