1. Rod Temperton, 66
Temperton, the English songwriter hailed as the creative genius behind Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” “Rock With You,” and “Off The Wall,” died in late September at age 66 from cancer, his family said. Temperton along with music icon Quincy Jones, worked side by side to formulate Jackson’s groundbreaking sound.
2. Gloria Naylor, 66
Naylor, an acclaimed author and recipient of the National Book Award for her debut novel, “The Women of Brewster Place,” died of heart failure on September 28 in Christiansted, Virgin Islands.
3. Edgar “Dooky” Chase Jr., 88
Chase, a well-loved New Orleans restaurateur, died on November 22. His restaurant was a popular staple in the Treme neighborhood––frequented by political figures from Martin Luther King Jr. to President Barack Obama.
4. Colonel Abrams, 67
Abrams, a house music pioneer, died in New York City on November 24 from an unknown illness. In 2015, friends discovered Abrams was homeless and living with diabetes. Several friends raised money through a crowdfunding campaign in hopes to pay for housing and medical treatment.
5. Arnold Palmer, 87
Hailed as the “King of golf,” Palmer died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 25.
6. Shawty Lo, 40
Carlos Thomas, also known as rapper “Shawty Lo,” was killed in a car accident in Atlanta, Georgia on September 22.
7. Florence Henderson, 82
Florence Henderson, known for her iconic role as mother hen Carol Brady on “The Brady Bunch,” died on November 24 from heart failure.
8. Nicole Milfie
Nicole Milifie, a beloved social media personality whose given name was Taylor Crenshaw, died in August 2016.
9. Sharon Jones, 60
Jones, the enigmatic frontwoman for R&B band the Dap-Kings, died from a years-long battle with pancreatic cancer at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, New York, on November 16.
10. Gene Wilder, 83
Born Jerome Silberman, the legendary comedian and “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” actor died of complications from Alzheimer’s at his home in Stamford, Connecticut, on August 29.
11. David Mancuso, 72
The legendary New York City DJ was credited with creating underground venue the Loft, which gave a safe space to the LGBTQ community. His death was announced on November 14, but the cause of death is unknown.
12. George Curry, 69
The award-winning journalist and publisher died of a heart attack in Takoma Park, Maryland, on Saturday, August 20.
13. Leonard Cohen, 82
The Canadian folk singer-songwriter was best known for music that explored the intricacies of the human condition. His hit song “Hallelujah” has been re-recorded by several artists. Cohen died in his sleep at home in Los Angeles on November 7, resulting from complications from a fall.
14. John McLaughlin, 89
The TV personality and host of “The McLaughlin Group” died at home in Washington, D.C., on August 16.
15. Gary Marshall, 81
The famed director, actor, writer, and producer died at a hospital in Burbank, California, on July 19 after complications from pneumonia.
16. Bernie Worrell, 72
Bernie Worrell, one of the cofounders of the band Parliament-Funkadelic, died of lung cancer on June 24.
17. Christina Grimmie, 22
The former “Voice” contestant was shot and killed while signing autographs after an Orlando concert on June 10.
18. Muhammad Ali, 74
Known as “The Greatest,” the former heavy-weight champion and activist lost a longtime battle with Parkinson’s and died in Scottsdale, Arizona, on June 3.
19. Morley Safer, 84
The iconic journalist and “60 Minutes” veteran, died just one week after retirement in his New York home on May 19.
20. Prince, 57
The musical icon was found dead in his Paisley Park estate on April 21.
21. David Gest, 62
Gest, an entertainer, producer and former husband to Liza Minelli, was found dead in a London hotel on April 12.
22. Phife Dawg, 45
Malik Taylor, the rapper known as Phife Dawg and a founding member of A Tribe Called Quest, died Tuesday, March 22.
23. Daryl Coley, 60
Daryl Coley, the legendary singer and minister, died Tuesday, March 15 while receiving hospice care.
24. Bob Adelman, 85
Bob Adelman, widely known for his photography of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement, died Saturday, March 19 at his home in Miami.
25. Gil Hill, 84
Gil Hill, who battled respiratory issues, died Wednesday February 17 at DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit.
26. Tony Burton, 78
Tony Burton, who played the corner man to both Sylvester Stallone and Carl Weathers in the Rocky film saga, died Thursday, February 25.
27. Vanity, 57
Denise Matthews, who as Vanity fronted the group Vanity 6, died in early February at a hospital in Fremont, California.
28. Maurice White, 74
Singer Maurice White, founder of Earth, Wind & Fire, died on February 4 at his Los Angeles home, said his brother, Verdine White. The 74-year-old artist started the popular R&B group in the late 1960s, and went on to sell more than 90 million albums across the globe.
29. Abe Vigoda, 94
Actor Abe Vigoda, known for his role as Tessio in “The Godfather,” died of natural causes on Jan. 26, 2016. The 94-year-old character actor was known for his distinct look — his slouched shoulders and sunken eyes made for powerful portrayals and pop culture fodder. He is survived by his daughter. His wife, Beatrice, died in 1992.
30. Natalie Cole, 65
Cole, the daughter of music icon Nat King Cole, passed away of heart failure induced by lung disease. The singer created her own footprint in the world of R&B and soul with her powerful voice and rendition of her father’s song, “Unforgettable.”
31. David Bowie, 69
The iconic singer and songwriter died January 10 after a quiet 18-month battle with cancer. Bowie was beloved for his inventive sound and ever-changing looks.
32. Nicholas Caldwell, 71
Caldwell, the co-founding member of the legendary R&B group The Whispers, died of congestive heart failure. Caldwell also wrote some of the group’s hit singles, including “Lady.”
33. Monford “Monte” Merrill Irvin, 96
Hall of Famer Monte Irvin made his mark in history through baseball. Alongside Jackie Robinson, he was one of the first African-Americans to play on the field. He passed of natural causes in January.
34. Glenn Frey, 67
The co-founder of legendary rock band the Eagles died in January after succumbing to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia. The artist fought a battle with rheumatoid arthritis for over 15 years.
35. Rene Angelil, 73
The husband and former manager of Celine Dion passed away after battling throat cancer. The two had been together for 21 years. The singer publicly announced their relationship when she was 19 years old. Angelil is survived by Dion, their six children, and seven grandchildren.
36. Robert Stigwood, 81
The former manager of the Bee Gees and Cream passed away in January. He was known for his impressive music taste and productions of classics such as Hair, Grease, Saturday Night Fever, and Jesus Christ Superstar.
37. Otis Clay, 73
Blues Hall of Famer Otis Clay passed away of a heart attack in January. The famed singer started his career in gospel before shifting over to R&B in the ’70s. Clay continued singing well into his older years, with a total of 16 albums.
38. Dan Haggerty, 74
Actor and former animal trainer Dan Haggerty was known for his popular role as Grizzly Adams in the 1974 movie “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams.” Life nearly imitated art for the star. After his movie career, the Cali native lived on a small ranch in Malibu Canyon, rescuing abandoned animals. He died of spine cancer in January.
39. Alan Rickman, 69
Known for his iconic roles in “Die Hard” and the “Harry Potter” films, Alan Rickman passed away in January after a battle with cancer. The London native was a proud advocate of the artistic rights of performers. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in August and was surrounded by close friends and family at the time of his death.