Famous Dead People – Legacy Lasting Years After Their Death

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There are not many things that are worse than death. Being forgotten is one of them. But these famous dead people will never be forgotten. Their legacy will last for years and centuries after we are gone from this world.

Some people just leave a huge mark on society. Be it in music, literature, art, history, sports, or any other field, these famous dead people have left their mark. Who are the most famous among them? Let’s find out.

Amy Winehouse

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Born in September 1983, Amy is part of the infamous 27 Club. That is people who have died when they were only 27 years of age. The English singer and songwriter got famous thanks to her deep, expressive contralto vocals and eclectic mix of musical genres.

Her songs managed to combine genres like soul, jazz, rhythm, and blues. Amy Winehouse was a member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra.

Her most successful album remains Back to Black in 2006. It went on to become an international success and one of the best-selling albums in UK history.

During her life, Winehouse was plagued by drug and alcohol addiction. She died of alcohol poisoning on 23 July 2011. She was 27 years of age.

Chadwick Boseman

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The Black Panther himself. There will not be another Black Panther for years. Marvel Studious have said they will not recast someone for the role, they will just pass the mantle.

Born in November 1976, Chadwick Boseman was one of the most likable actors in Hollywood. He passed away in August 2020 due to cancer.

Fun fact: he was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016, but kept his condition private. He continued to act without mentioning his problem to coworkers or studios.

Chadwick has a huge social legacy. Portraying Black Panther, a black hero in the MCU is something amazing. He even talked about how he was not aware of the significance of the role before actually playing it.

Michael Jackson

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The King of Pop is widely regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century. Born in August 1958 and passing away in June 2009, Michael Jackson was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer.

His career spanned four decades. During that period, his contributions to music, dance, and fashion made him a global figure in popular culture.

To this day, Michael Jackson remains the most awarded individual music artist in history. Jackson popularized complicated dance moves like the moonwalk. Or the robot. The dead celebrity gave the name to the former.

Throughout his life, Jackson was a figure of controversy and speculation due to his changing appearance, relationships, lifestyle, and behavior. With more than 400 million record sales worldwide, he is one of the best-selling music artists in history.

Elvis Presley

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After the King of Pop, we have the King of Rock and Roll. Elvis Presley is another cultural icon of the 20th century. His energized interpretations and performances made him a musical icon. It led to both success and controversy.

Born in January 1935, Elvis passed away in August 1977. He wanted to change music and was a pioneer in rockabilly. It is an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion of country music and rhythm and blues. If you thought Jackson has a lot of record sales, look at Elvis. With more than 500 million record sales worldwide, he is another best-selling solo artist.

Elvis actually holds the record for best-selling solo music artist of all time by the Guinness World Records. In 2018, President Donald Trump awarded Presley with the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously.

Kobe Bryant

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Born Kobe Bean Bryant, the Black Mamba was an American professional basketball player. He impacted so many young kids and generations. Many of the best NBA players you watch at the moment were influenced by Kobe Bryant. He was the Michael Jordan for their generation.

Kobe spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning 5 NBA Championship trophies in his career.

Born in Philadelphia, he was raised in Italy while his father played basketball there. Bryant died in January 2020 along with his daughter Gianna in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.

Bob Marley

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Born Robert Nesta Marley in February 1945, Bob Marley was a Jamaican singer, songwriter, and musician. You can rarely say a single musician pioneered a whole genre. But that is the story of Bob Marley, who passed away in May 1981.

He is the pioneer of reggae. His musical career was marked by combining and fusing elements of reggae, ska, and rocksteady. Marley is solely responsible for the increased visibility of Jamaican music.

He is now a global figure in popular culture. Marley also became a Rastafari icon, infusing his music with a sense of spirituality.

We celebrate Marley Day each year on May 11.

John Lennon

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You might say we have too many musicians on this list. But the reality is that music is one of the best ways to influence a generation in different parts of the world. Music is the best way to become a global icon.

John Lennon was an English singer, musician, and peace activist. He achieved worldwide fame as the founder and co-lead vocalist of the British band The Beatles.

To this day, The Beatles remain the best-selling group of all time. His songwriting partnership with Paul McCartney remains the most successful in history.

His songs, or the Beatles’ Songs, were adopted as anthems by the anti-war movement and the larger counterculture.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, once as a member of the Beatles and another time as a solo artist.

Freddie Mercury

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Born Farrokh Bulsara in 1946 in Zanzibar to Parsi-Indian parents, Freddie Mercury is one of the most famous singers of all time. He was the lead vocalist of the rock band Queen.

