Stars Who Died Young (2024)

Chadwick Boseman

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Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney

The actor has diedafter a battle with colon cancer. He was 43. News of theBlack Pantherstar's death wasconfirmed on Aug. 28 on his Instagram. "It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman," reads the statement posted on his social media page.⁣ "Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last four years as it progressed to stage IV. A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. FromMarshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’sMa Rainey’s Black Bottomand several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life inBlack Panther. ⁣He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side." Boseman had never spoken about his diagnosis, so the news coming as a shock to many.Over the course of his impressive acting career, Boseman played Black icons Jackie Robinson and James Brown, and ledBlack Panther, Marvels smash hit that broke records. The blockbuster become the first superhero movie to receive anOscar nominationin the coveted Best Picture category, and was nominated for seven Oscars total, including Best Original Song andBest Original Score.

Kobe Bryant

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The former pro basketball playerdied in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, in January 2020. He was 41. His 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, died in the accident, as did the seven other passengers onboard with them.The son of Joe Bryant, a former NBA player as well, the basketball pro played with the Los Angeles Lakers for all 20 seasons of his career, which included being an 18-time All-Star and 15-time member of the All-NBA Team. The Lakers won five NBA championships over the course of his career.He was the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history with 33,643, surpassed in the rankings just one day before his death by LeBron James. Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa Laine Bryant, and daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.

Naya Rivera

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Jeff Vespa/WireImage

The former Glee star was pronounced dead on July 13, as her body was discoveredfollowing a five-day search. She was 33. Rivera wasreported missing on July 8after she took a boat ride withher 4-year-old son, Josey,in Lake Piru in the Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County, California. The Sheriff's Department toldNBCLAthat Rivera and her son rented a boat around 1 p.m., and approximately three hours later, another boater discovered Josey in the boat by himself.TMZreported that Josey told authorities that his mother went into the water for a swim, but never returned to the boat. At the time of her death, Rivera was starring in Step Up: High Water,and in addition to Glee, she previously starred onDevious Maids.

Juice Wrld

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The rising rapper died on Dec. 8at the age of 21. The rapper, whose real name was Jarad Anthony Higgins, died after suffering a seizure at Chicago's Midway Airport, TMZ reported. According to the outlet, the musical artist was then rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Juice Wrld rose to fame with his 2018 album, Goodbye and Good Riddance, with its lead single, "Lucid Dreams," peakingat No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Another of his songs, "All Girls Are the Same," became a hit after Lil Yachty was featured on the remix; the attention from that track reportedly earned Juice Wrld a multi-million dollar contract with Interscope records. The rapper was also featured on Travis Scott's song, "No Bystanders."

Cameron Boyce

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The Disney Channel star, who appeared in a number of Disney Channel shows including Descendants, Shake It Up and Liv and Maddie, died of a seizure in his sleep on July 6, a spokesperson for his family confirmed to ET. He was 20. "It is with a profoundly heavy heart that we report that this morning we lost Cameron," the Boyce family spokesperson told ET. "He passed away in his sleep due to a seizure which was a result of an ongoing medical condition for which he was being treated. The world is now undoubtedly without one of its brightest lights, but his spirit will live on through the kindness and compassion of all who knew and loved him."

Nipsey Hussle

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Born Ermias Joseph Asghedom, the rapper died on March 31of gunshot woundsto the head and torso, after he and two other men were attacked outside his Marathon Clothing Company store in L.A.'s Hyde Park neighborhood,the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner told ET. The manner of death has been certified as a homicide. Condolences poured out for the GRAMMY-nominated artist from the likes of Drake, Rihanna, Snoop Dogg and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. The "Racks in the Middle" rapper was born and raised in the Crenshaw neighborhood of L.A., not far from where he was gunned down. He was as a beloved local community organizer, involved in the ongoing Destination Crenshaw arts project.Hussle had two children, a daughter, Emani, and a 2-year-old son he and girlfriend Lauren London welcomed in August 2016.

Cady Groves

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The Kansas-born singer-- best known for the 2012's "This Little Girl," as well as her most recent single, 2017's "Oil and Water" --died in May 2020. She was 30. The news was first revealed by her older brother, Cody Groves, who tweeted,"The medical examiner has completed autopsy and there was no indication of foul play or self harm. Simply put, Cady Groves died of natural causes. She had some medical problems last fall and our best guess at this point until further testing is complete is that they had resurfaced." An official release about Cady's death also stated natural causes, noting "foul play and self-harm had been ruled out by the coroner." Cody also said that his sister "was really looking forward to the next few months and release of her new album," adding, "Our latest in depth conversation (since most were witty banter) was her sending me songs to critique and give feedback on." Two of Cady's brothers, Casey and Kelly, also died young, bothat age 28in 2007 and 2014 respectively,Spinreported. Groves released four EPs over her career, including 2010's Life of a Pirate.

