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Andre Braugher

Emmy-winning actor Andre Braugher, born July 1, 1962, died on Dec. 11 at the age of 61 from lung cancer. Braugher was best known for his work on “Homicide: Life on the Street.” He also appeared in the television comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”

Ellen Holly 

Ellen Holly was born on January 16, 1931. Holly was an American actress best known for One Life to Live. Holly passed away on December 6,2023 at the age of 92.

George ‘Funky’ Brown

Brown was born on Jan. 15, 1949, and was a legendary talent in the music industry as he was the founding and longtime drummer of Kool & the Gang and one of the band’s primary songwriters. Brown passed away on Nov. 16 at 74 years old due to lung cancer.

Walter Davis

Davis was born on Sept 9, 1954, and passed away Nov. 2 at 69 years old from natural causes. Davis was a standout basketball guard at the University of North Carolina from 1973-1977. He was also a member of the USA Men’s Basketball team in the 1976 Summer Olympics, resulting in them winning gold. Davis was drafted by the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the 1977 NBA draft.

Aaron Spears

Spears was born on Oct. 26, 1976, and passed away on Oct. 30 at 47 due to unspecified reasons. Spears was a Grammy-nominated drummer who played with Usher, Ariana Grande, and many other major pop stars. He started as a gospel drummer in a band in his late 20s before being hired by Usher, and toured with the singer-songwriter before receiving a Grammy Award nomination as a producer of two tracks on Usher’s 2004 album “Confessions,” which was nominated for album of the year and sold more than 15 million copies. 

Richard Roundtree

Roundtree was born on Jul. 9, 1942, and passed away Oct. 24, due to cancer. Roundtree is best known for his role as Detective John Shaft in the ‘70s action thriller “Shaft.” The success of the film led to more Black actors securing lead roles in films and shows. 

DJ Mark The 45 King

Mark Howard James was born on Oct. 16, 1961, and passed away Oct. 19, at the age of 62. James was an American hip-hop producer and DJ from The Bronx, New York. James has worked with artists such as Chill Rob G, Lakim Shabazz, Apache, Queen Latifah, and Jay-Z. He has several build board charting hits in the USA and UK. 

Rudolph Isley

Isley was born on Apr. 1, 1939, and passed away on Oct. 12 due to a heart attack at the age of 84. Isley was a founding member of the music group the Isley Brothers. The group was created in the mid-50s, lasting until the 80s, and ended due to internal turmoil. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. 

Hughes Van Ellis

Van Ellis was born in 1921. He was one of three remaining survivors of the 1923 Tulsa Race Massacre that resulted in attackers burning and destroying more than 35 square blocks of the neighborhood—at the time, one of the wealthiest Black communities in the United States, colloquially known as “Black Wall Street,” in 1921. Ellis was an army vet and died on Oct. 9 due to cancer. 

Zoleka Mandela

Mandela was born Apr. 9, 1980, and passed away Sept. 25 due to breast cancer. Mandela was the granddaughter of Nelson Mandela’s second wife Winnie. Mandela was the U.N. global ambassador and part of the World Health Organization, advocating for road safety, cancer awareness, and women’s rights. She also wrote two books, “When Hope Whispers” and “Zoleka Mandela: My Life” where she shares her struggles and triumphs.

David Mack lll

Mack was born on Dec. 13, 1953, and passed away on Sept. 20, at the age of 69. Mack was known for his services as a civil rights and equality activist and served in the South Carolina House District 109 from 1997 to 2021. He was also an active member of the S.C. Coalition for Black Voters Participation. 

Irish Grinstead

Grinstead was born on Jun. 2, 1980, and passed away on Sept. 16 due to unknown medical issues at the age of 43. Grinstead was known for being a part of a R&B group 702, with her sisters in the 90s. During their career, 702 was nominated for an American Music Award, a BET Award, and multiple Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards, winning best R&B/soul album of the year by a group, band, or duo for No Doubt.

Mike Williams 

Williams was born on May 18, 1987, and passed away Sept. 12 due to a construction accident. Williams was an NFL Wide receiver playing for teams such as Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, and Kansas City Chiefs from 2010-2016. He was 36 years old.

