"Obituaries and short biographies on the most memorable celebrities who passed away in the past year" -- Aphrodite Avidon, Seventh Grade
Tina Turner, born Anna Mae Bullock, and said to be “Queen of Rock and Roll'' died on May 24th at the age of 83 because of Intestinal Cancer and a stroke.
Turner started her career singing at nightclubs and local spots with her sister. She saw Ike Turner at a nightclub in East St. Louis and “almost went into a trance” watching him play. Ike Turner let her sing, though women rarely sung with him. He said he’d call her, but never did. She eventually met him again, and she took the microphone from Turner’s drummer and sang “You Know I Love You” by B.B. King. After that, Turner invited her to sing with him the whole night. Tina Turner joined Ike Turner’s band and he taught her how to improve her singing.
She first recorded with him under the name Little Ann and sung the song “Boxtop,” by Ike Turner. Tina Turner begane seeing Turner’s Saxophonist Raymond Hill, with whom she had her first child, Raymond Craig Turner. Being really close friends, Ike and Tina Turner moved in together, and shortly thereafter she was pregnant again with Ronnie Turner. Soon they became an extremely successful music duo. They peaked at spot #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, and their albums were selling over 1,000,000 copies of each album. But life wasn’t all that perfect, Ike Turner had pressured Tina Turner to switch record labels and sign a five year contract with Cream Records, and reluctantly she did. They continued to work together as a married couple, but after countless years of abusive behavior and fighting, she left him for good. She fled from him to stay at a local inn, even though she only had 36 cents on her.
In 1976, her solo career began. Ms. Turner was making appearances on shows like The Hollywood Squares, and The Sonny & Cher Show. Her career was taking off, but not nearly as well as the duo’s success. Turner was a nostalgia act, she didn’t get large shows. She wasn’t big, until she came out with “Let's Stay Together,” which peaked at #26 on the hot 100.
After the single’s success, Turner came out with many hit albums, and in 1984 she released the single “What’s Love Got To Do With It”, which made it to the #1 spot on the Billboard. In 1985 she received 3 Grammy awards. “What’s Love Got To Do With It” was her only #1 hit, but she went on to release 10 studio albums, before retiring in October 2021, the same month she was inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame. She married Erwin Bach in 2013, and they moved to Switzerland. She died on May 24, 2023, peacefully in her home.
Rosalynn Carter, born Eleanor Rosalynn Smith passed away peacefully just two days after going into hospice care. Carter was born in 1927, in Plains, Georgia, and graduated as valedictorian of her high school, before going onto Georgia Southwestern College. She graduated from college in 1946, the same year she married Naval officer, and close family friend, Jimmy Carter. Jimmy Carter’s political career soon became prominent, being the first ever senator from Georgia’s 14th district in 1963, and reelected in 1965, then retired to run for governor. The 1970 gubernatorial election was a hard one for Carter, who was unknown in the greater state of Georgia, but Carter’s bid led into a successful runoff election, and finally defeated Hal Suit by nearly 20 points. As governor he declared, “The time for racial discrimination is over,” which surprised many white supremacists who believed in segregation.
In 1974, he decided against running for reelection, but instead to run for president. Carter was influential in the campaign for president. She tirelessly campaigned for him, and spoke by herself in 41 states. At the time, the question many Americans were asking was “Jimmy who?,” but Carter responded to that successfully and led Carter to defeat incumbent Gerald Ford and obtain the presidency.
She joined the board of directors for the National Association of Mental Health, and received numerous awards for her work on America, which included implementing social security checks for the elderly and organizing a daycare system. Carter had no intention of being like the other first ladies. She came to all of her husband’s meetings and took notes for him, as well as joined the struggle for the Equal Rights Amendment, (ERA). Carter had 4 children with her husband. Bill Clinton gave her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1999, the highest honor in America. She was diagnosed with dementia in May of 2023, and entered hospice care on November 17th, and died peacefully on November 19th in her home in Plains, Georgia at 96.
Sinéad Marie Bernadette O’Connor was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1966. She was raised extremely poor, and relied on stealing from church collection plates and various other acts of shoplifting and thievery to survive. She graduated high school just before her mother’s death when she was 18. She went to live with her father and graduated from Newtown School, a catholic college. In 1985 she wrote a letter to the Irish Times telling the world to “stop hurting me, and then I’ll be able to really sing.” Her brother defended her father, but admitted that her mother was abusive and not a good parent.
O’Connor’s career began in the 1980s, when she placed an ad in the magazine, The Hot Press, and met Irish musician Colt Farrelly, and together they recruited more members to start their band, Ton Ton Macoute. The band was a regional success in parts of Ireland, and caught the attention of U2 guitarist, The Edge. The two wrote the song “Heroine” together, which was featured in the film Captive.
