Iconic celebrities whom we miss

Gone, but never forgotten: celebrities who are sorely missed

Iconic celebrities whom we miss
Iconic celebrities whom we miss
05 May 2016

Iconic celebrities whom we miss

Barely five months into 2016, and we’ve already seen the deaths of music icons like Prince and David Bowie. As many reminisce the good old days when their songs were the backing soundtrack of everyday life, we round up other iconic celebrities who have left us but are still sorely missed and remembered years after their passing

From Prince to Bruce Lee and local actor Huang Wenyong, who are the other celebrities you miss?

Photos: EPA/CLICKPHOTOS, Bruce Lee Foundation, Toggle file photo

Related:
14 heart-wrenching celebrity deaths
Shocking star suicides: Celebrities who took their own lives

Prince
Prince
05 May 2016

Prince

After the announcement of the 57-year-old singer’s death late last month, tributes poured in from people from all walks of life – including Barack Obama. Prince was a musician through and through, having taught himself to play a number of musical instruments from young. The prolific singer released nearly 40 albums throughout his career, with his last performance being just seven days before his death on April 21. A known experimenter, the singer set his own rules when it came to music, breaching convention and mixing different genres of music into his own style.

Why we miss him: While recent reports have stated that Prince has enough unreleased material to release a new album’ every year for 100 years’, it’s no substitute for the real deal. After all, who else is able to effortlessly pull off Prince’s signature flamboyant dressing and his style of incorporating new technology and genres into songs?

Photos: EPA/CLICKPHOTOS

Related: 
Prince has died
14 heart-wrenching celebrity deaths
Shocking star suicides: Celebrities who took their own lives


David Bowie
David Bowie
05 May 2016

David Bowie

Two days after the release of his final album Blackstar in January this year, David Bowie succumbed to liver cancer and passed away. Said to be a ‘parting gift’ of sorts to the world, the lyrics in the 69-year-old’s last album alluded to his sickness, which he kept mum about. Often credited as having breathed new life into rock music, David did not restrict himself to just singing and dabbled in many fields, from art to acting. Together with his many alter egos like Ziggy Stardust and the Thin White Duke, David challenged social constructs and pioneered the creation of glam rock, a style of music with performers dressed flamboyantly and more often than not, androgynously as well.

Why we miss him: Blackstar was meant to be a parting gift from David to the public, but we still think it’s regretful that we’ll never get to see him perform the songs from the album live.

Photo: EPA/CLICKPHOTOS

Related:
David Bowie dies aged 69
14 heart-wrenching celebrity deaths
Shocking star suicides: Celebrities who took their own lives

Alan Rickman
Alan Rickman
05 May 2016

Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman, much like David Bowie, passed away at the age of 69 as he was suffering from cancer, something he never revealed to the public, even in his final years. The actor was known for bringing to life characters with his immersive acting skills, and was first noted for his role as the villain Hans Gruber in the movie Die Hard. In 2001, Alan took on the role of Severus Snape in the movie series Harry Potter and thoroughly fleshed out the character, to widespread acclaim.

Why we miss him: Who else can bring to life complex villains on screen, other than Alan? On the bright side though, he will be reprising his role as the voice of the inane Absolem the Caterpillar in the upcoming Disney film, Alice Through the Looking Glass, which will be released later this month.

Alice Through the Looking Glass opens in local theatres on May 26.

Photos: EPA/CLICKPHOTOS , Alice Through the Looking Glass official Facebook

Related:
Alan Rickman dies at the age of 69
14 heart-wrenching celebrity deaths
Shocking star suicides: Celebrities who took their own lives

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
05 May 2016

Michael Jackson

Yet another King of Pop, the ‘Thriller’ hitmaker was found dead in 2009 at the age of 50. Michael Jackson’s slick dance moves coupled with his smooth crooning spawned hits like ‘Billie Jean’ and ‘Beat It’. Along with Prince, Michael was lauded as having broken racial barriers in the 1980s. In the year following his death, over 35 million of his albums was sold worldwide, making Michael the best-selling album artist of 2009.

Why we miss him: Michael’s undeniable star power and stage presence has inspired many, but regrettably, Michael passed away in the midst of preparations for his comeback concert tour, 12 years after the end of his last concert tour.