Brandon Hunter

Hunter was born on Nov. 24, 1980, and passed away on Sept. 12 during a hot yoga session, with reports stating an unknown medical condition as the reason for death. Hunter was an NBA player for the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic and had stints playing overseas. He was 42 years old. 

Bill Pinkney

Pinkney was born on Aug. 15, 1925, and passed away on Jul. 4, 2007, due to a heart attack. Pinkney was an American performer and singer for the group The Drifters. Pinkney was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was 81 years old. 

Ron Cephas Jones

Jones was born on Jan. 8, 1957, and passed away on Aug. 19, due to a long-standing pulmonary issue. He was an American actor best known for his role as Ice in “Paid in Full’ and William Hill in “This Is Us.” He was 66 years old. 

Clarence Avant

Avant was born on Feb. 25, 1931, and passed away on Aug. 13, after being found in his home unresponsive. Avant was known for being the “Godfather of Black Music” as he was the manager of several high-profile artists, R&B singer Little Willie John, jazz singers Sarah Vaughan, Kim Weston, Luiz Bonfa, Wynton Kelly, Freddie Hubbard, Curtis Fuller, Pat Thomas, rock and roll pioneer Tom Wilson. He was 92 years old.


Melvin “Magoo” Barcliff was born on Jul. 12, 1973, and passed away Aug. 13, due to unknown health complications. Magoo was a rapper best known for his tracks “Up Jump Da Boogie,” and “Luv 2 Luv U.” He was 50 years old. 

Willie Perry Jr

Perry was born on May 31, 1965, and passed away Aug. 7,  due to kidney and liver cancer. Perry was a disc jockey and went by the alias DJ Casper. He created the song Cha Cha Slide. He was 68 when he died.

Charles Ogletree

Ogletree was born on Dec. 31, 1952, and passed away on Aug. 4 due to health as he had Alzheimer’s disease. Ogletree was known for his profound intellect and created the Harvard Criminal Justice Institute, a clinic program through which law students represent indigent Boston-area clients in criminal court. He was 70 years old.

Sheila Oliver

Oliver was born on Jul. 14, 1952, and passed away on Aug. 1 due to an undisclosed medical issue, according to her family. Oliver was the first woman of color to serve in a statewide elected office in New Jersey and served as the state lieutenant governor for five years. She was 71 years old. 

YNG Cheese

Devin Spady, AKA YNG Cheese, better known as Gillie Da Kid’s son, was born on Apr. 7, 1998, and was murdered on Jul. 20 after being a victim of a triple homicide. YNG Cheese was an aspiring rapper, and his death rocked the hip-hop community. He was 25 at the time of the shooting. 

Mutulu Shakur

Born on Aug. 8, 1950, Jeral Wayne Williams was a New Afrikan activist and a member of the Black Liberation Army. He was sentenced to sixty years in prison for his involvement in a 1981 robbery of a Brinks armored truck in which a guard and two police officers were murdered. He was also Tupac Shakur’s stepfather. He died on July 7, at the age of 72, due to possible cancer.  

Clark Haggans

Haggans was born on Jan. 10, 1977, and was an American professional football player who was a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL). He played 12 seasons with the Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, and San Francisco 49ers. Haggans passed away on Jun. 19 at the age of 46. 

Big Pokey

Milton Jerome Powell Jr was born on Nov. 29, 1974, and passed away on Jun. 18 due to atherosclerosis and hypertensive heart disease after collapsing on stage during a performance. Powell was a Houston rapper going by Big Pokey and was one of the original members of the Screwed Up Click. He was 48. 

Ray Lewis lll

Lewis lll was born on June 5, 1995. He was a collegiate running back for Miami, Coastal Carolina, and Virginia Union and was the son of Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis. He passed away on Jun. 15 at the age of 28 due to a drug overdose. 

John Beasley 

Beasley was born on Jun 26, 1943, and passed away on May 30 due to health deprivation at the age of 79. Beasley was an actor known for his roles in the films “Rudy,” “The General’s Daughter,” “The Sum of All Fears,” “Walking Tall”, “The Purge: Anarchy” and “Sinister 2.”

Bill Perkins

Perkins born on Feb. 2, 1969. He was a New York City Democrat politician who served on the city council and state senate over three decades from 1997 to 2017. He died May. 16, at the age of 74. No cause of death was reported. 