Mac Miller

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TMZreported that the 26-year-old rapper died of an apparent overdose on Sept. 7.Law enforcement sources told the outlet that Millerwas found around noon at his San Fernando Valley homeand was pronounced dead at the scene. The news came just weeks after he wascharged with a DUIand months after hisbreakup from Ariana Grande. Miller, real nameMalcolm McCormick, wascharged with two counts of DUI in August following his May arrest in Los Angeles. At the time,the Los Angeles Police Department toldET that Miller was the driver involved in a traffic collision with a power pole at 12:50 a.m. in the San Fernando Valley in California. According to the official, Miller and his two passengers fled the scene on foot.


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Aviciiwas found dead in Muscat, Oman, on April 20, 2018. He was 28. "The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their needforprivacy in this difficult time," a statement from his rep read, with the family later implying that he died of suicide.The Swedish DJ and producer, whose real name was Tim Bergling, was a two-time GRAMMY nominee best known for hits like "Sunshine" with David Guetta, "Wake Me Up" with Aloe Blacc and "Levels." In September 2017, he announced a documentary about his retirement from touring calledAvicii: True Stories.

Heath Ledger

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The Australian actor was found dead at his New York City apartment on Jan. 22, 2008. He was 28. Toxicology reports later showed that an accidental mixture of fatal prescription drugs was found in his system, including Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Diazepam, Temazepam, Alprazolam and Doxylamine. Ledger left behind numerous family members, including his parents and siblings, as well as a daughter, Matilda, with his ex, actress Michelle Williams.

Brittany Murphy

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The actress, who rose to fame in Clueless and had memorable turns in films like 8 Mile, Riding in Cars With Boys, Just Married,Uptown Girls and Girl, Interrupted, died at age 32 in December 2009. Her death was ruled accidental, with the Los Angeles County coroner saying at the time that it was caused by a combination of pneumonia, an iron deficiency and intoxication of multiple drugs. Her husband, SimonMonjack, died just five months later.

Amy Winehouse

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The GRAMMY winner sadly joined the infamous 27 club when she died of alcohol intoxication on July 23, 2011. Though she had been in and out of rehab a few times in her life, according to her father, Mitch Winehouse, the British crooner hadn't taken drugs for three years,but had "drank an awful lot" in the last two to three days of her life, he told the Junkies on 106.7 The Fan.“The last 18 months of her life were possibly the best 18 months of her life,” he added, noting thathe thought she had begun to turn a corner to a clean life. “She had a new boyfriend. They were very happy. There were times when she was drinking heavily, and there were large periods when she wasn’t drinking at all."

Cory Monteith

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The Glee star was found dead in his room at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, shortly after noon on July 13, 2013. The 31-year-old actor had checked into the hotel on July 6,and had been expected to check out on the 13th. When he had not done so, hotel staff checked his room and found him deceased.A few days later, the BC Coroners Service confirmed that Monteith died from a mixed drug toxicity, involving heroin and alcohol, though it appeared to be an accident. Lea Michele, whodated herGleeco-starbefore his death, has regularly paid tribute to her late love, including on the four-year anniversary of his death in 2017."Hard to believe it's been 4 years... We miss you C... love you more," she tweeted alongside a black-and-white photo of the pair during happier times.

Kurt Cobain

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There are a lot of conspiracies surrounding Cobain's death, but the Nirvana frontman was reported to have died on April 5, 1994, in Seattle, Washington, of suicide, with his death certificate stating it was the result of a "contact perforating shotgun wound to the head." He was 27. The "Smells Like Teen Spirit" singer, whose band ushered in music's grunge era in the '90s, had recently checked out of a rehabilitation facility and his wife, Courtney Love, had said he had been suicidal. A documentary about his life and death, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, was released in 2015. The Seattle native left behind one daughter with Love, Frances Bean Cobain.

Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes

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One-third of the famed'90s trio TLC, Left Eye was tragically killed in a car accident in Honduras on April 25, 2002. She was 30. The rapperhad been driving during a trip with her sister, Reigndrop, and two others when she swerved to avoid a truck. All four were thrown out of the windows, but Lopes was the only one fatally injured, having suffered severe head trauma and neck injuries. Her funeral was held in Lithonia, Georgia, and a documentary that she was working on at the time was eventually released as The Last Days of Left Eye and aired on VH1 in 2007.

Anton Yelchin

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In June 2016, thecelebrated young starwas killed by his own Jeep outside of his house when it unexpectedly rolled down his driveway and pinned the actor against a brick mailbox and a security fence at his home in Los Angeles. Yelchin was on his way to meet friends for a rehearsal the night he died. When he didn't show up, the group came to his home and found him dead in the early morning.The actor's bereaved parents reached a settlement in theirwrongful death lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobilesin March 2018.