Photo: EPA/CLICKPHOTOS

Related:
Michael Jackson's Thriller sets new record
14 heart-wrenching celebrity deaths
Shocking star suicides: Celebrities who took their own lives

Huang Wenyong
Huang Wenyong
05 May 2016

Huang Wenyong

The local actor passed away in 2013 from lymphoma at the age of 60, after almost 30 years in showbiz. The actor’s colleagues and friends still post pictures remembering the good times with him, three years after his passing. Wenyong acted in numerous drama serials and mentored actors like Pierre Png throughout his career, and even has his very own wax figure in Singapore’s Madame Tussaud’s.

Why we miss him: It’s hard not to miss someone we’ve been seeing on our television screen for over 30 years. Wenyong’s portrayal of iconic characters like Ah Shui in The Awakening still comes to mind years after the drama first aired in 1984. At 2007 Star Awards, the actor, together with Xiang Yun, won a special award as local TV’s most memorable couple for their roles in the drama.

Photo: Toggle file photo

Related:
Remembering Huang Wenyong’s best acting roles
14 heart-wrenching celebrity deaths
Shocking star suicides: Celebrities who took their own lives

Teresa Teng
Teresa Teng
05 May 2016

Teresa Teng

Teresa Teng was widely considered the most popular Chinese singer of her time, having gained popularity not just in Mandarin speaking regions, but Japan as well. The singer sang in multiple languages including Mandarin, Cantonese, English and Japanese, with hit songs like ‘Tian Mi Mi’, ‘The Moon Represents My Heart’ and ‘When Will You Return’ still fresh in the minds of the public 11 years after her death in 1995 at the age of 42. Rock singer Bon Jovi even covered ‘The Moon Represents My Heart’ in Mandarin last year, further attesting to the longevity of her songs.

Why we miss her: Famed for her sweet voice and simplistic singing style, Teresa’s songs have withstood the test of time, something that cannot be said for many other singers.

Photo: Teresa Teng Foundation

Related:
Brigitte Lin was sad that Teresa Teng mistook her gestures
14 heart-wrenching celebrity deaths
Shocking star suicides: Celebrities who took their own lives

Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston
05 May 2016

Whitney Houston

Crowned the ‘Most Awarded Female Act of All Time’ by Guinness World Records, Whitney Houston was a legend in her own right. The singer, who passed away in 2012, remains the only artist to chart seven consecutive Number 1 Billboard Top 100 hits, after the release of her second album in 1987. Whitney won her first Grammy just one year after the release if her debut album in 1986, and paved the way for other African American female musicians on popular media, much like how Michael Jackson did the same for African American male musicians. Many pop stars nowadays still continue to list her as their role model, from Beyoncé to Celine Dion.

Why we miss her: Whitney was one of the most popular pop divas of her time, with a voice that many described as ‘exceptional’. Whitney’s version of Dolly Parton’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ still gets airtime 14 years she first covered the song, with many pop stars crooning their own covers of Whitney’s version.

Photo: EPA/CLICKPHOTOS

Related:
Dionne Warwick: I lost a part of myself when Whitney Houston died
14 heart-wrenching celebrity deaths
Shocking star suicides: Celebrities who took their own lives

Park Yongha
Park Yongha
05 May 2016

Park Yongha

The singer-actor first rose to fame with his role as Kim Sanghyuk in the hit drama serial Winter Sonata, which aired in 2002. Following his acting breakthrough, Yongha branched out and dabbled in singing, and released various Japanese and Korean albums, to much success. Throughout his 16 year long career, the singer-actor amassed 12 awards, with over half of it from Japanese award shows. A memorial service for the 33-year-old held three years after his suicide was attended by 1,000 fans, showing the lasting effect he had on their lives. The singer-actor, who was also reported to be suffering from depression, had committed suicide due to the stress of managing his own entertainment company, and the illness of his father.

Why we miss him: The singer-actor had committed suicide at the peak of his career, after having found immense popularity in Japan and Korea, with fans who still organise and attend memorial services for him, six years on.

Photo: Park Yongha's official Japanese website

Related:
Shocking star suicides: Celebrities who took their own lives
14 heart-wrenching celebrity deaths
Shocking star suicides: Celebrities who took their own lives

Heath Ledger
Heath Ledger
05 May 2016

Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger rose to fame with his lead role in the movie Brokeback Mountain in 2005 and then gained greater acclaim three years later for his performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight. The actor was posthumously awarded a number of awards- including an Academy Award for his role as the Joker. The actor had famously secluded himself in a room for weeks to prepare for it, even keeping a diary in which he fleshed out the characterisation of the Joker.