To this day, studies show that he had the widest range of singing. His vocals are second to none. Regarded as one of the greatest singers in the history of rock music, Freddie made headlines for his music.

On stage, he adopted a flamboyant person, but off the stage, he was quite shy. He had a four-octave vocal range, something no other singer has achieved to this day.

In 1987, he was diagnosed with AIDS but continued to record with Queen. He was posthumously featured on their final album, Made in Heaven.

Marilyn Monroe

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Look at pictures from Marilyn Monroe. To this day, she is considered a sex symbol and a beauty icon. That might sound strange because she is nothing like the models of today.

Born in June 1926, Marilyn was an American actress, model, and singer. She is famous for playing comedic blonde bombshell characters. In the 1950s and early 1960s, she was the most popular sex symbol.

Marilyn Monroe was important in the 1960s sexual revolution. For a whole decade, Monroe was a top-billed actress. Her movies grossed more than $200 million, which is equivalent to $2 billion in 2020.

Long after her death, Marilyn remained a major icon in pop culture. Monroe’s private life received much attention during her life. She struggled with addiction and mood disorders. During her life, she had two marriages, one to baseball star Joe DiMaggio and another to playwright Arthur Miller.


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Going back to singers on the list of famous dead people, we have Prince. Born in June 1958, he passed away in April 2016.

Prince was an American singer widely regarded as one of the greatest musicians of his generation. Prince was similar to Freddie Mercury in a way. He too got famous for his flamboyant and androgynous persona and wide vocal range.

He produced his albums himself, pioneering the Minneapolis sound. His music included different styles and genres, including funk, rock, new wave, soul, pop, jazz, hip hop, and R&B.

Hugh Hefner

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How can you not put Hugh Hefner on this list? He was the founder of Playboy magazine, a publication that changed the views of society forever. The first issue of the magazine was published in 1953, featuring Marilyn Monroe in a nude calendar shot. The first issue sold more than 50,000 copies.

Hefner extended the Playboy brand into a world network of Playboy Clubs and resided in a huge luxury mansion.

To this day, there are stories and secrets coming out about the wild parties in the Playboy mansion.

Whitney Houston

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Whitney Houston might be classified as the female version of Michael Jackson, in a way she was influential in music as much as the King of Pop. She was nicknamed The Voice. Whitney Houston remains one of the best-selling recording artists of all time with more than 200 million record sales.

She began singing in church as a child and then as a background vocalist in high school. Whitney Houston was one of the first black women to appear on the cover of Seventeen after becoming a teen model in 1981.

Kurt Cobain

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The American singer and artist is another member of the 27 club. He was the frontman and lead singer of the rock band Nirvana. Often regarded as a spokesman of Generation X, many consider him one of the most influential musicians in the history of alternative rock.

Cobain formed his band with Krist Novoselic and Aaron Burckhard in 1987. They were part of the Seattle music scene which later was classified as grunge.

Nirvana has one of the biggest hit singles of all time, Smells Like Teen Spirit. Their second album Nevermind remains one of the best in music history.

Heath Ledger

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We need an actor on this list. Heath Ledger passed away in January 2008 from a medication overdose. Many believe is because of his state of mind while filming the movie The Dark Knight. The American actor remains the best Joker in the minds of many people.

But that was not his only critically successful movie. Some of his other notable parts include 10 Things I Hate About You, The Patriot, Lords of Dogtown, Brokeback Mountain, Candy, and more.

He won an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award posthumously for his portrayal of Joker.

David Bowie

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Our last musician on the list is David Bowie. His career was marked by reinvention and visual presentation. He completely changed popular music.

David Bowie developed an interest in music as a child. He then studied art, music, and design, before starting a professional career in 1963.

Fun fact: he didn’t enjoy much success in the 1970s. Yet, he peaked in the 1980s, mostly thanks to his hit single, Let’s Dance.

Princess Diana

Best Photos Princess Diana
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We have to finish off the list of famous dead people with Princess Diana. She is the most famous of them all. Born in July 1961, she was a member of the British royal family. Diana was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales. She is also the mother of Prince William and Prince Harry.

Her activism and glamour made her an international icon and earned her popularity. But she was also a subject of unprecedented public scrutiny.

Born into British nobility, she grew up close to the royal family on their Sandringham estate. In 1981, she got married to Prince Charles and became Princess of Wales.

Diana’s death in a car crash in Paris has led to numerous conspiracy theories to this very day. Her legacy continues to have an impact on British society.

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