Attrel "Prince Be" Cordes was 46. He was the first black rapper to top the Billboard Hot 100 with P.M. Dawn's single "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss."
In August of 2013, I took my oldest daughter to her first concert. She wanted to see Selena Gomez at the ACC and I bought a couple of tickets. It was the first pop concert I ever attended.
The opening act was an artist named Christina Grimmie. I didn't know a thing about her, but as I wrote at the time, she was great and one of her songs really got to me. That song was With Love, and my daughter and I shared an admiration for that song that survives to this very day.
It just so happens that today was one of those jam-packed father-daughter days. My alarm went off early so I could bike to High Park with my daughter for the High Park Derby, a soccer tournament her house league team was participating in. Then, on our ride home along the Waterfront Trail, we spotted Toronto Raptor James Johnson, who was kind enough to pose for a pic with my Raptors-loving little girl. Then, it was off to her second of four dance recitals this weekend.
While at this 1pm dance recital, I decided to check in on Twitter. That's when I read the news. 22-year old Christina Grimmie was dead.
Christina was shot while signing autographs after a performance. It was a targeted killing by someone who had taken his own life after shooting her three times. It was so senseless and sad. After my daughter's performance, I sat her down and told her the news.
Our father-daughter day continued, with a visit to the Grilled Cheese Challenge and SanRemo Bakery, and soon, yet another dance recital. And we still have With Love, only now, it's a bittersweet memory. So very sad... so very senseless...
Gordie Howe was 88. Mr. Hockey's career record of 1,850 points over his 26 year NHL stood until it was broken by Wayne Gretzky in 1989.
Here's a wonderful story about the Great Gordie Howe.
Kimbo Slice was 42. He was a mixed martial arts fighter who became an internet sensation by starring in bare-knuckle fights, often conducted in backyards, posted online.
Bobby Curtola was 73. He was a teen idol in Canada during the early 1960s, best known for the singles Fortune Teller and Aladdin.
Muhammad Ali was 74. Nicknamed "The Greatest," he held the heavyweight title a record three times, and Sports Illustrated named him the top sportsman of the 20th century.
He became a symbol for black liberation during the 1960s as he stood up to the U.S. government by refusing to go into the Army for religious reasons.
As I wrote on his 70th birthday, there are only a handful of athletes who manage to transcend their respective sports to become true global icons. Muhammad Ali tops that list.
John Brophy was 83. He spent the bulk of his hockey career as a player and coach in the Eastern Hockey League but I knew him best as head coach of the Leafs from 1986 to 1988.
He was coach for one of my first favourite Maple Leafs memories, a first round sweep of the Chicago Black Hawks in 1985-86.
John Brophy was the Steve Martin of the EHL, but this photo proves he wasn't born with white hair. pic.twitter.com/T0xTth7N60— Toronto Mike (@torontomike) May 23, 2016
The John Brophy the masses know pic.twitter.com/VEsM0RROeC— Toronto Mike (@torontomike) May 23, 2016
John Brophy was not the most enlightened fellow, nor was he politically correct, but damn was he interesting.— Toronto Mike (@torontomike) May 23, 2016
Morley Safer was 84. He was the Toronto-born CBS newsman who changed war reporting forever when he showed GIs burning the huts of Vietnamese villagers and went on to become the iconic 60 Minutes correspondent.
Born in Toronto! In 1931! https://t.co/dK79IMAv2i— Toronto Mike (@torontomike) May 11, 2016
Prince was 57. He pioneered "the Minneapolis sound" and took on the music industry in his fight for creative freedom. He won seven Grammy Awards, and has earned 30 nominations. Five of his singles have topped the charts and 14 other songs hit the Top 10. He won an Oscar for the original song score to the classic film "Purple Rain."
Chyna was 45. Joanie Laurer wrestled in the WWF as Chyna where she was billed as the "Ninth Wonder of the World".
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