It’s fair to say that 2016 has been a very strange, very odd year. Amongst the Brexit vote and the Donald Trump President-elect win following the Presidential election in the US, there have been an array of deaths from the worlds of music, TV, movies, writing and more. Here we take a look at five musicians we lost in the past 12 months that we’ll never forget…
Otis Clay, 73-years-old, died January 8
Otis Clay was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2013, after a career of gospel, R&B and soul music saw him gain legions of fans. Dying after he had a heart attack, Clay will forever be remembered for his incredible music such as ‘She’s About A Mover’ (Sir Douglas Quintet cover) and more.
David Bowie, 69-years-old, died January 10
Bowie was an incredible visionary – a man whose music has transcended throughout the decades and inspired countless other artists to find their unique place in the business. His career spanned five decades and saw him constantly push the boundaries not only with his sound, but with his appearance and presentation. As an icon of our time, he was and remains to be an incredible presence within pop culture.
Prince, 57-years-old, died April 21
Another pioneer of the music industry, Prince could claim responsibility for bringing ‘black music’ to the masses, with those musicians of colour before him having to fight against constant prejudice during their careers. That’s not to say Prince didn’t have his struggles, but he managed to overcome them and convince many that the world of music should be inclusive, rather than exclusive.
Billy Paul, 81-years-old, died April 24
Known best for his hits such as ‘Philadelphia Soul’ and ‘Me and Mrs. Jones’, Billy Paul was a jazz and soul singer who left his mark on the world with great effect. The Grammy Award-winning artist died at his home in the Blackwood section of Gloucester Township, New Jersey after suffering from pancreatic cancer.
George Michael, 53-year-old, died December 25
Dying of suspected heart failure on Christmas Day this year, George Michael was not only a pioneer of music from the 1980s and onwards, but a man unafraid to be himself and somebody who inspired countless members of the LGBTQ+ community. Now his acts of generosity are being revealed, with the singer donating countless money to various every-day people, but never wanting his name to be attached to the act of good will. George was a good man with an incredible voice and personality; he went far too young.