In October 1987 O’Connor released her debut solo album, The Lion and the Cobra. O’Connor said she was inspired by Bob Dylan, David Bowie, and Bob Marley for the album. The singles on the album didn’t make British or American Hot 100 charts, but songs became radio hits across the Atlantic. O’Connor made her first television appearance in 1988, singing “Mandinka” on The Late Night Show with David Letterman. She sang the same song at the Grammy awards that year.
O’Connor released her second album in 1990 and gained much more attention than her debut. She was praised for her talented voice and ability to write original songs. Her career became well known, and she toured and played many concerts.
In 1991 she was nominated for four Grammys and won for Best Alternative Music Performance, but refused to attend the ceremony or accept the award, claiming the American music industry promoted “Materialistic Value over Artistic Merit.”
In October of 1992, she appeared on Saturday Night Live, singing a rendition of “War” by Bob Marley, adding verses on child abuse. On the same show she tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II, and received criticism from major musicians such as Frank Sinatra and Madonna, and was booed at an appearance at Madison Square Garden. O’Connor wrote in her 2021 memoir Rememberings that, “She would much rather be a protest artist than a pop star.”
Her career maintained stability as she wrote songs, collaborations, and played tours. In 2021 she came out with “No Veteran Dies Alone,” and announced her retirement publicly. In January the next year her son, Shane took his own life at the age of 17, and she postponed her tour for the album indefinitely. On July 26th, she was found unresponsive in her flat in London, and she was pronounced dead the same day at the age of 56. Her cause of death remains unknown to the public. May Sinéad O’Connor rest in peace.
Matthew Perry, mainly known for portraying Chandler Bing on the NBC sitcom Friends died on October 28th. He was born in Massachusetts to Suzanne Morrison, former Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau’s press secretary, and John Bennett Perry, an actor and model. Perry’s parents separated when he was 1 year old, and he lived with his mother in Ottawa, where he developed a successful tennis career when he was 15, but soon after he was sent to live with his father in Los Angeles, where there was much more tennis competition, and he was not nearly as successful. In 1990 Perry made his big break, becoming a regular on the sitcom Sydney, playing Valerie Bertenelli’s younger brother, Billy Kells.
In 1994 he auditioned for the NBC show Six of One, later renamed Friend’s when he was cast as Chandler Bing. He became the youngest member of the show’s cast at the age of 24. He is reported to have made a salary of $1,000,000 per episode while on the show, and became an international success and was nominated for Emmy awards.
According to his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers, And the Big Terrible Thing, he became an alcoholic at the age of 14, became addicted to Vicodin in 1997. At one point, Perry’s weight had dropped to only 128 pounds, and in 2000 he was diagnosed with alcohol induced pancreatitis. During his time on Friends, he promised he was never drunk on set, even though he often came with heavy hangovers.
In 2001, Perry claimed he had no memory of his first three seasons of work on Friends. In 2018 went into hospitalization for gastrointestinal perforation. Perry’s colon burst while in the hospital, and doctors said he had a 2% chance of survival. In 2020, he faked pain to get 1,800 milligrams of OxyContin daily, and that same year his heart stopped for 5 minutes. In 2022, Perry estimated to have spent $9,000,000 on 14 stomach surgeries, 15 stays in rehab, therapy twice a week for 30 years, and an estimated 6,000 alcoholics anonymous meetings. On October 28thMatthew Perry died due to drowning in his hot tub, due to effects of ketamine and other opioids.
Lisa Marie Presley
Lisa Marie Presley, born on February 1st, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, is an American singer-songwriter and the only child of the legendary musician Elvis Presley and actress Priscilla Presley. Growing up in the shadow of her famous parents, Lisa Marie inherited her father's musical talent and embarked on a career in the entertainment industry. She released her debut album, To Whom It May Concern, in 2003, showcasing her soulful voice and blending elements of rock, country, and blues. Beyond her musical endeavors, Lisa Marie Presley is known for her tumultuous personal life, including high-profile marriages to musicians Danny Keough and Michael Jackson.
Her union with Michael Jackson drew intense media scrutiny, as it combined two iconic families from the entertainment world. Despite facing the challenges that come with being in the public eye, Lisa Marie has been candid about her struggles, including battles with substance abuse. Despite the difficulties, she has endeavored to establish her own identity while navigating the complexities of being the heir to the Elvis Presley legacy. In addition to her artistic pursuits, Lisa Marie Presley is recognized for her philanthropic work, supporting various charitable causes.
Her life was a blend of musical achievement, personal trials, and an ongoing effort to carve out her place in the world outside the immense shadow of her legendary father. On January 12th Presley’s heart stopped beating and she was pronounced dead at the age of 54. Autopsy revealed her death was attributed to bowel obstruction related to previous weight loss surgery. On January 22nd, she was buried adjacent to her father.
Other People Who Passed Away:
Sandra Day O’Connor
Thank you to everyone who made this article possible!
Sandra Day O’Connor
Thank you to everyone who made this article possible!