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As we begin 2021, we have already begun to lose celebs and public figures that have impacted us over the years. Sports legends like Hank Aaron and Basketball Hall of Famer Paul Westphal are among the legendary figures who have passed away in 2021.


As we deal with the looming threat of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic along with the facts of life, we know that death is inevitable. However, the memories of these amazing people will always live on.

Check out the list below.

RELATED: We Remember: Celebrities Who Died In 2020

In Memoriam: Celebrities & Public Figures Who Died in 2021  was originally published on

1. Chucky Thompson

Chucky Thompson Source:Getty

Chucky Thompson, an award-winning music producer who spawned chart-topping hits with some of the biggest names in hip-hop and R&B, was found dead, according to HipHopWired. It was not immediately clear how old Thompson was. It was not immediately clear when Thompson died.

2. Bob Moses

Bob Moses Source:Getty

Robert “Bob” Moses, a lifelong educator and civil rights leader who inspired generations of organizers, engaging with them around the importance of collective action and respecting local knowledge, died on Sunday (July 25). He was 86 years old.

3. Biz Markie

Biz Markie Source:Getty

Biz Markie, the pioneering rap star whose hit song “Just A Friend” made him a household name in the ’90s, died on Friday (July 16) following a long battle with diabetes. He was 57 years old.

4. Suzzanne Douglas

Suzzanne Douglas Source:Getty

Suzzanne Douglas, a stage, TV and movie actress who always played roles of strong Black women, has died, multiple news outlets reported July 8. She was 64 years old.

5. Clarence Williams III

Clarence Williams III Source:Getty

Clarence Williams III, the enigmatic actor who rose to fame as the character “Linc” On “The Mod Squad,” becoming a Black power icon during the ’70s, died on June 4 at the age of 81.

6. Samuel E. Wright

Samuel E. Wright Source:Getty

Actor Samuel E. Wright, best known for his voice work as the loveable character “Sebastian” in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” died on Monday after a three-year battle with prostate cancer according to his daughter who spoke with The Hollywood Reporter. Wright was 74.

7. Chi Modu

Chi Modu Source:Getty

Chi Modu, a celebrated hip-hop photographer whose lens captured iconic images of the genre’s elite, has died at the age of 54. Little details are known regarding his passing which was announced on May 23 on his official Instagram page.

8. Paul Mooney

Paul Mooney Source:Getty

Legendary comedian Paul Mooney, whose real name was Paul Gladney, passed away on May 19 at the age of 79 after suffering a heart attack at his home in Oakland, California.

9. Shock G

Shock G Source:Getty

Digital Underground’s Shock G died on April 22 from unknown causes. He was 57.

10. Black Rob

Black Rob Source:Getty

HipHopWired reported:

“Hip-Hop has lost another great artist way too soon. Black Rob of Bad Boy Records and “Whoa” fame has passed away.

“Born Robert Ross, Black Rob aka Banco Popular aka Bacardi Rob was just 51.”

His death was announced April 17.

11. Gerren Taylor

Gerren Taylor Source:WENN

“Baldwin Hills” star Ashley Taylor Gerren, also known as Gerren Taylor, 30, died in her sleep on April 12.

12. DMX

DMX Source:Getty

Rapper DMX died on April 9 at the age of 50 after suffering from a heart attack.

13. Midwin Charles

Midwin Charles Source:Getty

CNN and MSNBC analyst Midwin Charlesdied on April 7 , according to a statement posted by her familyon social media. The attorney and legal commentator was 47-years-old.

14. Craig “muMs” Grant

Craig "muMs" Grant Source:Getty

News circulated on March 25 that renowned poet and actor Craig “muMs” Grant died from an unknown cause.

15. Elgin Baylor

Elgin Baylor Source:Getty

Elgin Baylor, the NBA legend and Hall of Fame player, died March 22 at the age of 86.

16. Yaphet Kotto

Actor Yaphet Kotto died March 15 at the age of 81. His wife announced the death via his Facebook page but didn’t offer a cause of death. 

