Ollie Imogene “Jean” Shepard (November 21, 1933 – September 25, 2016) was an American honky tonk singer-songwriter who pioneered for women in country music. Shepard released a total of 73 singles to the Hot Country Songs chart, one of which reached the No. 1 spot. She recorded a total of 24 studio albums between 1956 and 1981, and became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1955.
After Kitty Wells’ 1952 breakthrough, Shepard quickly followed, and a national television gig and the Opry helped make her a star when few female country singers had enduring success. Her first hit, “A Dear John Letter”, a 1953 duet with Ferlin Husky, was the first post-World War II record by a woman country artist to sell more than a million copies.
Jean Shepard, Cause of death
On September 25, 2016, Shepard died of Parkinson’s Disease. She was 82.
Arnold Daniel Palmer (September 10, 1929 – September 25, 2016) was an American professional golfer, who is generally regarded as one of the greatest players in professional golf history. He won numerous events on both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour, dating back to 1955. Nicknamed “The King”, he was one of golf’s most popular stars and its most important trailblazer, because he was the first superstar of the sport’s television age, which began in the 1950s.
Palmer died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on September 25, 2016.
Margaret Nixon McEathron (February 22, 1930 – July 24, 2016), better known as Marni Nixon, was an American soprano and playback singer for featured actresses in movie musicals. She is best known for dubbing the singing voices of the leading actresses in films, including The King and I, West Side Story and My Fair Lady.
Besides her voice work in films, Nixon’s varied career included some film roles of her own, television, opera, concerts with major symphony orchestras around the world, musicals on stage throughout the United States, and recordings.
Nixon died on July 24, 2016, in New York from the effects of breast cancer, aged 86.
Marni Nixon (dubbing Deborah Kerr) and Chorus sing “Getting to Know You”
West Side Story – Tonight – Natalie Wood – Marni Nixon
Muhammad Ali (Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016) was an American professional boxer, generally considered the greatest heavyweight in the history of the sport. Early in his career, Ali was known for being an inspiring, controversial and polarizing figure both inside and outside the boxing ring. He is one of the most recognized sports figures of the past 100 years, crowned “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Sports Personality of the Century” by the BBC. He also wrote several best-selling books about his career, including The Greatest: My Own Story and The Soul of a Butterfly.
Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s syndrome in 1984, a disease that commonly results from head trauma from activities such as boxing.
Ali was hospitalized on June 2, 2016 with a respiratory condition. His condition was initially described as “fair”. The following day, Ali’s condition worsened, and he was placed on life support. His condition did not improve, and late on June 3, it was announced that Ali had died at the age of 74.
Billy Paul (born Paul Williams; December 1, 1934 – April 24, 2016) was a Grammy Award winning American soul singer, most known for his 1972 number-one single, “Me and Mrs. Jones”, as well as the 1973 album and single “War of the Gods” which blends his more conventional pop, soul and funk styles with electronic and psychedelic influences.
He was one of the many artists associated with the Philadelphia soul sound created by Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, and Thom Bell. Paul was identified by his diverse vocal style which ranged from mellow and soulful to low and raspy. Questlove of The Roots equated Paul to Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, calling him “one of the criminally unmentioned proprietors of socially conscious post-revolution ’60s civil rights music.”
Billy Paul Cause of Death
Paul died on the afternoon of April 24, 2016 at his home in Blackwood, New Jersey from pancreatic cancer at the age of 81.
Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016), known by his mononym Prince, was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and actor, serving as a major figure in popular music for over three decades. Prince was renowned as an innovator and was widely known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, and wide vocal range. He was widely regarded as the pioneer of Minneapolis sound. His music combined rock, R&B, soul, funk, hip hop, disco, psychedelia, jazz, and pop.
Illness and death
On April 15, 2016, Prince’s private plane was forced to land in Illinois so he could seek medical treatment for flu-like symptoms. He performed in a concert one day later in Atlanta, Georgia. On April 21, 2016, he died at the age of 57. He was found unresponsive at his home in Chanhassen, Minnesota.
Chyna (born Joan Marie Laurer; December 27, 1970 – April 17-20, 2016) was an American professional wrestler, actor, glamour model, bodybuilder and pornographic film actor.
On April 20, 2016, Laurer was found dead at her home in Redondo Beach, California. She had been taking medication for anxiety and insomnia. A statement was posted to her Twitter account confirming her death.
Doris Roberts (born Doris May Green; November 4, 1925 – April 17, 2016) was an American actress. She received five Emmy Awards and a Screen Actors Guild award during her acting career, which began in 1951. She was perhaps best known for her role as Raymond Barone’s mother, Marie Barone, on the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond (1996–2005).
Roberts died in Los Angeles, California, on April 17, 2016, at age 90.
Merle Ronald Haggard (April 6, 1937 – April 6, 2016) was an American country music songwriter, singer, guitarist, fiddler, and instrumentalist. Along with Buck Owens, Haggard and his band the Strangers helped create the Bakersfield sound, which is characterized by the twang of Fender Telecaster and the unique mix with the traditional country steel guitar sound, new vocal harmony styles in which the words are minimal, and a rough edge not heard on the more polished Nashville sound recordings of the same era.
On December 5, 2015, Haggard was treated at an undisclosed hospital in California for pneumonia. He made a recovery, but postponed several concerts.
In March 2016, Haggard was once again hospitalized. His concerts for April were cancelled due to his ongoing double pneumonia. On April 6, 2016, his 79th birthday, he died of complications from pneumonia at his home in Palo Cedro, California.
Merle Haggard – Lonesome Fugitive & Sing Me Back Home
Erik Bauersfeld (June 28, 1922 – April 3, 2016) was an American radio dramatist and voice actor. His most notable role was providing the voices of Admiral Ackbar and Bib Fortuna in the third film of the original Star Wars trilogy, Return of the Jedi. He reprised his role as the voice of Admiral Ackbar in Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015.
Bauersfeld died in his home in Berkeley, California, on April 3, 2016, at the age of 93.