Rest in peace. The celebrity deaths of 2023 include Earth Wind & Fire drummer Fred White and more stars, actors and singers who have passed away this year.
The celebrity deaths of 2023 come after a year of loss in 2022, which saw the deaths of stars like singer Aaron Carter, actress Angela Lansbury, musician Meat Loaf, athlete Pelé, journalist Barbara Walters, and British royal family monarch Queen Elizabeth II. “The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” the Queen’s son, King Charles III, announced in a statement after her death on September 8, 2022. She was 96 years old. The statement continued, “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world. During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.”
Walters, a broadcast journalist and host of news programs like 20/20 and The View, died two days before the New Year on December 30, 2022. “Barbara Walters passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones,” her representative, Cindi Berger, said at the time. “She lived a big life.” “She lived her life with no regrets. She was a trailblazer not only for female journalists, but for all women.”
Read on for the celebrity deaths of 2023 and the stars we’ve lost this year so far. May they rest in peace.
Longtime talk show host Jerry Springer died in his home in Chicago, Illinois on April 27, 2023. He was 79. “Jerry’s ability to connect with people was at the heart of his success in everything he tried whether that was politics, broadcasting or just joking with people on the street who wanted a photo or a word,” said Jene Galvin, a lifelong friend and spokesman for the family in a statement. “He’s irreplaceable and his loss hurts immensely, but memories of his intellect, heart and humor will live on.” He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a few months before his death.
Springer’s daytime talk show The Jerry Springer Show ran for 27 years. The controversial TV show often showed huge brawls on stage while the audience chanted “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry” during the intro. After the longtime show ended, he started another show Judge Jerry that ran from 2019 to 2022, and his final TV appearance was on The Masked Singer in 2022. Springer is survived by his daughter, Katie Springer, and his sister, Evelyn.
Dancing With The Stars judge Len Goodman passed away at age 78. News broke with a statement released to NBC on April 24, 2023: “It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully, aged 78,” Goodman’s rep said. “A much-loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him.”
According to BBC News, a manager for the Strictly Come Dancing alum shared that Goodman battled bone cancer and died in hospice care on April 22, 2023, “surrounded by his family.” Goodman began his professional dancing career as a teenager and was cast as a judge on the popular BBC competition series Strictly Come Dancing from its launch in 2004 until 2016. Simultaneously, Goodman joined Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli as a host of Dancing With The Stars in the US when it premiered in 2005.
Moonbin, a member of K-Pop group ASTRO died on April 19, 2023. He was 25. His death was reported by Korean news outlet Yonhap. The Seoul Gangnam Police Station said that the K-Pop artist was found dead by suicide at his residence at 8:10 pm on April 19 by his manager who reportedly called the police after reaching the location.
ASTRO’s company Fantagio confirmed his death and released a statement on their social media, “This is Fantagio. First, we apologize for having to convey this sorrowful and heartbreaking news. On April 19, ASTRO member Moonbin suddenly left us and has now become a star in the sky. Although it cannot compare to the grief of the bereaved family that had to part with their beloved son and brother, his fellow artists and the staff here at Fantagio, who have been together with him for a long time, are also deeply mourning the departed amidst tremendous shock and sorrow.” The statement continued, “It pains us even more to have to convey this sudden news to the fans who have given their unsparing love and support to Moonbin. Because we know all too well just how unparalleled the departed [Moonbin] was in his love for his fans, whom he was constantly thinking of, the grief is all the more overwhelming.
The company also said that his funeral will be private. “In order for the bereaved family, who has fallen into great sorrow due to this sudden tragedy, to be able to respectfully mourn the departed and say their goodbyes, we entreat you to please refrain from speculative or malicious reports. In accordance with the wishes of the bereaved family, the funeral will be held as quietly as possible, with family, close friends, and agency colleagues in attendance. Once again, we express our deep mourning as the departed walks his final path.”
Moonbin debuted in ASTRO in 2016. He was also part of the subunit Moonbin & Sanha which also comprised of ASTRO member Sanha. The subunit’s DIFFUSION tour started in Seoul on March 18. The group was scheduled to visit Macau, Taipei, Jakarta, Tokyo, and Osaka in April and May.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, help is available. Call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 for free and confidential counseling.
