MUSIC

Stars gone too soon

Here are a few talented actors and singers who left us too soon. Their songs and films continue to inspire pop culture today.

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Kurt Cobain

The "Smells Like Teen Spirit" singer was known for his partying lifestyle and tumultuous relationship with Courtney Love. He suffered from depression and substance abuse. At the peak of his fame as Nirvana's frontman, Cobain took his own life at age 27.

AP

L'Wren Scott

Fashion designer and longtime girlfriend of Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger was found dead in her apartment of an apparent suicide at age 49. Friends and family were shocked by Scott's tragic death and reports swirled that the model was struggling with personal and professional problems.

Reuters

James Gandolfini

The world mourned a legend when "Sopranos" actor James Gandolfini died at age 51 of a heart attack while in Italy. He is survived by his wife, Deborah Lin, their baby daughter and his son Michael, with his ex-wife, Marcy Wudarski, from whom he was divorced in December 2002.

Reuters

Bruce Lee

The martial arts and movie star died from a fatal reaction to a muscle relaxant at age 32. He is best known for his roles in "Way of the Dragon" and "Fist of Fury."

AP

Heath Ledger

"The Dark Knight" actor posthumously won an Oscar for best supporting actor for his role as the joker. He was found dead of an accidental drug overdose in 2008. He is survived by daughter Matilda with fellow actor Michelle Williams.

AP

Buddy Holiday

The singer was only 22 when he died in a plane crash.

MCA

Farrah Fawcett

The multiple Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated American actress best known for her role as the vivacious Jill Munroe in the 1970s television series "Charlie's Angels," died at age 62 from cancer. Fawcett was diagnosed with anal cancer in September 2006 and, despite going into remission and enduring extensive chemotherapy and surgery both in the U.S. and Germany, it was later revealed that the cancer had spread to her liver. She stopped receiving treatment several months before her death.

AP

Adam Goldstein

Celebrity disc jockey Adam Goldstein, known as DJ AM, died at age 36 in 2009. Goldstein was a DJ for hire who performed at Hollywood's most exclusive parties. He became a celebrity in his own right with a glamorous lifestyle and high-profile romances, including with Nicole Richie and Mandy Moore.

Reuters

Bernie Mac

Bernie Mac, an Emmy and Golden Globe nominated actor and comedian, died at age 50 of complications from pneumonia. The comedian suffered from sarcoidosis, an inflammatory lung disease that produces tiny lumps of cells in the body's organs, but had said the condition went into remission in 2005. His film career started with a small role as a club doorman in the Damon Wayans movie "Mo' Money" in 1992. The comedian drew critical and popular acclaim with his Fox television series "The Bernie Mac Show," which aired more than 100 episodes from 2001 to 2006.

Reuters

John Belushi

Belushi was found dead in his hotel room in California by American martial artist Bill Wallace. He died of a cocaine and heroin overdose at age 33.

AP

Hank Williams, Sr.

Although Hank Williams, Sr. passed away at the young age of 29, the country legend left his mark on American music forever. The "Lovesick Blues" singer released 35 albums, five posthumously, and his children and grandchildren continue to grace the country charts today with their music. Williams passed away on January 1, 1953 from a heart attack thought to be caused by a toxic combination of drugs.

AP

Jim Morrison

The Doors frontman successful career was cut short when he died at age 27 from an apparent heroin overdose.

AP

Janis Joplin

Soulful singer Joplin was best known for her hits "Me and Bobby McGee" and "Piece of My Heart." The rocker died of a herion dose at 27 just sixteen days after the death of fellow musician Jimi Hendrix.

AP

Otis Redding

The influential soul and R&B singer died in a plane crash at age 26.

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Marilyn Monroe

Monroe is still a symbol of beauty and grace today. She died at age 36 from an accidental overdose.

AP

Steve Irwin

The hugely popular Australian television personality and conservationist known as the "Crocodile Hunter," was killed by a stingray while filming off the Great Barrier Reef at age 44.

Reuters

Princess Diana

Britian's beloved Princess Diana and her partner Dodi Al Fayed died when the Mercedes they were in plowed into a pillar in the Alma Tunnel on Aug. 31, 1997. French police said driver Henri Paul, who also died, had been drinking heavily and was speeding.

AP

Adam Yauch

Adam Yauch, aka MCA of the Beastie Boys, died at the age of 47 after a three-year battle with cancer in May of 2013. Yauch was diagnosed and treated for a cancerous parotid gland and a lymph node in 2009. He is survived by his wife Dechen Wangdu and 13-year-old daughter, Tenzin Losel Yauch.

Reuters

Clark Gable

Gable died from a coronary thrombosis, just ten days after suffering a severe heart. His only son and second child was born a few months later at the same hospital he died at. He was 59.

AP

Cory Monteith

The 31-year-old "Glee" star was found dead in his Vancouver hotel room on July 13, 2013. Monteith had just shot photos to promote the fifth season of "Glee" with his girlfriend and co-star Lea Michele prior to his untimely death. The actor had struggled with drug addiction since his teen years and had entered rehab in April.

