“Your memory will continue,” says the song “Welcome to the Black Parade”, by My Chemical Romance, an ode to those who left but left a mark on the people around them. The pain exists, but also the memories and, in one way or another, those who stayed have to move forward. Some of this year’s deaths shocked us because they came out of a sudden, or these were from people who could have given so much more to art or science. We are only left with our memories and love for them, as we move on.
Mac Miller, Age 29
(January 19, 1992 – September 7, 2018)
One of the biggest losses this year was that of Mac Miller. His loss was lamented all over the world by his followers (whom he inspired with music about loss and overcoming) and by his contemporaries. The man was an important figure in hip-hop and for the culture of his generation, leaving a permanent mark in the genre. He mixed sounds and ideas, and made hip-hop more personal.
Stephen Hillenburg, Age 57
(August 21, 1961 – November 26, 2018)
The creator of SpongeBob SquarePants gave the world one thing: happiness. Hillenburg pursuit a career as a marine biologist until he turned to animation. He had his big break with the influential series about a yellow sea sponge and his friends. He was also part of the team behind Rocko’s Modern Life, a show that gave us the fun we needed during our formative years. He did nothing but to preach love, and tell us that we will always have friends to help us out.
Stan Lee, Age 95
(December 28, 1922 – November 12, 2018)
This man is responsible for many of the iconic charcacters of contemporary pop culture, such as Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men and other Marvel characters. Along with Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, Lee was responsible for the creation of many of these heroes during his early years. He definitely broke out the mold of how characters should be made, handing us the greatest heroes of today. Without him, Marvel would not be the empire it is today, and many of us would not have learned that a true hero comes from the heart.
XXXTentacion, Age 20
(January 23, 1998 – June 18, 2018)
In spite of his brief musical career, XXXTentacion (Jahseh Onfroy) left an indelible mark on the generation that listened to his songs and followed him until the end of his days. The rapper born in Jamaica spoke about depression and mental health in his songs, which seemed a mixture of metal, hardcore, trap, lo-fi and hip-hop, which earned him the reputation of a serious and experimental artist. He was recognized in life, but all his successes were eclipsed by his criminal record, as he used to attack his fans, other artists, and used to sue others who crossed him on social media. He was killed in a robbery, while leaving a bike shop. It is believed that the real cause was a fight.
Avicii, Age 28
(September 8, 1989 – April 20, 2018)
Another painful loss for the music industry was that of Avicci (Tim Bergling), the revolutionary DJ and producer who changed the electronic scene mixing classical music with elements of other genres, creating new and unique musical experiences. He was close friend’s with David Guetta, worked with Coldplay, Wycleaf Jean, and an uncountable list of friends who payed homage to his memory after his death. The artist took his own life after dealing with depression and anxiety.
Stephen Hawking, Age 76
(January 8, 1942 – March 14, 2018)
Physicist, cosmologist, writer, and one of the most important thinkers about the Universe, Stephen Hawking was probably the most important man in the world of science, thanks to his great contributions to the theories of relativity and his study of quantum mechanics. He also published different books in which he explained different phenomena in simple ways, creating greater knowledge of all that surrounds us. From a young age, he struggled with ALS, which altered his motor functions and, although the prognosis was that he would die young, he lived to be 76 years old, until he passed away peacefully.
Burt Reynolds, Age 82
(February 11, 1936 – September 6, 2018)
He had a long life, during which he did 145 films, 13 TV-films and 9 series, leaving a permanent mark in the entertainment industry. Renowned for his physical attractiveness, being one of the most manly and sensual men in Hollywood, he also possessed undeniable talent which earned him a nomination for an Oscar for Boogie Nights. His died of cardiac arrest in Florida, and, unfortunately, he could not finish filming Tarantino’s movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Aretha Franklin, Age 76
(March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018)
August 16 was one of the saddest days of 2018; Aretha Franklin’s light went out, result of a tumor in the pancreas. She had one of the most beautiful and distinctive voices in the world and was an important figure in gospel, soul, R&B , not to mention a legend an icon in music and pop culture. She played an important role in the fight against racism in the United States. Loved by all, she released an enormous amount of albums, all of them full with genuine authenticity and with her bursting personality. She left a legacy full of love and respect. .
Anthony Bourdain, Age 61
(June 25, 1956 – June 8, 2018)
Considered one of the most influential chefs in the world, Anthony Bourdain was also a showman and writer who loved to explore other cultures, trying to understand humanity from different perspectives. He showcased to the world his adventures and encounters with others in order to create more union, empathy, and an understanding of those differences among us, which make us unique. He had multiple television programs and did not always focus on the kitchen or cooking. Unfortunately, he suffered from depression and decided to take his own life while he was in France.
Dolores O’Riordan, Age 46
(September 6, 1971 – January 15, 2018)
Vocalist of The Cranberries, this Irish artist was more than a composer. She was a strong frontwoman who redefined the scene of alternative rock in the 90s. By mixing rock with her cultural heritage, she created rhythms and lyrics with a soft sound that spoke about love, pain, and melancholy. Her life took a turn at the end of her life as her 20-year marriage collapsed and she was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She died of an apparent accident: she fall asleep in the bath tub and drowned.
These other celebrities passed away this year. They will be remember for their contributions to culture:
Eddie Clarke – January 10 – 67 years old (Guitarist, Motörhead )
Mark E. Smith – January 24 – 60 years (Vocalist, The Fall )
Mark Salling – January 30 – 35 years old (Actor, Glee)
John Mahoney – February 4 – 77 years old (Actor, Frasier)
Reg E. Cathey – February 9 – 59 years old (Actor, House of Cards)
Emma Chambers – February 21 – 53 years (Actress, Notting Hill and Vicar of Dibley)
Verne Troyer – April 21 – 49 years old (Actor, Austin Powers)
Margot Kidder – May 13 – 69 years old (Actress, Superman)
Kate Spade – June 5 – 55 years old (Fashion designer)
Alan O ‘Neill – June 6 – 47 years old (Actor, Sons of Anarchy)
Vinnie Paul – June 22 – 54 years old (Drummer, Pantera)
Joe Jackson – June 27 – 89 years (Michael Jackson’s Father)
Jackson Odell – June 8 – 20 years (Actor of iCarly, Modern Family and The Goldbergs)
Smoke Dawg – June 30 – 21 years old (Rapper)
Richard “the Old Man” Harrison – June 25 – 77 years (Reality TV personality, Pawn Stars)
Richard Swift – July 3 – 41 years old (Bassist, Black Keys)
Elmarie Wendel – July 21-89 years (Actress, 3rd Rock From the Sun)
Barbara Harris – August 21 – 83 years old (Actress, Freaky Friday)
Stefan Karl – August 21 – 43 years old (Actor, LazyTown)
Kyle Pavone – August 25 – 28 years old (Singer, We Came as Romans)
Neil Simon – August 26 – 91 years (Screenwriter)
Vanessa Marquez – August 30 – 49 years old (Actress, ER)
Bill Daily – September 4 – 91 years (Actor, I Dream of Jeannie)
Scott Wilson – October 6 – 76 years (Actor, The Walking Dead)
Read more about the people who have left a mark on the world:
Beyond Del Toro, Cuarón, And Iñárritu: Here Are The Best Latin American Filmmakers
Music Videos Inspired By Works Of Art Everybody Should Watch
Lessons For Success From The Woman Who Reinvented The Fashion Industry