There’s no doubt that 2020 has been a hard year. The world was hit was a pandemic, COVID-19 that shocked everyone and forced everyone to go into lockdown. Not only did COVID-19 shake things up, but many people also lost a lot including their jobs, businesses, homes, family, friends, and loved ones.
This year was the year of a lot of RIP’s, especially in the world of entertainment. Let’s take a look at the lives that were lost in the year 2020.
This Hip-Hop legend and pioneer of the New Orleans bounce music scene passed away after suffering from a heart attack/ heart failure. He was best recognized by his 2013 hit “Let Me Find Out”.
Rocky Johnson- January 15th
WWE Hall of Famer and the Father to Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, passed away from a pulmonary embolism that was caused by a blood clot. During his time as a wrestler, Johnson made history by becoming a part of the First African American Tag Team to win the championship titles.
NBA Hall of Famer, Kobe Bryant, and his daughter Gianna, along with seven other passengers and the pilot were killed in a helicopter crash while on their way to Gianna’s basketball game.
Ja’Net Dubois- February 17th
Famed actress and singer Ja’Net Dubois passed away at the age of 74. She was best known for her role as Willona Woods on the 1970’s sitcom, “Good Times”
Brooklyn-born rapper, Pop Smoke was gunned down during a home invasion/robbery in Los Angeles. To many people, Pop was becoming the face of the drill music scene with hits like “Welcome to the Party”, and “Christopher Walking”. He was only 20-years-old.
B.Smith- February 22nd
Smith was best known for being a restaurateur, a businesswoman, entrepreneur, and model. She had her own talk show that aired on NBC and was the first African American woman to cover “Mademoiselle” magazine. In 2013, Smith was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s and was determined to raise awareness within the African American community. She passed away at the age of 70.
This singer and songwriter have made timeless music that has spanned for generations. Bill Withers gave his fans hits such as, “Grandma’s Hands”, “Ain’t No Sunshine”, and the classic, “Lean on Me”. He passed away at age 81 from heart complications.
Chynna Rogers was a model turned rapper from Philadelphia. At the age of 14, she was discovered by Ford Models while at Six Flags Great Adventures. She passed away from an accidental drug overdose. She was 25.
Howard Finkel was known as “The Voice of WWE” and the company’s very first employee. Finkel has been a staple in the world of Wrestling entertainment for almost 40 years. He passed away at the age of 69.
The South Bronx rapper died from complications of Coronavirus at the age of 35. In 2011, the late rapper appeared in the XXL Freshman Class along with Meek Mill, YG, Kendrick Lamar, and Mac Miller.
The Queens rapper passed away due to complications of Coronavirus. Shooter, whose real name was William Daniels, was signed to Nas’ record label, Street Dreams Records, he collaborated with Dave East on several projects. Williams was 24-years-old.
Andre Harrell was known as a key player in the music world. He is known for discovering Diddy, Mary J. Blige, Heavy D., and more. He was also the founder of Uptown Records. At the age of 59, Harrell passed away from heart failure.
Little Richard was known as the founding father of Rock and was the pioneer who broke musical barriers. He was best known for his flamboyant style and legendary hits such as “Tutti Fruitti”, “Good Golly Miss Molly”, and “Long Tall Sally”. Richard died at age 87 from bone cancer.
Nick Blixky- May 10th
Nick Blixky was a rapper from Brooklyn, who was fatally shot. According to police reports, he was shot in the torso and the buttocks outside of a building near Prospect Park. Before his untimely death, Nick was set to release his first mixtape.
Former WWE wrestler, Shad Gaspard passed away while at the beach with his son. According to reports, the wrestler and his son were caught in a riptide and he instructed rescuers to save his son first and then him. On May 20th, three days later, Gaspard’s body was discovered after going missing.
Jas Waters known as JasFly, was a beloved journalist and TV writer. She has written for the hit series, “This Is Us” and “The Breaks”. JasFly passed away at the age of 39. Her death was ruled a suicide.
