Sunday, February 3, 2013

Notable Deaths of 2012

2012 Obituaries

Fontella Bass - Fontella Bass, a U.S. soul singer who hit the top of the R&B charts with "Rescue Me" in 1965, has died. She was 72. Bass died 12/26/12 at a St. Louis hospice of complications from a heart attack suffered the previous three weeks.

Natina Reed - R&B singer and star of teen cheerleader movie, Bring It On, Natina Reed died 10/26/12 after she was hit by a car. The 32-year-old mother-of-one was struck by a vehicle in Georgia as she walked along a major roadway and was killed almost instantly.
Emanuel Steward- the owner of the legendary Kronk Gym and a standout trainer for boxers including Thomas Hearns, Evander Holyfield and Oscar De La Hoya, died 10/25/12. He was 68.

R.B. Greaves- a pop singer whose "Take a Letter, Maria" was a 1969 hit, died in Los Angeles on 9/27, he was 68. Greaves died of prostate cancer said Craig Harvey, Los Angeles County coroner. Greaves was a nephew of the legendary R&B singer Sam Cook.

Michael Clarke Duncan - the hulking, prolific character actor whose dozens of films included an Oscar-nominated performance as a death row inmate in "The Green Mile" and such other box office hits as "Armageddon," died 9/3/2012 at the age of 54 from complications of a heart attack.

Chris Lighty- Hip-hop mogul Chris Lighty dies in NYC at 44, Chris Lighty, a hip-hop mogul who helped the likes of Sean "Diddy" Combs, 50 Cent and Mariah Carey attain not only hit records, but also lucrative careers outside music, was found dead 8/30/12 in an apparent suicide. He was 44.

Michael Dokes - the World Boxing Association’s heavyweight champion from 1982-83, died on 8/10/2012. He was 54. Dokes died of liver cancer after spending time at an Akron, Ohio, hospice center, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.

Al Freeman Jr. - Actor Al Freeman Jr., perhaps best known for his portrayal of Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad in Spike Lee's 1992 film "Malcolm X," has died, Howard University said on 8/10/12. He was 78 years old.

Sherman Hemsley - Sherman Hemsley, who played George Jefferson on The Jeffersons died at age 74. Hemsley died at his home in El Paso, Texas, police say.

Bob Babbitt - Prominent Motown studio musician and Funk Brothers member Bob Babbitt, whose bass playing pounded through the Temptations hit "Ball of Confusion" and Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)," has died. He was 74.

Lionel Batiste- the vocalist, bass drummer and assistant leader of the Treme Brass Band, died 7/8/12. He was 81. Family and others close to Batiste were with him when he died at the Ochsner Health System's hospital just outside New Orleans.
Rodney King - the man who was at the center of the infamous Los Angeles riots, was found dead 6/17/12. He was 47. According to TMZ, King's fiancée, Cynthia Kelly, found him dead at the bottom of a swimming pool.

Yvette Wilson - died 6/14/2012 after battling cervical cancer. She was 48. The actress was best known for her role on the UPN sitcom Moesha as Andell Wilkerson. She starred in five seasons and its spinoff, The Parkers.

Herb Reed - Herb Reed, the last surviving original member of 1950s vocal group the Platters who sang on hits like "Only You" and "The Great Pretender," died 6/4/2012 in a Boston area hospice after a period of declining health that included chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 83.

Belita Karen Woods -A family spokesperson has confirmed that former “Parliament-Funkadelic” and“Brainstorm” singer, Belita Karen Woods, passed away on Monday evening 5/14/2012 from heart failure. She was 64 years old.

Donna Summer - died Thursday morning 5/17/12 after a battle with lung cancer. Lovingly named the "Queen of Disco," the 63-year-old was in Florida at the time of her death. The 5-time Grammy award winner rose to fame in the '70s with hits like "Hot Stuff," "Bad Girls" and "Love to Love You Baby."

Chuck Brown - Chuck Brown, who styled a unique mix of funk, soul and Latin party sounds to create go-go music in the nation's capital, has died after suffering from pneumonia. He was 75. Brown, widely acclaimed as the "Godfather of go-go" for his pioneering sound, died 5/16/12.

Jamaa Fanaka - A filmmaker who had considerable success in 1979 with “Penitentiary,” the first movie he made after graduating from film school, but who claimed to have been blacklisted afterward for raising questions about the dearth of jobs for black directors in Hollywood, died from complications of diabetes on April 1 in LA. He was 69.
Whitney Houston - Sources reports that Whitney Houston's body was found in her room at the Beverly Hilton hotel by her bodyguard. Attempts to resuscitate the singer were made by emergency personnel but she did not respond.

David Peaston - Sources close to R&B/gospel singer David Peaston are confirming the St. Louis native has died. Peaston died on 2/1/2012 from diabetes complications. He was 54. Peaston's longtime battle with diabetes led to the amputation of both his legs, beginning with his right leg in 2004.
Don Cornelius - Don Cornelius who came into the living rooms of many Americans with his funky, groovy dance show "Soul Train" died early 2/1/2012 of an apparent suicide. He was 75. Don considered a visionary and pioneer by many helped break down racial barriers and broaden the reach of black culture.
Etta James - the powerhouse singer who combined blues, gospel and R&B and emerged as a major star in the '50s and '60s, died after a long battle with leukemia. According to CNN, the sad news was confirmed by her friend and manager, Lupe De Leon. She was 73.
Jimmy Castor - Funk legend Jimmy Castor dies in Las Vegas at 71, Jimmy Castor, a New York funk and soul saxophonist, singer and songwriter whose tune, "It's Just Begun," morphed over 40 years into an anthem for generations of hip-hoppers and mainstream musical acts, died of apparent heart failure in a Las Vegas hospital.

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