Ryuichi Sakamoto died on March 28, 2023. He was 71. His management announced his death on April 2, 2023. “While undergoing treatment for cancer discovered in June 2020, Sakamoto continued to create works in his home studio whenever his health would allow,” Sakamoto’s management, Commmons, wrote in its statement. “He lived with music until the very end. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to his fans and all those who have supported his activities, as well as the medical professionals in Japan and the U.S. who did everything in their power to cure him. In accordance with Sakamoto’s strong wishes, the funeral service was held among his close family members.”
Sakamoto was a renowned composer, musician, arranger and producer. His work in Yellow Magic Orchestra helped catapult Japanese electronic music to a wider audience and their music was sampled by many hip hop groups and his song “Behind The Mask” has been covered by Michael Jackson and Eric Clapton. In 1989, his work in The Last Emperor earned him an Oscar for Best Original Score and continued to compose for movies like The Revenant. Sakomoto was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2014 and updated his fans that the treatment went well the next year. He released his final album 12 in 2023.
Howell Wayans died on April 1, 2023. He was 86. Known as the patriarch of the famous Wayans family which includes actors and stars Keenen Ivory, Damon, Shawn, Dwayne, Kim, Nadia, Elvira, Diedra, Vonnie and Marlon Wayans. Marlon gave tribute to his father on Instagram, with the caption, “Legend. When i was a child I asked my Dad what did you want to be when grew up? He simply said “I wanted to be a man” I said “not a lawyer? A doctor? An actor?” He said “just a man” I said “but every boy becomes a man” Dad said “Not true” I asked “then what’s a man?” My Dad said “A man takes care of himself and his responsibilities. His family is always FIRST”. From that day on I wanted to be a MAN.
The White Chicks actor continued, “Thank you Pop for being an example of a Man to all your boys. I pray all young black boys can grow up to be a Man like you. Baby boy loves you. And if ever i need you i know exactly where to find you… in my Bible that now sits by bed. Rest well. Kiss Ma for me. Tell her her babies miss her. I got two angels. I feel y’all lifting me already. If there’s a heaven i know you sitting in VIP sippin’ the best wine jesus can make…
Telenovela actress Rebecca Jones died on March 22, 2023, after hospitalization with pneumonia. She was 64″Rebecca Jones left in peace and with deep gratitude to her audience for whom she worked all her life,” her representative released a statement to The Sun.
Before launching her career in acting, she studied at Saddleback College, the South Coast Actors Corporation, and the University of Southern California. Jones is remembered for her roles in Who Killed Sara?, La Casa de Las Flores, Doña Flor and Her Two Husbands, May God Forgive You, and Señora Acero.
Musician Bobby Caldwell has died, according to a statement from his wife. He was 71. “Bobby passed away here at home. I held him tight in my arms as he left us,” his wife wrote on Twitter. “I am forever heartbroken. Thanks to all of you for your many prayers over the years. He had been “FLOXED,” it took his health over the last 6 years and 2 months. Rest with God, my Love. -Mary Caldwell” He was known for R&B hits like “What You Won’t Do For Love” and “Open Your Eyes.”
Questlove wrote a lengthy tribute to the singer, though he had never met him. “I got word Brother Bobby loved it like in 2001 & so many “we’ll be in town let’s meet” or later on w Fallon “let’s have you sit in!” opportunities missed, he wrote after he sampled “Open Your Eyes” on Common’s “The Light” & now you’re gone and I never got a chance to kick it with you & hear your story.
Actress Raquel Welch passed away on February 15, 2023. She was 82. Her manager Steve Sauer confirmed to CNN that she passed on Wednesday morning in Los Angeles after a “brief illness.” She leaves behind her two children, son Damon Welch and her daughter Tahnee Welch.
She rose to stardom in One Million Years B.C. in 1966 as a Pleistocene-era cave woman and launched her status as a Hollywood Sex Symbol. She won a Golden Globe for her role in Richard Lester’s 1973 adaptation of The Three Musketeers. She starred in and produced, under the Racquel Welch Productions banner, an adaptation of the Colin Stuart novel The Legend of Walks Far Woman, and in the words of TCM, “made a personal crusade” of getting it on the air in 1982. In 2001, she had supporting roles in the comedy films Legally Blonde opposite Reese Witherspoon.