River Phoenix

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Fine Line Features

The young movie star and musician died from a drug overdose outside the West Hollywood nightclub The Viper Room on Oct. 31, 1993. He was 23. The My Own Private Idaho star, who had been nominated for an Academy Award four years before his death for his breakthrough role in Running on Empty, collapsed outside the L.A. hot spot in front of his brother, actor Joaquin Phoenix, and younger sister, Rain Phoenix. His cause of death was later determined to be "acute multiple drug intoxication," after tests revealed high levels of morphine and cocaine in his system. The actor died during the final weeks of production on the drama-thriller Dark Blood, which was finally finished and released in 2012, nearly two decades after his untimely death.


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The multi-talented singer, actress and model had one of the most promising careers a young entertainer could hope for when she and several members of her entourage were killed when the twin-engine Cessna plane they were flying on crashed just after takeoff at the Marsh Harbour Airport in The Bahamas on Aug. 24, 2001. The 22-year-old recording artist had just released her third studio album, Aaliyah, the month before, and had recently finished filming her scenes for her first starring role in the horror film Queen of the Damned, which was released six months after her death.

Bradley Nowell

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Geffen Records

Just hours before he was scheduled to perform with his bandat a sold-out concert, the Sublime lead singer was found dead on May 25, 1996, of a heroin overdose in a hotel room in San Francisco. He was 28. Nowell had been married to wife Troy den Dekker for just seven days and left behind an 11-month-old son, Jakob. His death also came two months before the release ofSublime, the album that officially brought fame to the reggae-ska outfit out of Long Beach, California.

Christina Grimmie

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The YouTube sensation and fan favorite Voice contestant died after being shot while signing autographs for fans following a concert in Orlando, Florida, on June 10, 2016. Grimmie was rushed to the Orlando Regional Medical Center but died shortly after she was brought to the ER. She was 22. Her death was mourned by fans, friends and family online, as well as her Voice coach, Adam Levine, who paid tribute to Grimmie on-air following her tragic death.

Selena Quintanilla

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Universal Music Group

The celebrated Tejano singer became one of the most beloved Mexican-American entertainers of all time before she was tragically killed on March 31, 1995, when she was fatally shot in a hotel room in Corpus Christi, Texas, by Yolanda Saldívar, the president of her fan club and manager of her boutiques. Selena was rushed to the hospital after being shot, where she later died. The 23-year-old singer left behind a husband, Chris Perez, and her life and legacy are still widely celebrated by her fans

James Dean

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While Dean only had starring roles in three films -- East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant -- the 24-year-old actor was a cultural icon and Hollywood heartthrob when he died in a car crash in Cholame, California, on Sept. 30, 1955. While driving his Porsche 550 Spyder along Route 466, Dean slammed into a 1950 Ford Tudor in the middle of an intersection. He was declared dead on arrival. The star's death came one month before the release of Rebel Without A Cause, which permanently cemented his movie star legacy, while Giant came out the following year. Dean remains the only actor to ever be nominated for two Academy Awards posthumously.

Lil Peep

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The up-and-coming young rapper, who made his name in a genre that has come to be known as emo trap, was found dead on his tour bus on Nov. 15, 2017. He was 21. The artist, whose real name was Gustav Åhr, was set to perform that night at a show in Tucson, Arizona. According to the coroner's report, the rapper died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl and Xanax, among other drugs that could have contributed to his death.

Diem Brown

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The MTV reality star and entertainment journalist had a long battle with ovarian cancer for several years before it claimed her life in 2014. Brown was filming a season of The Challenge in Panama in August 2014 when she collapsed on set and was airlifted to a New York hospital for emergency surgery. Unfortunately, the cancer had metastasized from her ovaries to her stomach and colon. Brown died on Nov. 14, 2014, surrounded by her family and friends. She was 34.

Logan Williams

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The actor best known for his roles onThe FlashandWhen Calls the Hearthas died. He was 16. The heartbreakingnews was confirmed by a few of his co-stars in April 2020, includingGrant Gustin, who playsBarry Allen onThe Flash. Williams portrayed the younger version of his character on the popular CW series.

Chynna Rogers

The model and rising rapper died at her home in Philadelphia in April 2020. She was 25. According tomultiple reports, hercause of death wasan accidental drug overdose. Rogers became a model at 14 and joined hip hop collective ASAP Mob several years later. She found early fame with her successful singles, 2013's "Selfie"and 2014's"Glen Coco."Her untimely death came just four months after the release of her most recent EP,In Case I Die First.

Stars Who Died Young (2024)
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