A NewsOne gallery of the celebrities who lost their lives in 2017.
1. Joni Sledge, 60
Songstress Joni Sledge, a member of the group Sister Sledge, was discovered dead Friday, March 10 at her home Phoenix, Arizona. The group of sisters recorded the dance anthem “We Are Family” in 1979.
2. Clyde Stubblefield, 73
Clyde Stubblefield died of kidney failure on Saturday, February 18, at a Madison, Wisconsin hospital. A drummer for James Brown, Stubblefield was sampled “on 1000-plus songs, including Public Enemy’s ‘Fight the Power,’ Dr. Dre’s ‘Let Me Ride’ and George Michael’s ‘Freedom ’90,’” reports The Detroit News.
3. Al Jarreau, 76
Jazz legend and unique-voiced virtuoso Al Jarreau died February 12 at a Los Angeles hospital. A week earlier, he had had been hospitalized for exhaustion and was told by doctors that he had to retire from touring.
4. Mary Tyler Moore, 80
Moore, an award-winning actress, enjoyed a successful, decades-long career. She rose to fame as a regular on ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ in the 1960s, which led to the eponymous ‘Mary Tyler Moore Show’ in the 1970s. Moore died in a Connecticut hospital on January 25.
5. Lee “Q” O’Denat, 43
The media mogul known affectionately as “Q,” died on January 24 from heart failure after he was found unresponsive in a San Diego shopping center. O’Denat was responsible for creating WorldStarHipHop.com, a groundbreaking hub for entertainment and news pertaining to urban culture.
6. William Hilliard, 89
The pioneering journalist died on January 20 in Portland, Oregon. Hilliard’s career spanned over 40 years–he was The Oregonian’s first black reporter and was promoted to its first black editor in chief in 1987.
7. Bishop Eddie Long, 63
Bishop Long, a controversial Atlanta megachurch pastor, died on January 15 after a years long battle with an unspecified form of cancer. Rumors surrounding the pastor’s health swirled after he was spotted several times with a significantly thinner frame.
8. Roy Innis, 82
Innis, the longtime leader of the Congress of Racial Equality, died in Manhattan on January 8. He reportedly died from complications relating to Parkinson’s disease.