Famous Deaths of the Decade
David Bowie is considered by many to be one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, with 25 studio albums released before his untimely death in 2016. He started on his path to fame in the early 1970s, setting himself apart from other rockers of the time with his androgynous look and theatrical personas, including Aladdin Sane, Ziggy Stardust and The Thin White Duke. Bowie helped redefine male sexuality in a post-Stonewall, pre-AIDS epidemic world, coming out as gay in 1972, then bisexual in ‘76. He won seven Grammys (the first in 1985), a Daytime Emmy in 2003 and many other prominent awards for his music. The star battled liver cancer for a year and a half, learning it was terminal three months before it took his life on January 10, 2016. Bowie passed two days after the release of his last album, Blackstar.
According to Guinness World Records, Whitney Houston is the most awarded female artist of all time. Her music has sold between 170-200 million records worldwide. She was groomed to become a star by her famous family, including godmother Aretha Franklin. Houston’s first album, Whitney Houston, was released in 1985 and debuted at the top of the Billboard Hot 200 charts. She became the first woman to ever achieve this feat. Houston died on February 11, 2012, due to coronary artery disease and general cocaine intoxication. Her close friend and once-lover, Robyn Crawford, released A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston on November 12, 2019, clearing up many fans’ questions about her personal life. Houston is currently a nominee for the 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Robin Williams was an actor and comedian who stepped into the spotlight after starring in the 1970s sitcom Mork & Mindy. His role in Good Will Hunting earned him an Academy Award in 1998. Williams’s ability to change his humor to cater to multiple demographics cemented his status as an icon. Children loved his role as Genie in Disney’s Aladdin, and many adults recall his raunchy stand-up comedy acts. Williams went on to win five Grammys and seven Golden Globes before his death on August 11, 2014. He committed suicide, attributed by his wife to his struggle with Lewy body disease, which contributes to dementia and Parkinson’s disease.