The world lost a lot of incredible voices, public figures, and performers in 2019. Before the year ends, we’re taking a look back at some of the biggest names and brightest stars we lost this year.
2019 offered a lot of thrilling news, prosperity, and major moments in pop culture. But among the exciting goings on of the year, there were somber moments where we lost a number of talented, inspiring public figures who changed a number of lives during their time. Some passed following a life full of excitement and accomplishment, while others were gone before their time.
One such star who was taken far too soon was rapper and activist Nipsey Hussle. The artist and philanthropist was murdered on March 31, 2019. At the time of his death, Nipsey was outside his store, Marathon Clothing, in Los Angeles, when he and two other people were shot. Although the two other victims recovered from their injuries, Nipsey was tragically pronounced dead upon arriving to the hospital. He was just 33 years old. Nipsey left behind two children and his longtime girlfriend, Lauren London. During his life, Nipsey devoted his time to completely transforming the neighborhood where he lived, inspiring young people to focus on their education, and building a community of support. As for his rapping career, Nipsey earned posthumous Grammy nominations for his work, which his partner Lauren was incredibly humbled by.
While Nipsey was clearly a legend in the making during his time, a star of the classic Hollywood era and screen legend passed after a storied career. Doris Day passed away at the age of 97 on May 13 after battling pneumonia. Throughout her career, Doris was an incredibly reliable, talented actress, who rose to stardom in the ’50s and ’60s. She earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in the romantic comedy Pillow Talk in 1959 and also lead a successful singing career. Doris was a beloved figure of a bygone era in Hollywood, and throngs of fans and performers who were inspired by her left loving messages and tributes following her passing.
However, no other public figure’s loss was as greatly felt as that of Elijah Cummings. After struggling through a number of health complications, the member of the House of Representatives passed away on Oct. 17 at the age of 68. Rep. Cummings dedicated his life to Civil Rights and became a staunch opponent of prejudice and racism in practice and policy. While attending Rep. Cummings’ funeral, former President Barack Obama offered some reflexive, thoughtful words to commemorate the politician during his eulogy. “[Honorable] is a title that we confer on all kinds of people who get elected to public office. We’re supposed to introduce them as Honorable,” Obama said. “But Elijah Cummings was honorable before he was elected to office.” He went on to say that, for Rep. Cummings, being “a strong man includes being kind. There’s nothing weak about kindness and compassion. There’s nothing weak about looking out for others… You’re not a sucker to have integrity and to treat others with respect.”
It’s been a year of heartache and heartbreak when it comes to the incredible people we lost this year. Though 2019 offered a lot of news to be happy about, the year also demonstrated moments that were difficult to comprehend, with losses felt across the country. To see more famous faces we lost in 2019, click through the gallery above.