2012 is a new year with new beginnings. But the past, and the people who helped create it, can hardly be forgotten. Among these are some public figures who entertained and inspired us in years past, and will continue to influence despite not being physically present.
Here is my personal list of the most cherished celebrities and public figures who passed away in the last ten years. They will be most missed in 2012, and beyond.
1. Amy Winehouse (1983-2011)
A multi-talented musician, singer, and songwriter Amy Winehouse rose to fame in the UK in the early 2000s and in the world with her albums Frank and Back to Black. She was known for her sultry voice and creative oldies-inspired musical style.
Amy passed in the summer of 2011 of after struggling with alcohol and drug addiction.
2. Aaliyah (1979-2001)
Aaliyah Haughton was an R&B singer and dancer popular in the ’90s and early 2000s. Her hip-hop influenced music and dance videos captured the hearts of audiences who grew to love her unique personal style and genuinely sweet personality.
Aaliyah and eight others died after their plane crashed while leaving the Bahamas. They were returning to the United States after shooting the music video for “Rock the Boat”.
3. Michael Jackson (1958-2009)
The most successful music artist of all time, King of Pop Michael Jackson was not just a musician but an icon. He is known globally as a transformative figure — his talent and style inspired and created generations of music, and people.
Michael died in 2009 of medication-induced respiratory arrest. His death caused shock and grief worldwide.
4. Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes (1971-2002)
Lisa Lopes, also known as Left Eye, was a rapper and singer best known as a member of the R&B trio TLC. Her unique and honest rapping added the hip-hop element to TLC which contributed greatly to its success.
Lisa died in April 2002 when her car swerved off a road in Honduras.
5. Paul Newman (1925-2008)
Paul Newman was an actor and heartthrob popular in the ’60s through the ’80s. He is known for films such as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and The Color of Money, as well as his cool personality and ice blue eyes.
Paul passed away in 2008 at age 83, after a long history in show business as an actor and director.