Whitney Houston was 48. She reigned as pop music's queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown.
She is the only artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits with "Saving All My Love for You", "How Will I Know", "Greatest Love of All", "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)", "Didn't We Almost Have It All", "So Emotional", and "Where Do Broken Hearts Go". She also starred in the films The Bodyguard, Waiting to Exhale, The Preacher's Wife and Cinderella."
Then, there was this tune, which was absolutely everywhere back in 1992.
Ben Gazzara was 81. He was an intense actor best known for starring in the John Cassavetes films "Husbands", "The Killing of a Chinese Bookie" and "Opening Night". I remember him best as Jackie Treehorn, the pornography mogul and loan shark in the Coen brother's cult classic, The Big Lewbowski.
Angelo Dundee was 90. He was the brilliant motivator who worked the corner for Muhammad Ali in his greatest fights and willed Sugar Ray Leonard to victory in his biggest bout.
Don Cornelius was 75. He created "Soul Train," a show instrumental in bringing acts like James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson to a larger audience.
Robert Hegyes was 69. He portrayed Epstein in the 1970s television series Welcome Back, Kotter.
Joe Paterno was 85. He was head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions for 46 years from 1966 through 2011, accumulated 409 wins, the most in NCAA Division 1 history.
Etta James was 73. Her powerful, versatile and emotionally direct voice could enliven the raunchiest blues as well as the subtlest love songs, most indelibly in her signature hit, “At Last.”
For my money, nothing beats "I'd Rather Go Blind."
Sarah Burke was 29. She was a Canadian freestyle skier and four-time Winter X Games champion who was the first woman to land a 1080 in competition.
Jim Huber was 67. He was an Emmy Award winning journalist and essayist with Turner Sports and PGA.com. I remember him co-anchoring CNN Sports Tonight with Nick Charles, Fred Hickman, Vince Cellini and others in the 90s. His work was always top notch.
His tweets the last few days tell us how quickly he passed. His leukemia diagnosis came on December 28th.
Here's Jim Huber on the last NBA season.
Joe Bodolai was 63. He was best known for producing and writing such television shows as Comics!, The Kids in the Hall and Saturday Night Live. He also co-wrote the first draft of the film Wayne's World with Mike Myers.
Before he took his own life, Joe Bodolai published his suicide note on his blog. You really have to read his final entry.
Things I Regret
- My inability to conquer my alcoholism
- The things I did because of it
- Leaving Canada
- Moving to Los Angeles
- Not fighting harder or making a better deal to stay with The Comedy Network I helped create
- Not being able to live up to the helping hand so many wonderful people offered me
- The hurt I caused in my family, friends, and maybe even strangers.
- That I am no longer able to withstand any more of life’s pain
- Most of all, the pain I have caused and am now causing my sons and the love of my life, my ex-wife Bianca, my love and connection with her is infinite
- The fact I will never get to repay the love and generosity you all deserve
It's a fascinating read. He published this entry on December 23 and took his life yesterday. I'm going to paste down the entry entry in the comments, just in case it goes offline at some point.
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