Every year, the music industry loses artists whose lives once brought us great joy, excitement and comfort. Unfortunately, 2019 is no different, as we close out the year with the truly devastating passing of 21-year-old Juice WRLD. The beloved rapper died early this month after suffering a seizure in Chicago’s Midway airport, according to TMZ.
Wu-Tang Clan affilliate and mentor Popa Wu is the culture's latest legend to pass, as the 63-year-old died yesterday morning (Monday 12/17) in his Brooklyn home. Read on as we remember the OG, as well as every other voice we lost this year.
Best known as a member of the R&B group The Floaters, who scored the 1977 hit “Float On,” Larry Cunningham passed away from a heart attack at age 67.
The two-time Grammy Award-winner, remembered for his 1982 duet with Patti Austin, “Baby, Come to Me,” died at 66-years-old after battling brain cancer.
The R&B musician, who started his career in the 1950s at Fortune Records in Detroit, passed away at 82-years-old. His most famous songs include the hits “Jail Bait,” “Greasy Chicken” and “Cadillac Jack.”
The West Coast legend was murdered in the parking lot of his store, Marathon Clothing, in South Los Angeles. Hussle, who was an active philanthropist and often gave back to his community, rose to mainstream prominence after his debut album, Victory Lap, was released last February. He was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards.
The soul, gospel, and house music singer, known for her dance hits “It Makes a Difference,” “C’est La Vie” and “My Destiny,” died at 48-years-old from kidney failure in Chicago.
One of the founding members of ‘50s doo-wop group, The Dells, Charles “Chuck” Barksdale passed away in Chicago at age 84. The Dells scored hits including, “Oh, What a Night” and “Always Together.” Robert Townsend mourned Barksdale’s passing on Facebook, noting how the group played a significant role as technical advisors on his 1991 cult classic, The Five Heartbeats.
Melvin Edmonds, the older brother of super-producer Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds and co-founding member of the R&B group After 7, died at age 67. After 7 rose to fame in the 1990s with the hits "Ready or Not" and "Heat of the Moment.”
The beloved vocal producer and arranger, known for his songwriting credits for Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, Toni Braxton, Brandy and Whitney Houston, died from injuries related to a car crash in South Carolina at age 41. The New Jersey native co-wrote Destiny’s Child’s Grammy-winning track “Say My Name” and Lady Gaga’s “Telephone.”
The renowned international opera star passed away at age 74 from multi-organ failure in New York. The Grammy Award-winner was known for her passionate soprano voice and her humanitarian endeavors. She was also awarded the National Medal of Arts at the Kennedy Center Honors.
Jamarr Antonio “Bad Azz” Stamps was a member of Tha Dogg Pound Gangsta Crips, also known as DPGC. The emcee, who was close friends with Snoop Dogg, passed away at 43-years-old while in a Riverside, California detention center.
The hip-hop community was devastated after Juice WRLD, born Jarad Anthony Higgins, suddenly passed away upon landing at Chicago’s Midway Airport. Last year, SoundCloud named the 21-year-old the most streamed, liked, and reposted artist on its platform in 2018. He was best known for his hit singles “All Girls Are The Same" and "Lucid Dreams."
While the cause of death is still unknown, it's been reported that Wu-Tang Clan advisor and father figure Popa Wu passed away yesterday morning in his Brooklyn home. An expert in Five Percent philosophy, the OG also known as Freedum Allah served as a spitirual mentor for the group. Tributes from various Wu-Tang members have poured in, including words from Raekwon, Ghostface Killah and Popa Wu's younger cousin GZA.
(Photo L-R: Lars Niki/Getty Images for Hulu and Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for MTV)