Reuters

Elvis Presley

The entire world mourned the King of rock and roll when Presley died at the young of age of 52. The "Jailhouse Rock" singer's songs are still beloved today.

AP

Marvin Gaye

The "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" singer was fatally shot by his father in 1984, one day before turning 45.

AP

Lee Thompson Young

Lee Thompson Young, who starred in Disney’s “The Famous Jett Jackson” and most-recently in TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles,” committed suicide at age 29. The South Carolina native got his big break when he starred as the title character in “The Famous Jett Jackson” from 1998 to 2001. He then appeared in the Disney flick “Johnny Tsunami.” Young also appeared on the TV shows “Smallville” and “Scrubs.” He played detective Barry Frost on “Rizzoli & Isles.”

AP

John Lennon

Lennon was shot four times in the back by a crazy fan as he and wife Yoko Ono entered their New York City apartment building in 1980. Lennon was rushed to the hospital but was pronounced dead upon arrival.

AP

Mindy McCready

Country singer Mindy McCready died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on February 17, 2013. She was 37 and the mother of two young sons. McCready rose to fame in the 1990s but in recent years her life was marked with tragedy and scandal as she reportedly dealt with mental health and addiction issues.

AP

Michael Jackson

The King of Pop passed away at the age of 50 from a drug overdose. His death was ruled a homicide and his personal physician Conrad Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. 

Reuters

Patsy Cline

Patsy Cline died tragically in a plane crash at the age of 30. Before her death, she placed nine songs on the Billboard country charts but the singer went on to sell millions of records after her passing. Cline was known for her rich tone and has been called one of the greatest female singers of the 20th century.

AP

Ryan Dunn

Best known for his crazy antics on MTV's "Jackass," Dunn died in a car accident at age 34 in 2011. His blood alcohol content was twice over the legal limit.

AP

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Hoffman passed away from an apparent heroin overdose on February 2, 2014. The actor, who most recently starred in "The Hunger Games," had one of the most diverse and impressive resumes in Hollywood. He won multiple awards for his work on the silver screen as well as in the theatre. Hoffman is survived by his partner Mimi O'Donnell and their three children. He was 46.

AP

Paul Walker

Actor Paul Walker, best known for his role as undercover cop Brian O'Conner in the popular "Fast & Furious" movies, died in a car accident in Southern California at age 40. Walker and former professional race car driver Roger Rodas died on the scene after their vehicle burst into flames. Walker is survived by his daughter, Meadow.

Reuters

Selena

The Latin singing sensation Selena was murdered by the president of her fan club after the singer tried to fire her for embezzlement. The tragic death of the 23-year-old Selena was mourned across the world by her millions of fans.

AP

Whitney Houson

Houston, who reigned as pop music's queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, died at age 48 in February of 2012. Houston's death on the eve of the Grammy Awards sent shock waves through the music industry, with many stars expressing surprise and sadness.

Reuters

Amy Winehouse

The "Black to Black" singer died after a highly publicized battle with drug and alcohol addiction. She was known for her soulful voice and beehive hairdo. She was 27.

AP

James Dean

The 50’s movie icon died in a car accident at the height of his career at age 24.

AP

Jimi Hendrix

Legendary rock and roll guitarist Jimi Hendrix died at age 27 from a drug overdose.

AP

John Ritter

The master of sitcom, who ruled TV comedy with "Three's Company" and rediscovered success 25 years later with "8 Simple Rules...For Dating My Teenage Daughter," died of an undetected heart problem at 54.

AP

Anna Nicole Smith

The former Playboy Playmate died at age 39 from an accidental overdose of a sleeping medication and at least eight other prescription drugs. Smith was taking a lengthy list of other medications, including methadone for pain, Valium, anti-anxiety and anti-depression drugs. The reality star grew up in Texas and went from topless dancer to Playboy Playmate of the Year, Guess jeans model and bride of 89-year-old oilman J. Howard Marshall II. She is survived by daughter Dannielynn.

AP

James Rebhorn

James Rebhorn, the prolific character actor who starred in "Homeland," "Scent of a Woman" and "My Cousin Vinny," died at 65 from melanoma.

AP

Brittany Murphy

Murphy who had her big break in the 90's favorite "Clueless," died from pneumonia and drug-related heart failure. The actress' husband died of the same causes six months later. Murphy was 32.

Reuters

Natasha Richardson

The beloved 45-year-old actress and mother of two died after hitting her head on a skiing trip in 2009. Richardson known for "The Parent Trap" seemed fine after suffering an accidental hit to her head but her condition rapidly deteriorated and she was pronounced bread dead. She is survived by husband Liam Neeson and their two sons.

Reuters

Stars gone too soon

Here are a few talented actors and singers who left us too soon. Their songs and films continue to inspire pop culture today.

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