Trugoy the Dove, a member of the influential and innovative hip-hop group De La Soul passed away on February 13, 2022, a representative of the group reported to the New York Times. He was 54. His cause of death has not been reported yet. Trugoy the Dove, born David Jude Jolicouer formed De La Soul in 1988 alongside his high school friends, rappers Posdnuos and Maseo. The rapper has openly discussed a struggle with congestive heart failure, including in a music video for the group’s song “Royalty Capes.”
“I’m ready just to get back to the stage,” he said. “I miss that. I love traveling. I love being around my guys and I want that back.” De La Soul was part of the Grammys’ Hip-Hop tribute performance the week of his death, but Trugoy wasn’t at the performance with his group mates.
Burt Bacharach who wrote many song hits of the late 20th century died on February 8, 2023, from natural causes according to his publicist via NPR. He was 94. Born and raised in New York City, he forged one of the greatest songwriting duos with lyricist Hal David in 1957. Their first No. 1 hit was their song “The Story of My Life” was recorded by Marty Robbins, and it placed on the top of the U.S. Country charts. Their collaborative endeavors flourished with singer Dionne Warwick, who recorded their songs “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” “Walk On By,” “Alfie,” “I Say a Little Prayer” and “Do You Know the Way to San Jose.”
His many accolades included numerous Grammys, an Academy Award for Best Original Score for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in 1970 and an Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Program – Variety or Musical – Variety and Popular Music for his work for Singer Presents Burt Bacharach in 1971. The Library of Congress wrote that his music “set industry records and creative standards.”
Lisa Loring who played Wednesday in the 60s show The Addams Family has passed away. Her daughter told TMZ that Lisa passed away Saturday at a hospital in Burbank, CA, after she suffered a stroke due to high blood pressure.
She also had acting credits in The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., Fantasy Island and Barnaby Jones. Her last credit was 2015’s Doctor Spine. Jenna Ortega who plays Wednesday in Netflix’s 2022 show Wednesday cited Loring’s iteration to be an inspiration to her portrayal.
Annie Wersching who starred as Renee Walker in 24 and the Borg Queen in Star Trek: Picard, has died. She was 45. The Last of Us video game star, who played Tess, was diagnosed with cancer in 2020 but continued to act throughout her illness and treatment.
Wersching’s husband, actor Stephen Full, issued a statement via Deadline. “There is a cavernous hole in the soul of this family today. But she left us the tools to fill it. She found wonder in the simplest moment. She didn’t require music to dance. She taught us not to wait for adventure to find you. ‘Go find it. It’s everywhere.’ And find it we shall.” He continued, “As I drove our boys, the true loves of her life, down the winding driveway and street, she would yell BYE! until we were out of earshot and into the world. I can still hear it ringing. Bye my Buddie. ‘I love you little family…’ “
NFL player Jessie Lemonier passed away on January 26, 2023. He was 25. “We are shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of former Detroit Lion Jessie Lemonier,” the Detroit Lions wrote in a statement shared via Twitter. “Jessie was a model teammate and wonderful young man who is gone far too soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”
“Gone too soon. Our hearts are with Jessie’s family, friends and loved ones,” a statement via the Chargers’ Twitter page read on Thursday. His agent, Drew Smith of DEC Management, told ESPN that Lemonier and his girlfriend were expecting a child. His cause of death has not been released.
David Crosby died on January 18, 2023, according to several news sources. Patricia Dance, a sister of Crosby’s wife, Jan Dance, said in a text message to the New York Times on Thursday evening that the legendary musician died “last night.” Crosby hailed as a member of The Byrds and a founding member of Crosby, Stills, Nash (and sometimes) Young. Bandmate Graham Nash made a tribute to Crosby on social media. “It is with a deep and profound sadness that I learned that my friend David Crosby has passed,” Nash wrote. “I know people tend to focus on how volatile our relationship has been at times, but what has always mattered to David and me more than anything was the pure joy of the music we created together, the sound we discovered with one another, and the deep friendship we shared over all these many long years.”
Crosby was known to be very active on Twitter, replying to fans and letting out his thoughts at any given moment. The day before he died, he responded to a tweet that was a screenshot of Google search of “can we go to heaven with tattoos?” He tweeted, “I heard the place is overrated….cloudy.”