Larry “Gator” Rivers

Rivers was born on May 6, 1949, and passed away on Apr. 29, at age 73 to cancer. Rivers was a basketball player for the famous Harlem Globetrotters for 16 seasons.

Sheldon Reynolds

Reynolds was born Sept. 13, 1959, and passed away on May 23 at the age of 63. He was an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He was a member of bands Sun, The Commodores, and Earth, Wind & Fire.

Tina Turner

Born Anna Mae Bullock on Nov. 26, 1939, and passed away on May 24, at the age of 83 due to multiple life-threatening illnesses. Turner was a singer, songwriter, and actress. Known as the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, she rose to prominence as the lead singer of the husband-wife duo Ike & Tina Turner before launching a successful career as a solo performer.  

Jim Brown

Brown was born on Feb. 17, 1936, and passed away on May 18, at the age of 87, due to natural causes. He was an American football fullback, civil rights activist, and actor. He played for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL) from 1957 through 1965. Considered to be one of the greatest running backs of all time and one of the greatest players in NFL history. 

Tori Bowie

Bowie was born on Aug. 27, 1990, and passed away on Apr. 23, at the age of 32, due to complications during childbirth. She was an American track and field athlete who competed in the long jump, 100 and 200 meters. She won the silver medal in the 100 m and bronze in the 200 m at the 2016 Rio Olympics, bronze and gold in the 100 m at the 2015 and 2017 World Championships, respectively, and also earned gold medals as part of U.S. women’s 4 ? 100 m relays at both the 2016 Olympic Games and 2017 World Championships.

Harry Belafonte

Harold George Bellanfanti Jr. was born on Mar. 1, 1927, and passed away on Apr. 25, at the age of 96, due to congestive heart failure. He was an American singer, actor, and civil rights activist who popularized calypso music with international audiences in the 1950s and 1960s. Belafonte’s career breakthrough album, “Calypso,” was the first million-selling LP by a single artist. 

Rasheeda Williams

Rasheeda Williams, AKA Koko Da Doll

Williams was born in either 1987 or 1988. She was an American performance artist. She was murdered due to gun violence and died on April 18, 2023. She was 35.

Otis Redding III

Redding III was born on Dec. 17, 1963. He was a musician and son of Otis Redding Jr. He kept his father’s legacy alive with a funk band called The Reddings. Otis Redding III died on April 18. He was 59.

Ahmad Jamal

Jamal was born on July 2, 1930. He was a jazz pianist and musician. Jamal passed away on April 16, 2023 due to complications from prostate cancer.  He was 92.

Howell Wayans

Wayans was born on Aug. 26, 1936. He was a supermarket manager and father to Shawn and Marlon Wayans, both famous actors. He died on April 1, 2023. He was 86.

Randall Robinson

Robinson born on July 6, 1941. He was an American writer, lawyer and political activist. He died on March 24. He was 81.

Willis Reed 

Reed Jr. was born on June 25, 1942. He was an American basketball player and two NBA championship winner, coach, and general manager. Reed passed away on March 21. He was 80.

Lance Reddick

Reddick born on June 7, 1962. He was an actor, best known for starring on “The Wire” and in the “John Wick” movie series. Reddick was an aspiring musician as well. Reddick passed away from natural causes at the age of 60 on March 17. 

Felton Spencer

Spencer was born on Jan 5, 1968. He was an NBA player, who played center for many teams. NBA teams include the Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz, Orlando Magic, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, and New York Knicks. Spencer passed away on March 12 at age 55.

Otis Taylor 

Taylor was born on Aug. 11, 1942. He was a former NFL wide receiver and made his way into the Hall of Fame during his lifetime. Taylor suffered from Parkinson’s disease and dementia for over a decade. Taylor passed away on March 9 at the age of 80. 

Wayne Shorter 

Shorter was born on Aug. 25, 1933. He was a legendary jazz musician and an American jazz saxophonist, composer and bandleader. Shorter passed away on March 2 at the age of 89 in Los Angeles. 

Zandra Flemister 

Flemister was born on Nov. 21, 1951. She was hired as the first Black female Secret Service. Flemister leaves behind a legacy of a prestigious political career. Flemister went on to spend three decades as a foreign service officer and rose to the upper ranks of senior foreign service. Flemister passed away on Feb. 21 due to complications from Alzheimer’s. She was 71.

