It is hard to believe that 2017 is almost done.
Throughout the year, we have lost pop culture stalwarts, game-changing musicians, and polarizing public figures. Enstarz pays tribute to some of the stars who have passed away and left an impact on pop culture.
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Adam West (1928 to 2017)
Actor Adam West brought joy to generations of fans for his portrayal of the Dark Knight in the classic 1960s television series: Batman. In addition to being Gotham’s legendary caped crusader, Millennials knew West for his voiceover work. He was Catman in The Fairly OddParents and Quahog’s Mayor West in the long-running FOX animated series: Family Guy. West was 88 years old when he died on June 9 from a brief battle with leukemia.
Chester Bennington (1976 to 2017)
Singer Chester Bennington helped inspire a new generation of musicians. He served as the frontman for alternative rock and metal music favorites Linkin’ Park, Dead by Sunrise, and Stone Temple Pilots. He also collaborated with a diverse group of artists that ranged from DJ Lethal to Carlos Santana. Bennington was 41 years old when he died on July 20 after committing suicide.
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Chris Cornell (1964 to 2017)
Singer-songwriter Chris Cornell shaped music’s grunge revolution. Cornell spent his entire career as a solo artist and spending time as the lead vocalist for Soundgarden and Audioslave. He has sold over 30 million albums worldwide, earned two Grammy Awards, and was nominated for a Golden Globe. Cornell was 52 years old when he committed suicide on May 18.
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David Cassidy (1950 to 2017)
David Cassidy was one of the original teen pop idols. For 96 episodes, Cassidy portrayed the series’ golden boy, Keith Partridge, in The Partridge Family. After the show wrapped production in 1974, Cassidy got roles in various television shows and also recorded 10 studio albums. Cassidy was 67 years old when he passed away on April 12 from liver failure.
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Della Reese (1944 to 2017)
Actress, singer, and Minister Della Reese carved out her own path in American pop culture. She was the first black woman to guest host The Tonight Show. Reese also gave audiences sagely advice as Tess in both Touched by an Angel and Promised Land. The two-time Grammy nominee was 86 years old when she passed away on Nov. 19.
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Don Rickles (1926 to 2017)
Don “Mr. Warmth” Rickles was a force to be reckoned with in the comedy world. For 74 years, Rickles conquered television, film, and books with his peculiar brand of insult comedy. He traded barbs with Johnny Carson and Howard Stern while entertaining numerous generations of fans as the voice of Mr. Potato Head in the first three Toy Story films. Rickles passed away from kidney failure on April 6 at 90 years old.
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Gregg Allman (1947 to 2017)
Gregg Allman entertained music lovers throughout his 57 years as a musician. Through his time in the Allman Brothers Band, he created the most memorable southern rock songs of all-time such as “Whipping Post,” “Ramblin’ Man,” and “Jessica.” Allman also released seven solo studio albums and extensively developed a loyal fan base through his lengthy tour sets. Allman died on May 27 from complications from liver cancer at 69 years old.
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Hugh Hefner (1926 to 2017)
Hugh Hefner changed American culture forever in December 1953 when he published the very first issue of Playboy. Hefner transformed the Playboy brand into a multi-million dollar corporation Playboy Enterprises, Inc. that revolutionized the adult entertainment industry. Hefner passed away on Sept. 27 at 91 years old.
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June Foray (1917 to 2017)
Voice actress June Foray has brought hundreds of cartoon characters to life throughout her lengthy nine-decade career. Foray voiced the sweet Granny in various Looney Tunes cartoons, the diabolical Magica De Spell in Disney’s DuckTales, and Rocky the Flying Squirrel in The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. Foray died on July 26 at a Los Angeles hospital at 99 years old.
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Lil Peep (1996 to 2017)
Rapper Lil Peep grew a significant social media following in his three years as a recording artist. The self-proclaimed SoundCloud rapper’s music focused on the cloud rap musical style. Lil Peep’s music always dealt with serious topics such as self-harm and suicide. Lil Peep passed away at the age of 21 years old after a suspected overdose.
(Photo : Moses Robinson | Getty Images)
Mychael Knight (1978 to 2017)
Project Runway: Season Three finalist Mychael Knight made waves in the fashion world where he appeared on the Bravo television series. Knight finished in fourth place, and after he left the show, Knight launched his lingerie line, Kitty & Dick, and his unisex fragrance brand, MajK. Knight passed away at 39 years old on Oct. 17 from complications from IBS.
(Photo : Michael Buckner | Getty Images)
Stevie Ryan (1984 to 2017)
Internet personality Stevie Ryan charmed fans for years with her YouTube channel and web series called LittleLoca. Ryan’s videos have been viewed in over 45 million times and her success lead to her comedy series called Stevie TV, which ran for two seasons on VH1. Ryan was 33 years old when she committed suicide on July 1.
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