Clarence “the Big Man” Clemons
January 11, 1942- June 18, 2011
The legendary saxophonist of the E Street Band died from complications from a stroke.
Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth
March 18, 1922- October 5, 2011
The civil rights icon died at age 89 when he lost his battle to cancer. He was well known for helping Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement and for enduring physical abuse in his fight for freedom.
Nathaniel D. Hale (a.k.a. ‘Nate Dogg’)
August 19, 1969- March 15, 2011
The hip-hop icon died at age 41 from complications from a stroke that he suffered in 2007 that left him partly paralyzed. He was a big part of the west coast rap scene and collaborated with artists like Warren G and 50 Cent.
December 1, 1957- September 23, 2011
The 80s diva known for her powerful voice was found dead in a California hotel room. Authorities found prescriptions drugs nearby and attribute the death to an accident or suicide. She was 48 years old.
Dwight ” Heavy D.” Arrignton Myers
May 24, 1967- November 9, 2011
Heavy D was one of the greatest rap artists of the of 80s and 90s. The New York-based rapper died after from natural causes. He was only 44 years old.
March 6, 1936- September 29, 2011
The woman known as the “Mother of Hip-hop” died of congestive heart failure. She was 75 years old.
Gil Scott Heron
April 1, 1949- May 27, 2011
The singer/songwriter behind the 70s classic “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” passed away in City Hospital in New York. The precise cause of death remains unknown.
December 7, 1969 – November 29, 2011
The famous comedian passed away at age 41 from complications from a stroke that had left him unable to speak. He was seen on Chappelle’s Show and on the Comedy Central roast of Charlie Sheen.
Charles Aaron “Bubba” Smith
February 28, 1945- August 3, 2011
The football player turner actor (Police Academy) passed away of an acute use of the diet drug phentermine. He also suffered from heart disease and high blood pressure. He was 66 years old.
April 1, 1940- September 25, 2011
The first African woman to win a Noble Prize died at age 71 after a long struggle with cancer.
August 4, 1939- December 2, 2011
The American soul singer and songwriter was found dead in his New Jersey apartment at the age of 72. It was reported that he passed away of natural causes.
September 20, 1917- May 30, 2011
The Obie award winning Broadway star and adorable grandmother from The Cosby Show died at age 93 in her home in Englewood, New Jersey. Her cause of death was congestive heart failure.
Corey “DJ Megatron” McGriff
August 11, 1978- March 27, 2011
The host of the show What’s Good?, was shot while heading to a store near his home in Staten Island, New York. Police found him on an early Sunday morning with a gun wound to his chest. He was 32 years old.
Mante Ray “M Bone” Talbert
September 17, 1989- May 15,2011
Famous for being 1/4 of the group Cali Swag District that became known last year for their hit “Teach Me How To Dougie”. He was killed in a drive-by shooting by a liquor store in his native Inglewood, California.
Mia Amber Davis
July 25, 1975- May 10, 2011
Famous plus size model and actress from the movie Road Trip passed away after routine knee surgery. Autopsy revealed that she had suffered from a pulmonary thrombo-embolism.
March 12, 1938- September 26, 2011
Famous for introducing his energetic style to gospel music. He died in Chicago at the age of 73. The family said that he had been sick but declined any further details.
September 24, 1941- July 6,2011
Pro football Hall Of Fame recipient who played 10 seasons for the Baltimore Colts and the San Diego Chargers. He was 69 years old and had been suffering from dimensia for many years.
January 12, 1944 – November 7, 2011
The legendary boxer responsible for handing Muhammad Ali his first loss, lost his fight to liver cancer at age 67.
Joseph “Pinetop” Perkins
July 7, 1913- May 21, 2011
He was famous for being Muddy Waters’ beloved piano man. He died of complications due to old age when he was 97.
1974 – 20 April 2011
Gerard Smith was a bassist and keyboard player for the Indie rock band TV On The Radio, died of lung cancer. He was 34 years old.
February 20, 1962- February 21, 2011
Creator of the television series Static Shock was an American comic book artist. Cause of deaths till remains unknown, he was 49 years old.
Walter “Walt” Hazzard
April 15, 1942- November 18,2011
A basketball star at UCLA and in the NBA . He was also UCLA team head coach for many years during the 1980s. He died from complications to a previous heart surgery.
William “Willie Big Eyes” Smith
January 19, 1936 – September 16, 2011
Famous for being a Grammy award winning blues musician. He passed away at age 75 from a stroke.
David “Honeyboy” Edwards
June 28, 1915- August 29, 2011
Famous for being the leading voice of the Delta Blues for over 80 years. He passed away at the age of 96 from health complications due to heart problems.
May 4, 1941- August 22, 2011
Was highly known for his collaborations in songs like “Solid” with partner Valerie Simpson, photographed above, who later became his wife. He passed after a long struggle with throat cancer.
September 25, 1923- December 26, 2011
Sam Rivers was a jazz musician and composer. He was known during the 1960’s for his mastery of free jazz. Rivers died from pneumonia at the age of 88.
Aug. 8, 1932 – December 11, 2011
Dukes was a prominent Washington, D.C., public-relations executive who represented major civil-rights figures and entertainers and who helped focus support for a national holiday honoring MLK.
1933 – December 28, 2011
A legendary Detroit newsman and publisher of the Michigan Chronicle, died at his Detroit home at age 78.
April 11, 1939 – December 26, 2011
Former NFL defensive end, played with the New England Patriots and Houston Oilers.
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2011 marked the year of the deaths of many influential African-American icons. From Joe Frazier, the man that handed Muhammad Ali his first defeat to M Bone one of the young men who showed us how to “Dougie”. There was also Mia Amber Davis, a woman that helped make the curvacious look hip and Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win a Nobel Prize. We gained so much in 2011 and now is the time to remember those that we lost this year. Young or old all of these icons will surely have one thing on common: they will all remain unforgettable.