King Constantine II, the last Greek monarch, died on January 10, 2023. He was 82 years old. According to the Associated Press, Constantine died after receiving treatment at the at the intensive care unit at Hygeia Hospital in Athens, Greece. Constantine was Prince Philip’s nephew and King Charles III’s second cousin. He is also Prince William’s godfather and attended his wedding to Kate Middleton in 2010. Constantine died on the same day Prince Harry’s book, Spare, was released.
Rally driver Ken Block passed away on January 2, 2023. He was 55. A statement from his division Hoonigan Industries read, “It’s with deepest regrets that we can confirm that Ken Block passed away in a snowmobile accident today. Ken was a visionary, a pioneer and an icon. And most importantly, a father and husband. He will be incredibly missed.” TMZ reported that Utah’s Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office said Block was riding a snowmobile on a steep hill when it upended and landed on top of him. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
Before becoming a skilled rally driver, he founded DC shoes in 1994. From 2005 and on, he won FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) circuit in Mexico. He started 25 WRC events and won five X Games medals in RallyCross between 2006 and 2015. As well as rallying, Block was known for hi s series of gymkhana videos which drew millions of views on YouTube. Block is survived by his wife Lucy and 3 children and his 16-year-old daughter Lia is also a driver.
Fred White, a drummer for the band Earth, Wind and Fire, died on January 1, 2023. He was 67. White’s brother, Verdine White, the Earth, Wind and Fire’s bassist, announced his death in an Instagram post. “Dearest Family Friends and Fans….. Our family is saddened today With the loss of an amazing and talented family member,” Verdine wrote. “Our beloved brother Frederick Eugene “Freddie” White. 🙏🏾🙏🏾💔💔🥁🥁 He joins our brothers Maurice, Monte and Ronald in heaven and is now drumming with the angels! 🥁🥁”
The post continued, “Child protégé, member of the EWF ORIGINAL 9, with gold records at the young age of 16 years old! He was brother number 4 in the family lineup. ❤️❤️❤️❤️ But more than that at home and beyond he was the wonderful bro that was always entertaining and delightfully mischievous! And we could always count on him to make a seemingly bad situation more light hearted!🙏🏾😍🙏🏾 He will live in our hearts forever, rest in power beloved Freddie!! We thank you all for your love, blessings and support at this time. Soar high baby bro, we love you to the shining ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️and back! 🙏🏾🕊️🙏🏾🕊️🙏🏾🕊️🙏🏾 🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈.”
Gangsta Boo, a member of the hip-hop group Three 6 Mafia, is dead. She was 43 years old. Gangsta Boo, whose full name was Lola Chantrelle Mitchelle, was found dead in her home in Memphis, Tennessee, on January 1, 2023, according to FOX 13. The outlet reported that Memphis Police Department officers found Gangsta Boo after they responded to “a person down call” just before 2:20 p.m. on New Year’s Day at a home on Raines Road in the Whitehaven neighborhood and discovered her body. Officials also reported that there were no signs of foul play.
A source told TMZ on January 1 that Gangsta Boo’s death may have been from an overdose. The site reported that Gangsta Boo and her brother attended a concert in Memphis the night before she died, and her brother was hospitalized after he started to overdose later in the night. While her brother survived, sources told TMZ that Gangsta Boo that a narcotics were found at her death scene and a fentanyl-laced substance is believed to have caused her death.
Uche Nwaneri, a former offensive guard for the Jacksonville Jaguars, is dead. He was 38. The Lafayette Journal and Courier reported on January 3, 2023, that Nwaneri, whose full name was Uchechukwu Eberechukwu Nwaneri, had driven from Georgia to Indiana to see his wife the day before he died. The next day, on December 30, 2022, she found him unresponsive in a bedroom in her home in West Lafayette at 1 a.m. and called 911.
Tippecanoe County Coroner Carrie Costello told the Lafayette Journal and Courier that preliminary results from an autopsy indicated that no foul play was involved. The report also indicated that Nwaneri may have suffered from a heart attack. “Uche was a great person,” Jordan Woy, his former agent, told CowboysSI.com. “He was a very interesting person and had deep, valued and informative thoughts on sports, politics and life.”