From boxing legend to galaxy saving princess, 2016 was a year where we saw the demise of many admired celebrities. Every athlete, comedian, musician and actor lost their lives this year will never be forgotten; their legacies will continue to live on.
One icon we lost last year was Muhammad Ali. He was not only a professional boxer, but also an activist and well respected individual. Student Ian D’Hulster had only good things to say about Ali: “With all the fame and glory that came with his boxing career he still made time to speak out for the rights of others.” The olympic gold medalist fought hard inside and outside the ring as he spent time fighting for African American civil rights in the 1960s. Ali suffered from parkinson’s syndrome, and passed away June 3rd at the age of 74.
In 2016, Hollywood also lost one of its most beloved actresses: Carrie Fisher. She became Princess Leia in the Star Wars films and many young girls admired her strong, female character. The actress struggled with bipolar disorder and drug addiction but was active in trying to spread awareness, as she spoke publicly about her issues in order to help others. Fisher passed away December 27 after suffering a medical emergency involving cardiac arrest. She was sixty years old.
In addition to losing a princess, 2016 was the year we lost muscial icon Prince. He was the master of all things music as he experimented with pop, funk, R&B, rock, and soul throughout his musical career. He went against labels and embraced diversity. Prince once said, “Despite everything, no one can dictate who you are to other people.” Often times, he is noted not only for his wide vocal range and stellar ability to play multiple instruments, but also the fact that he was an activist for several different causes such as equality for women and african americans, animal rights, and religious topics. Prince died on April 21, aged 51 due to an accidental fentanyl opioid overdose.
People may have been upset by the loss of these celebrities, but they also see the positives. High school student Jenna Cortez said, “I think that it’s really sad to have lost so many great celebrities last year, but they will always live on.”
These three stars and many others may have passed away in 2016, but in the upcoming years they will be remembered and celebrated, not only for their achievements in their respected fields, but for their activism and good spirits.