Deaths Hub




'Godfather of House Music' Frankie Knuckles Dead at 59

It's a terribly sad day for music as House music pioneer Frankie Knuckles has died at 59, Rolling Stone reports:

KnucklesNobody can agree on who invented the blues or birthed rock & roll, but there is no question that house music came from Frankie Knuckles, who died Monday afternoon of as-yet-undisclosed causes at age 59. One of the Eighties and Nineties' most prolific house music producers and remixers, Knuckles is, hands down, one of the dozen most important DJs of all time. At his Chicago clubs the Warehouse (1977-82) and Power Plant (1983-85), Knuckles’ marathon sets, typically featuring his own extended edits of a wide selection of tracks from disco to post-punk, R&B to synth-heavy Eurodisco, laid the groundwork for electronic dance music culture—all of it.

Knuckles made an abundant number of dance classics, including early Jamie Principle collaborations "Your Love"(1986) and "Baby Wants to Ride"(1987); "Tears"(1989), with Satoshi Tomiiee and Robert Owens; "The Whistle Song"(1991); and his remixes of Chaka Khan’s "Ain’t Nobody"(1989), Sounds of Blackness’s "The Pressure" (1992), and Hercules and Love Affair’s "Blind" (2008).

More from the Chicago Tribune here.

 

Frankie Knuckles - WBMX Friday Night Jams 1986 by Sarah Davies on Mixcloud


Westboro Baptist Church Pastor Fred Phelps is Dead at 84

 Phelps

Westboro Baptist Church pastor Fred Phelps Sr. died late Wednesday night, WIBW reports:

"Timothy Phelps, son of former Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps, told WIBW that his father died before midnight."

Phelps had been reported "on the edge of death" by his estranged son Nate earlier this week. Reports subsequently emerged that  the "God Hates Fags" pastor had been excommunicated after an internal power struggle at Westboro in which a board of elders - Steve Drain, Timothy Phelps, Jonathan Phelps, Samuel Phelps-Roper, Charles Hockenbarger and Fred Phelps Jr - also took down Shirley Phelps Roper from a position of authority.

Following the news that Phelps was near death, Lucien Greaves, the leader of the New York-based Satanic Temple, promised to hold a "pink mass" over Phelps' graves and turn him posthumously gay.

UPDATE:

Westboro Baptist has posted a statement in response to Phelps' death. Read it HERE.


Gay Rights Activist Vernita Gray, Who Was First to Marry in Illinois, Dies at 65

Gray

Vernita Gray (left), who married her wife Patricia Ewert last November in Illinois' first legal gay marriage, has died of bone and brain cancer at 65.

Gray was allowed to marry Ewert before marriage equality's then effective date of June 1 after an order from the U.S. District Court in Chicago allowed it, given Gray's terminal illness.

Marriage equality has since been allowed statewide after Attorney General Lisa Madigan published guidance in early March.

The AP reports:

[Family friend Jim] Bennett says Gray advocated for same-sex marriage long before many gay rights activists saw it as a possibility, and she had a knack for working with people across the political spectrum.

Our thoughts go out to Gray's wife, family, and friends.


Gay Former NFL Player Roy Simmons Dies at 57

Roy Simmons, a former offensive lineman for the Giants and the Washington Redskins who came out of the closet after his career had ended, has died at the age of 57, the NYT reports:

SimmonsThe cause was complications related to pneumonia, his brother Gary said. Simmons learned he had H.I.V. in 1997 and had other health problems, his brother said.

The paper adds:

By his own account, Simmons (pictured, during his career) abused his opportunity in the pros, falling quickly into heavy alcohol and drug use. The night before he played with the Redskins in the 1984 Super Bowl, his last game in the N.F.L., he snorted cocaine. In the stands that Sunday, he said, were friends he had invited, including three lovers — two female, one male. Somehow, he continued to keep his complicated sexuality a secret.

Years later, in 1992, appearing on “Donahue,” Phil Donahue’s television talk show, and with a former girlfriend and family members watching, Simmons made a stunning, awkward disclosure: He was gay. At the time, Simmons was the second former N.F.L. player to declare that he was homosexual. Dave Kopay, a running back who played nine seasons, was the first, in 1975.

Read the full report here.


Actor Harold Ramis Has Died at 69

Actor Harold Ramis has died, Chicago's WGN reports:

RamisRamis, a longtime North Shore resident, died early Monday morning after a long illness, according to his wife, Erica Mann Ramis. He was 69.

Ramis’ serious health struggles began in May 2010 after he underwent surgery for diverticulitis and suffered complications related to the autoimmune disease. Unable to walk, he spent four months that year at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., before continuing work at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

A year and a half later, Ramis had relearned to walk and was making good progress on his recovery when he suffered a relapse of the vasculitis, from which he never fully recovered, Ward said.

Ramis leaves behind a formidable body of work, with writing credits on such enduring comedies as “National Lampoon’s Animal House” (which upon its 1978 release launched the film career of John Belushi, a former Second City castmate of Ramis’), “Stripes” (1981) and “Ghostbusters” (in which Ramis also co-starred) plus such directing efforts as “Caddyshack” (1980), “National Lampoon’s Vacation” (1983), “Groundhog Day” and “Analyze This.”


Iconic Child Star Shirley Temple Dead at 85

Black

Shirley Temple Black has died at her home in Woodside, California at the age of 85, the L.A. Times reports:

From 1935 through 1938, the curly-haired moppet billed as Shirley Temple was the top box-office draw in the nation. She saved what became 20th Century Fox studios from bankruptcy and made more than 40 movies before she turned 12.

Hollywood recognized the enchanting, dimpled scene-stealer’s importance to the industry with a “special award” – a miniature Oscar – at the Academy Awards for 1934, the year she sang and danced her way into America’s collective heart.

Her most famous moment, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Iconic Child Star Shirley Temple Dead at 85" »


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