Huey, a rapper from Kinloch, Missouri, gave fans the hit “Pop, Lock, and Drop It”. The rapper was shot and killed in his hometown. He later died at the hospital. He was 32-years-old.
Naya Rivera died by drowning after saving her son while out on the lake. Her body was discovered four days later. She has been acting since she was a kid, however, she is best known for her role as Santana in the hit series, “Glee”. She was 33-years-old.
Regis Philbin- July 24th
One of America’s beloved TV personalities. Regis Philbin had an illustrious career in the world of Television. He is well-known for his daytime talk show “Live with Regis and Kathy” and he holds the Guinness World Record for most hours on U.S. television. Philbin was 88-years-old when he passed.
Malik B. was a founding member of the profound group The Roots. Malik stayed with the group during the release of the four albums. He later departed from the group.
Chadwick Boseman’s death came as a shock to everyone across the world. It was reported that the actor died at the age of 43 after a long four year battle with Cancer. The actor is best known for his roles in
42, The Black Panther, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Bishop Rance Allen- October 31st
This beloved Bishop is a legend in the world of Gospel. He was known for his wide vocal range and for finding the Rance Allen Group. He gave fans songs like “Something About The Name Jesus”, “Hear My Voice”, and more. Bishop Allen passed away while recovering from a medical procedure. He was 71.
Sean Connery was best known for his role as James Bond. The Oscar-winning actor played Bond in seven films including,
Goldfinger, From Russia with Love, and Diamonds are Forever.
Sir Connery passed away in his sleep surrounded by his family. He was 90- years old.
King Von’s death still comes as a shock to many people. The Chicago rapper was gunned down after getting into a physical altercation outside of an Atlanta lounge. He was 26.
Alex Trebek- November 8th
The beloved game show host was entering the homes of millions every night for 37 years. Earlier this year he announced that he was diagnosed with stage 4 Pancreatic cancer. On November 8th, Trebek lost his battle to cancer and passed away age the age of 80.
Mo3 was a 28-year-old rapper who was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas. According to reports, he was driving on the highway when a man got out of his car and shot him multiple times. Mo3 was best known for his hit song, “Errybody (Remix)”, his collaboration with Boosie.
This up-and-coming rapper was gunned down in the Bay Area. According to reports, he was shot in the San Francisco train station. Reports also stated that his death comes from mysterious circumstances. He was 26-years-old.
WWE Hall of Famer and Legend, Pat Patterson died at the age of 79 due to liver failure. During his illustrious career, Patterson made history by becoming the first ever Intercontinental Champion, being the first-ever openly gay wrestler, and for being the founding father of the Royal Rumble match.
This beloved actress and best known for her role as Mickey in B.A.P.S passed away at the age of 53 after battling colon cancer. She also played in “How To Be A Player”, “Eve” and “For Your Love”.
Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister best known as Deebo passed away at the age of 62. The actor and former
WWE wrestler was found dead in his apartment. It appears that Lister died of natural causes.
The founding member of the 80’s rap group “Whodini” died at age 56. His death was confirmed by his daughter. Throughout the group’s career, they gave us songs such as “Friends” and “Freaks Come Out at Night.” As of right now, a cause of death has been determined.
Jon Huber- December 26th
The wrestling world was shocked to learn of the sudden death of Jon Huber, also known as Brodie Lee or Luke Harper. Huber died at the age of 41 after suffering from lung issues.
Joe Clark-December 30th
Joe Clark passed away at the age of 82-years-old. He was the principal of Eastside High School in the 1980's where he rose to fame for the way he changed the culture of the Paterson, New Jersey high school with his unconventional, disciplinary style. He was portrayed by Morgan Freeman in the 1989 film
Lean On Me
which was based on his experiences at the High School from 1983 to 1989.And to those we lost due to complications of COVID-19, those who died due to senseless gun violence, and those we lost at the hands of police brutality, including those of George Floyd and Breona Taylor.
Our Hot 97 personalities and DJ's remember those we lost below. Our prayers continue to go out to the families of those mentioned.