Huey ‘Piano’ Smith

Smith born on Jan. 26, 1934. He was an American rhythm-and-blues pianist. He was well-known for his two-fisted keyboard style and unique, rambunctious songs, blending the New Orleans R&B with pop. Smith died on Feb. 13 at age 89. 

Lorenzo “Lo” Jelks

“Lo” Jelks was the first television Black television reporter. Jelks is in the Atlanta Press Club Hall of Fame. Exact date of birth and death unknown. He was 83.

Thomas W. Dortch Jr.

Dortch was born on April 12, 1950. He was a Chairman of the Board of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. He was also a former leader of 100 Black Men of America. Thomas passed away on Feb. 15 at age 72. 

Stanley Wilson Jr.

Wilson Jr. was born on Nov. 5, 1982. He was a former cornerback with the Detroit Lions. Wilson died on Feb. 1 while in police custody. He was 40.

AKA, rapper

Kiernan Jarryd Forbes was born on Jan. 28, 1988. He was otherwise known as AKA. AKA was a South African rapper. AKA was shot to death outside of a restaurant in Durban on Feb. 10 at age 35.

Roslyn Pope

Pope was born on Oct. 29, 1938. He was known as the “Thomas Jefferson” of Atlanta’s civil rights movement. Roslyn Pope wrote a manifesto in college that set the stage for dramatic advances in civil rights. Pope died on Jan. 19 at age 84. 

Charlie Thomas

Thomas was born on April 7, 1937. He was a silken-voiced R&B singer and part of the group, Drifiers. He had several hits such as “There Goes My Baby” and “Under the Boardwalk”. Thomas was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Fame. Thomas died on Jan. 31 at age 85. 

Trugoy the Dove 

Trugoy the Dove, also known as David Jude Jolicoeur, was born on Sept. 21, 1968. He was a rapper and best known for being a part of the group, De La Soul and his groundbreaking debut “3 Feet High and Rising”. Trugoy the Dove was 54. 

Barrett Strong

Strong was born on feb. 5, 1941. He was a singer and songwriter. Strong was well-known for his hit, “Money” (That’s What I Want). This was the first hit single for the Motown record label. Strong died on Jan. 28 at age 82. 

Brandon Smiley

Smiley was born on Feb. 9, 1990. He was a comedian and actor. He was the son of Ricky Smiley He died of fentanyl and ethanol toxicity on Jan. 29 due to addiction.  He was 32.

Jessie Lemonier

Lemonier was born on Jan. 31, 1997. He played linebacker for the Detroit Lions, Arizona Cardinals, Birmingham Stallions, and the Los Angeles Chargers. He died on Jan. 26 at age 25. 

CJ Harris 

Harris was born on Jan. 28, 1991. He was an American singer and songwriter and was on American Idol. CJ Harris died of a heart attack on Jan. 15 at age 31. 

Arthur Duncan

Duncan was born on Sept. 25, 1925. He was an American tap dancer and was known as “Entertainer’s Entertainer.” He passed away on Jan. 14 at age 89. 

Charles White 

White was born on Jan. 22, 1958. He was a Heisman Trophy winner and a member of the USC Trojans’ 1978 national championship team. He is the leading rusher with 6,245 and 59 touchdowns. He passed away on Jan. 11 after fighting a battle with cancer. He was 64.


Kevin Lemons 

Lemons was born on Sept. 12, 1978. He began a music ministry in 1996 called Kevin Lemons & Higher Calling. Lemons died on Jan. 7 at age 44. 

Gordy Harmon

Harmon was born on June 1, 1943. He was a founding member of the beloved R&B group, the Whispers. He died of natural causes in his sleep on Jan. 5 at age 79.

Gangsta Boo

Chantrel Mitchell was born on Aug. 7, 1979. She was otherwise known as Gangsta Boo. She was a part of Three 6 Mafia. She also worked with well-known artists like Eminem, Run the Jewels, La Chat, Latto, GloRilla, Outkast, Foxy Brown, Tinashe,Lil Jon, and Yelawolf. Gangsta Boo passed away on Jan. 1 at age 43. 

Fred White

White was born on Jan. 13, 1955. He was an American musician and songwriter with the group Earth Wind and Fire. Fred White died on Jan. 1 at age 67.