As the year draws to a close, it is a time to commemorate those we have lost in the last 12 months.
Music icons including Tina Turner, Burt Bacharach and Sinead O’Connor are among the famous faces who sadly died in 2023, along with stars of stage and screen such as Raquel Welch, Matthew Perry and Sir Michael Gambon, and sporting legends Sir Bobby Charlton, Terry Venables and Gianluca Vialli.
Other celebrities who died this year include Paul O’Grady and Barry Humphries, along with well-known names from the worlds of politics and business, such as Mohamed Al Fayed and Silvio Berlusconi.
As 2023 comes to an end, here’s a look back at the lives and careers of those from the worlds of music, film, TV, fashion, sport, royalty, politics and business who we’ve said goodbye to.
JANUARY One of the most influential rock singers of the 1960s and 1970s, American singer-songwriter David Crosby co-founded both The Byrds and Crosby, Stills And Nash – later Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of both groups, and also released several records as a solo performer.
Crosby died at the age of 81, following a long illness, with his wife, Jan, saying in tribute: “Although he is no longer here with us, his humanity and kind soul will continue to guide and inspire us. His legacy will continue to live on through his legendary music.”
British rock legend Jeff Beck rose to fame with The Yardbirds and went on to become a solo star who incorporated hard rock, jazz, blues and even opera into his music.
Known for his love of improvising, he won eight Grammy awards and like Crosby was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice. In 2022, he released a collaborative album with his friend Johnny Depp, who was one of the many varied performers – including Luciano Pavarotti, Rod Stewart, Macy Gray, Chrissie Hynde, Joss Stone, Imelda May and Cyndi Lauper – he worked with over the years.
“I don’t care about the rules,” Beck once said when describing his music style. “In fact, if I don’t break the rules at least 10 times in every song then I’m not doing my job properly.”
He died aged 78 after “suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis”, his family said in a statement, with stars including Kiss’s Gene Simmons, Queen’s Brian May and Rolling Stones stars Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood paying tribute.
Italian football hero Gianluca Vialli was the son of a self-made millionaire, who grew up in a mansion in Lombardy – but money could not buy his natural skill as a footballer.
He was best known in the UK for his time with Chelsea, the club for which he scored 40 goals in 88 games between 1996 and 1999. He then became manager – winning the FA Cup with the club in both roles. Before his move to London, he had played for Juventus, who signed him in what was a record deal back in 1992.
Following his death, aged 58, tributes described a hugely skilled footballer – but also a beloved man. His former teammate Graeme Souness, who played alongside him at Sampdoria, told Sky Sports: “I can’t tell you how good a guy he was. Forget football, he was just a gorgeous soul. He was just a truly nice human being.”
Obituary: Italy says goodbye to a footballing genius
As the only child of the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, Lisa Marie Presley was the sole heir to her father’s Graceland estate and seemed destined for a life of music royalty.
She went on to have her own career in the spotlight, scoring two US Top 10 albums, and was famously married to both Michael Jackson and Nicholas Cage. But her life was beset by tragedy, including the loss of her son in 2020.
Presley died aged 54 after suffering a cardiac arrest at her home in Calabasas, California, with her mother Priscilla describing her as “the most passionate, strong and loving woman I have ever known”.
Read more: The tragic life of Lisa Marie Presley
Yorkshire-born actor Julian Sands was best known for his roles in films including A Room With A View, Arachnophobia, Leaving Las Vegas, and Warlock, as well as TV appearances in 24, Smallville and Banshee.
In the years before his death, he had appeared in one-man stage shows reciting the poetry of Harold Pinter, John Keats and Percy Shelley.
A keen hiker and mountaineer, the 65-year-old was reported missing in January 2023 after he failed to return from a trek in the Mount Baldy region of the San Gabriel mountains in California. His death was not confirmed until June, when his remains were discovered.
Giving a newspaper interview in 2020, Sands said he was happiest when he was “close to a mountain summit on a glorious cold morning”.
Obituary: ‘Endearing, eccentric and fearless’ actor died ‘doing what he loved’
Other stars and notable figures who died in January 2023 include:
Supermodel Tatjana Patitz, one of the five stars of George Michael’s Freedom video
Rapper Gangsta Boo
Founding Motown artist Barrett Strong
Earth, Wind & Fire drummer Fred White
Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida
‘Grande Dame’ of British cinema Sylvia Sims
Rally driver and YouTube star Ken Block
Wednesday Addams actress Lisa Loring
24 star Annie Wersching
Author Fay Weldon
Bachman-Turner Overdrive drummer Robbie Bachman
FEBRUARY One of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century, Burt Bacharach penned more than 500 tracks – which went on to be performed by more than 1,200 different artists – across his seven-decade career. They include Magic Moments, I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself, Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head, I Say A Little Prayer, Walk On By, Close To You, to name just a handful of his accomplishments.
A skilled pianist as well as a composer, he was a six-time Grammy winner and three-time Oscar winner whose talent earned him comparisons with music greats including George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Richard Rodgers. Over the years he collaborated or wrote for everyone, from Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin to Tom Jones and even Dr Dre.
Remixes and samples of his work kept him in the public consciousness long after he stopped turning out the hits, as did Hollywood’s use of many of his tunes in film soundtracks.
Chuck Jackson, an American R&B singer who was one of the first artists to record material by Bacharach and lyricist Hal David successfully, died just days after the composer, aged 85. Bacharach died at the age of 94, with tributes paid by artists of all ages. “RIP Maestro,” wrote Noel Gallagher in his. “It was a pleasure to have known you.”
Obituary: The composer who soundtracked generations
Raquel Welch was a Hollywood bombshell whose career spanned more than 50 years, including 30 films and dozens of TV series and appearances.
She won a Golden Globe for best actress in 1975 for her role in The Three Musketeers, and appeared in hit films including Legally Blonde later in her career.
However, thanks to its iconic publicity still featuring Welch in a deer-skin bikini, it is her role in the 1966 prehistoric adventure fantasy One Million Years BC she will be most remembered for, despite having just a few lines of dialogue in the film.
The star died aged 82 after a short illness, her management company said, and had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
De La Soul are regarded as one of the most innovative groups in rap history, and David Jude Jolicoeur – known as Trugoy the Dove and pictured centre above – was one of the founding members, alongside Kelvin “Posdnuos” Mercer and Vincent “Maseo” Mason.
Their debut studio album 3 Feet High And Rising was praised as a light-hearted and positive counterpart to harder rap offerings at the time of its release in 1989; sampling everyone from Johnny Cash and Steely Dan to Hall & Oates, De La Soul signalled the beginning of alternative hip-hop.
Jolicoeur, who died at the age of 54, five years after revealing he was suffering from congenitive heart failure, also co-wrote songs including Gorillaz’s Feel Good Inc. His death came just a month after it was announced that De La Soul’s classic back catalogue would be made available for digital streaming for the first time.
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