Why we miss him: A brand new Joker, played by Jared Leto, is set to take the spotlight with the movie Suicide Squad, which will be released in August this year. However we’re sure many would have hoped for Heath to reprise his role, if he was still around.

Photos: TPG/CLICKPHOTOS

Related:
Jake Gyllenhaal misses Heath Ledger 'very badly'
14 heart-wrenching celebrity deaths
Shocking star suicides: Celebrities who took their own lives

Robin Williams
Robin Williams
05 May 2016

Robin Williams

It’s been said that the funniest people are often the saddest, and it really does look that way for Robin Williams. The actor, who committed suicide in 2014 at the age of 63, suffered from alcoholism and depression. Disney recently announced that a live-action prequel to Aladdin, focusing on the backstory of the Genie is in the works, bringing Robin to the minds of everyone. The role of the Genie in the original Aladdin movie was written specially for him, with producers having to work to convince an initially reluctant Robin to take on the role. In the end, Robin excelled in the role, and even won a Golden Globe for his performance.

Why we miss him: With the recent announcement of the Aladdin prequel, we miss Robin’s portrayal of the ‘original’ genie even more. It is also reported that Robin’s will forbids Disney to use his name or previous voice recordings in future Aladdin movies.

Photos: EPA/CLICKPHOTOS, Aladdin official Facebook

Related:
Robin Williams' widow gives emotional first interview since his death
14 heart-wrenching celebrity deaths
Shocking star suicides: Celebrities who took their own lives

Leslie Cheung
Leslie Cheung
05 May 2016

Leslie Cheung

Leslie Cheung was a versatile artiste who was widely regarded as one of the forefathers of Cantopop. The singer-actor was a proficient singer and actor, often juggling the two at the same time.  Having released over albums, most of which charted well on the local charts, Leslie’s title as one of the forefathers of Cantopop at that time was well deserved. Leslie had also starred in various award winning films like Rouge and Days of Being Wild, and portrayed a variety of roles, from a suave womaniser to a tormented psychiatrist. One of the first openly gay artistes in Hong Kong, Leslie’s personal life received much media scrutiny. Even when the 47-year-old committed suicide in 2003 due to depression, the media scrutiny did not end, with many rumours and speculations regarding the real cause of his death.

Why we miss him: The singer-actor left his indelible mark in Hong Kong’s entertainment scene with his success not just in singing, but acting as well. Close to 3,000 fans attended his memorial service in 2003, with many flying in from other countries – no mean feat, considering that the SARS epidemic was raging during that period of time.

Photo: TPG/CLICKPHOTOS

Related:
14 heart-wrenching celebrity deaths
Shocking star suicides: Celebrities who took their own lives

Anita Mui
Anita Mui
05 May 2016

Anita Mui

Widely regarded as Leslie Cheung’s good friend and ‘little sister’, Anita Mui passed away in 2003 from cervical cancer, the very year Leslie committed suicide. The duo had also once left the music industry together in 1989, though they each made their individual return in later years. Anita was known for her love for music, though she also starred over 40 films throughout her career. Dubbed as the ‘Madonna of Asia’, Anita’s feat of holding close to 300 concerts during her stint as a singer has yet to be bested. Even as she battled cancer and the death of her close friend Leslie, Anita staged a series of eight shows as her farewell concert in November, before passing away at the age of 42 on December 30 2003.

Why we miss her: The indomitable pop diva of her era, Anita Mui had always expressed her desire to be ‘married to the stage’, even wearing a wedding dress as she performed the last song of her farewell concerts. Her dedication and love for music isn’t something that one can see every day.

PHOTO: TPG/CLICKPHOTOS

Related:
Memorial Night for Anita Mui
14 heart-wrenching celebrity deaths
Shocking star suicides: Celebrities who took their own lives

Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain
05 May 2016

Kurt Cobain

The frontman and primary songwriter of rock band Nirvana, one of the most influential bands of the ‘90s, Kurt Cobain passed away at the age of 27 due to suicide. Kurt had struggled with heroin addiction and depression in the years prior to his death, and had escaped from a rehabilitation centre days before he committed suicide on April 5. The singer’s innate artistic visions had contributed to many hit songs for Nirvana, with its best known single, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ widely regarded as the anthem for teenagers when it was released in 1991. His songs also popularised grunge and alternative rock.

