Although no longer with us, their work will still be remembered, revisited, and loved for many years to come – whether they were actors, musicians, poets, or painters.
January marked the death of singer, songwriter, and environmentalist Pegi Young; alongside the singer and pianist Daryl Dragon, best known as part of the musical duo Captain & Tennill.
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Avant-garde filmmaker Jonas Mekas also passed away in January, as did actors Dick Miller, Carol Channing, and Julie Adams.
In February, Oscar-nominated British actor Albert Finney – best known for his roles in Annie, Murder on the Orient Express and Scrooge – died following a short illness at the age of 82.
Comedian Jeremy Hardy died of cancer, aged 57. He gained recognition on the comedy circuit in the 1980s and was a regular on BBC Radio 4 panel shows, including The News Quiz and I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.
Stanley Donen, the beloved director of some of the best musicals of Hollywood’s golden era, including Singin’ in the Rain, Funny Face and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, also passed away February, alongside Andy Anderson, drummer for The Cure and Iggy Pop.
March was marked by the death of Prodigy singer Keith Flint, who died aged 49. Although he initially joined the group – formed by producer Liam Howlett in 1990 – as a dancer, he later graduated to singer, performing the 1996 tracks “Firestarter” and “Breathe”. Both singles became staples of the UK rave scene.
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Actor Luke Perry, best known for his roles in Beverly Hills, 90210 and Riverdale, died that same month after suffering from a “massive stroke”, his representative said in a statement at the time. Perry played teen heartthrob Dylan McKay in 90210 and Fred Andrews in The CW’s Riverdale, earning fans across generations.
The month also saw the death of Hal Blaine, whose work as a session musician saw him play on The Beach Boys’s iconic Pet Sounds album; Father Ted actor Pat Laffan; “Misirlou” musician and king of surf rock, Dick Dale; guitarist Bernie Tormé, who rose to fame in the seventies and joined Ozzy Osbourne on tour in 1982; and legendary R&B singer-songwriter Andre Williams.
On 25 March it was announced that legendary singer-songwriter and producer Scott Walker – who rose to fame with The Walker Brothers during the Sixties before establishing himself as one of the most revered artists of a generation – had died aged 76.
His label of 15 years, 4AD, confirmed the news and paid tribute to an artist “whose composition transcends genre, and whose sheer originality defies pigeonholing”.
In July, fans of Disney star Cameron Boyce were shocked to learn the 20-year-old had died a “sudden, unexpected death” due to epilepsy.
LaShawn Daniels, the legendary producer and songwriter, died in a car crash in South Carolina in September. He worked with stars including Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Michael Jackson.
In October, the rock world mourned Cream drummer and co-founder Ginger Baker, who died aged 80 after an illness.
Hip-hop fans were devastated at the death of 21-year-old rapper Juice Wrld in December, after he suffered a “medical emergency” at an airport.
Comedian and musician Neil Innes, who collaborated with Monty Python and played with The Rutles, died on 30 December aged 75.
Essex-born Innes wrote music for Monty Python’s albums including Monty Python’s Previous Record and The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief, after becoming involved with the comedy group in the 1970s.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, you can contact Mind in the UK on 0300 123 3393 or text 86463, or visit their website.
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