But we also recognize that given the circle of life, 2018 was also a time to say goodbye to those we lost in our community as well. Here’s a look at some of the people we held dear that sadly died this year.
Rest in power.
1. Aretha Franklin, 76Source:Getty
We lost the Queen of Soul in August, but celebrated her with the most glorious seven-hour funeral we’ve ever seen. We hope there are pink Cadillacs in heaven.
2. Kim Porter, 47Source:Getty
The death of this mother, model and actress shocked the hip-hop world. The 47-year-old was found dead in her home on November 15 after suffering from cardiac arrest.
3. Ethel Ayler, 88Source:Getty
Ethel Ayler, the actress who played Claire Huxtable’s mother on “The Cosby Show,” passed away in November. The cause of death was not released.
4. Nancy Wilson, 81Source:Getty
The award-winning singer who lent her vocal instrument to the world for over five decades died on December 18 after a long battle with an undisclosed illness.
5. Anthony Bourdain, 61Source:Getty
The famous chef, food journalist and Obama’s good friend died too soon in June from an apparent suicide.
6. Gabe Solis, 43Source:Getty
Gabe Solis, ex-husband to singer and reality star Trina Braxton, lost his battle to cancer on December 20. Reports noted that most people in Solis’ life didn’t even know he was sick.
7. Ntozake Shange, 70Source:Getty
Ntozake Shange, the poet, novelist and pioneering playwright responsible for the choreopoem, “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf,” died on October 27. The 70-year-old passed in her sleep in an assisted living facility in Bowie, Md., where she lived.
8. Craig Mack, 46Source:Getty
Rap pioneer Craig Mack, whose 1994 anthem “Flava In Ya Ear” gave Bad Boy records it’s first hit, died in March of heart failure. Mack is survived by his wife and two children.
9. Joe Jackson, 89Source:Getty
Joe Jackson, the patriarch of the Jackson family, died in June. Jackson, who architected the careers of The Jackson 5, Michael and Janet Jackson, was hospitalized in June with terminal cancer.
10. Sutton Tennyson, 37
Sutton Tennyson, Angela Simmons former fiancé and father of her son, was tragically murdered in November after a gunman shot him in his garage. The businessman was only 37-years-old.
11. Lyric McHenry, 26
Reality TV star Lyric McHenry was found dead on August 15 in New York City. A pregnant McHenry was found unresponsive without her pants on a sidewalk in The Bronx around 5am. Sadly, authorities believe that her death may be a result of a drug overdose–a bag of cocaine was found by her body.
12. DuShon Monique Brown, 49
“Chicago Fire’ lost one of its hometown heroes in 2008. Actress DuShon Monique Brown, who played Connie on the NBC drama, passed away in March after suffering an apparent heart attack.
13. Linda Brown, 75
Linda Brown, the child at the center of the historic Brown vs. Board of Education decision that ended segregation in American schools, died in March. Her cause of death is unknown.
14. Dennis Edwards, 74
Motown has lost one of its original artists this year. Dennis Edwards, the former lead singer of The Temptations, passed away in February due to complications from meningitis.
15. Reg E. Cathey, 59
“House Of Cards” actor Reg E. Cathey died in February after bravely battling brain cancer. The Emmy-winner was born in Alabama and attended the University of Michigan and the Yale School of Drama. He was only 59.
16. Yvonne Staples, 80
Yvonne Staples, a longtime member of the Staple Singers, died from colon cancer in April. She and her funky style of singing and amazing aura will be missed.
17. Olivia Cole, 75
The Emmy Award-winning actress, who starred in classics such as “The Women of Brewster Place” and “Roots,” passed away on January 19. She was the first African American to win an Emmy in the category of best supporting actress in a miniseries.
18. XXXTentacion, 20Source:Getty
The controversial young rapper was gunned down in the parking lot of a motorcycle dealership in June. Born Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, he was charged in 2016 with aggravated battery on a pregnant victim, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment and witness tampering.
19. Jesse ‘Smiley’ Rutland, 37
Jesse “Smiley” Rutland, co -creator of the dance sensation the Harlem Shake was found shot dead in his Brooklyn home in January. Kumar Reid, 29, was arrested for Rutland’s murder and charged with second-degree murder and weapons possession.
20. Ensa Cosby, 44
Ensa Cosby, daughter of Bill Cosby, died back in February after succumbing to renal disease. Reports claim that the 44-year-old was waiting for a new kidney and was on the transplant list before her death.