Why we miss him: When Kurt passed away, we lost not only an iconic singer, but the iconic band that came with the singer as well. Nirvana disbanded after his death, with only three albums to their name.

Photo: Nirvana official Facebook

Related:
Kurt Cobain wanted to move to Scotland before death
14 heart-wrenching celebrity deaths
Shocking star suicides: Celebrities who took their own lives

Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse
05 May 2016

Amy Winehouse

More often in the news for her personal life as opposed to her musical achievements, Amy Winehouse was cast into the spotlight with her unconventional style. Often lauded for her ‘trashy’ iconic look, which consisted of her beehive hair and winged eyeliner, Amy’s songs were undeniably popular with the public. The singer won five Grammys for her second album, Back to Black in 2008, making her the first female British singer to achieve that feat. She was also credited as the “road-paver” for other British musicians like Adele and Duffy who were looking to make their mark in the US, and thanked by Lady Gaga for making it easier for other unconventional pop artistes to make it big.

Why we miss her: Just like Kurt Cobain, Amy passed away young, with few albums to her name. The singer passed away aged 27 in 2011 from alcohol poisoning, after having released only two albums, with her last album being 5 years before her death. Her parents have also expressed that they are against the idea of posthumously releasing an album from her unreleased material.

Photo: EPA/CLICKPHOTOS

Related:
Blake Fielder Civil 'destroyed' Amy Winehouse, says his brother
14 heart-wrenching celebrity deaths
Shocking star suicides: Celebrities who took their own lives

Tiffany Leong
Tiffany Leong
05 May 2016

Tiffany Leong

Tiffany Leong was a fighter through and through. The actress had originally suffered from multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) syndrome which in turn caused her to suffer from liver cancer, which she beat in 2014 after having 60 percent of her liver removed. However, she suffered a relapse in 2015, and eventually succumbed to it on December 28 at the age of 30. A great actress, Tiffany had originally been a model-host in her birth country, Malaysia, before signing with Mediacorp as an actress. Her death had led to an outpouring of dedications and tributes from local stars.

Why we miss her: Yet another case of a bright star who had its shine snuffed out way too soon, Tiffany passed away after less than 10 years on our local television screens, leaving behind an audience who has yet to see enough of her works.

Photo: Tiffany Leong/Facebook

Related:
Tiffany Leong passes away from liver cancer at age 30
14 heart-wrenching celebrity deaths
Shocking star suicides: Celebrities who took their own lives

Paul Walker
Paul Walker
05 May 2016

Paul Walker

One of the leading stars of the movie series, Fast and Furious, Paul Walker was often lauded for his performance and acting chops. The actor, who loved cars, had passed away in a one-car crash while speeding. His passing was especially ironic and jarring, considering that the Fast and Furious series had been created around the theme of drag racing. When the actor passed away on November 30 in 2013, filming for the seventh instalment of the aforementioned series was still on-going. After much worry from fans, the movie was completed with the help of CGI as well as the actor’s brothers, who stood in for him.

Why we miss him: Of the movie series’ seven movies, Paul has only been absent from the third installment, which centers around a story that does not involve the main cast. With the eight instalment of the movie currently in the works, the film’s directors have confirmed that Paul’s character will be in the movie in ‘in some form or another’, but we’re sure that Brian O’Conner (Paul’s character in the movies) will still be sorely missed.

Photos: EPA/CLICKPHOTOS

Related:
Vin Diesel pays tribute to Paul Walker
14 heart-wrenching celebrity deaths
Shocking star suicides: Celebrities who took their own lives

Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee
05 May 2016

Bruce Lee

A pioneering martial artist and actor who is often credited as having helped to break the stereotype of Asians in American films, Bruce Lee passed away at the age of 32 in 1973 from drug complications. The actor, who studied Wing Chun under the legendary Yip Man himself, later created his own martial art, Jeet Kune Do. A pop culture icon and one of the most iconic martial artists of all time, Bruce also influenced and popularised martial arts and its related films worldwide through his acting. The 32-year-old was even named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.

Why we miss him: Who can ever forget his iconic yellow jumpsuit and trademark yell? Bruce, who was widely regarded as a strong and formidable man, passed away regretfully at what should have been the peak of his career.

Photo: Bruce Lee Foundation

Related:
14 heart-wrenching celebrity deaths
Shocking star suicides: Celebrities who took their own lives



Report a problem