17. Reggie Warren

Reggie Warren Source:Getty

Celebrated singer Reggie Warren died on March 14 surrounded by loved ones in his Pasadena, California, home. Warren was a founding member of TROOP, a New Jack Swing R&B group that rose to fame in the early 90’s. He was 52.

18. Jo Thompson

Jo Thompson, a Detroit native, died on March 9 at the age of 92.


20. “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler

"Marvelous" Marvin Hagler Source:Getty

“Marvelous” Marvin Hagler, the legendary boxing middleweight champion, died March 13 at the age of 66. Hagler’s wife said in a Facebook postthat he “passed away unexpectedly at his home” in New Hampshire.

21. Robert Ashby

Robert Ashby Source:Getty

Robert Ashby, one of the three surviving members of the Tuskegee Air Force died on March 5 at the age of 95, the Associated Pressreports.

22. Lawrence Otis Graham

Lawrence Otis Graham Source:Getty

Lawrence Otis Graham, a New York Times bestseller, died on Feb. 19. He was 59 years old.

23. Jahmil French

Jahmil French Source:Getty

Fans mourned the 28-year-old “Degrassi” actor’s death on March 2. 

24. Bunny Wailer

Bunny Wailer Source:Getty

Wailer, a reggae icon and musical giant died on March 2 at the age of 73.

25. Irv Cross

Irv Cross Source:Getty

Irv Cross, a former NFL defensive back who made history in the broadcasting industry died on Feb. 28. He was 81.

26. Douglas Turner Ward

Douglas Turner Ward Source:WENN

Douglas Turner Ward, an actor and champion of Black playwrights who was the co-founder of the Negro Ensemble Company, died Feb. 20 at the age of 90.

27. Prince Markie Dee

Prince Markie Dee Source:Getty

Prince Markie Dee, who rose to fame as a founding member of the pioneering 1980s rap group, Fat Boys, died Feb. 17 at the age of 52. He reportedly died from congestive heart failure.

28. Vincent Jackson

Vincent Jackson Source:Getty

Vincent Jackson, a former wide receiver for several NFL teams, was found dead in a hotel room in Tampa, Florida, on Feb. 15. He was just 38 years old. 

29. Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh Source:WENN

Rush Limbaugh died at the age of 70 on February 17th after a battle with lung cancer. 

30. Mary Wilson

Mary Wilson Source:WENN

Mary Wilson of The Supremes died at the age of 76 on February 8th.

31. Chick Corea

Chick Corea Source:WENN

Jazz Pianist Chick Corea died at 79 on February 9.

32. Dustin Diamond

Dustin Diamond Source:Getty

Dustin Diamond, who entertained Saved By The Bell fans for years as Samuel “Screech” Powers passed away on February 1, according to TMZ. He was 44.

33. Cicely Tyson

34. Cloris Leachman

35. Larry King

Larry King Source:WENN

Broadcasting legend Larry King died on January 23, 2021 at the age of 87. 

36. Hank Aaron

Hank Aaron Source:Getty

The Hall of Famer and former home run king died at 86 on January 22, 2021.

37. Magician Siegfried Fischbacher

Magician Siegfried Fischbacher Source:Getty

The “Siegfried & Roy” magician Siegfried Fischbacher is dead. The Rosenheim native died on Jan. 13, 2021, at the age of 81, his sister confirmed to the German Press Agency on Jan. 14. 

38. Hall of Fame Manager Tommy Lasorda

Hall of Fame Manager Tommy Lasorda Source:Getty

Former Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Tommy Lasorda passed away on January 7th, 2021 at 93. 

39. Tanya Roberts

Tanya Roberts Source:Getty

“That 70’s Show” actress Tanya Roberts died Jan. 3rd, 2021

40. Football Hall of Fame Running Back Floyd Little

Football Hall of Fame Running Back Floyd Little Source:Getty

Hall of Famer Floyd Little died of cancer at 78

41. Basketball Hall of Famer Paul Westphal

Basketball Hall of Famer Paul Westphal Source:Getty

Paul Westphal, member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, dies at age 70 from Brain Cancer