2016 started off with the hope of so much and has already delivered some quite shocking body blows in respect of the world of celebrity.
As a Brit, the curse of 2016 started in early January when I popped downstairs one morning, vacantly turned the TV on and was greeted with a montage of David Bowie songs. I thought he’d released a new album. He had. Unfortunately, he’d also died of cancer. I didn’t even know he was sick. As it turns out, neither did anyone else, so we were completely unprepared for the news. And it hit like a train.
How could David Bowie die? Wasn’t he, like, only 50 or something? When I sat down and paid attention, I realised he was actually in his 70’s and suddenly wondered how the hell that had happened.
Roll on a few weeks and we lost another couple of high profile British celebs and, as sad as that was, they were much older and it wasn’t such a massive shock to the system. Heartbreaking, yes, but not entirely implausible to hear. Somehow, despite Bowie’s age, he almost seemed infallible.
Just this week alone, I was gobsmacked to find out that one of my favourite comedians EVER had lost a battle with cancer at only 62 years old. Like Bowie, she chose to keep her health private, as I know I would, and it made the news all the more stunning.
The very next day Prince died. PRINCE. How can that be? He was only 57 years old and I had to read the TMZ headline a few times, then Google it, then go to Sky News and THEN I started to think it might just be true. It made me feel so sad for him, his family and friends, and all his fans. I still can’t quite take it in.
Isn’t it odd how we view rock stars and celebrities as though they’ll always be around, like some sort of God-like beings? I’ll tell you this right now – the minute something happens to John Mayer, I’m officially handing in my resignation to the world; it’s too much.
2016 has been a dreadful year for so many shining lights in the sporting, music and entertainment world and I wonder how many other famous people are now genuinely considering that there’s some kind of mad curse upon them?? I’m beginning to wonder the same thing myself.
If you’re reading this, Benedict Cumberbatch, Steven Fry or Miranda Lambert, I’d appreciate it if you could be extra careful for the time being.
I’m not suggesting that celebrity deaths are more important than any other; they’re certainly not, but you do have a sense of knowing your idols if you’ve followed their careers for any length of time, and that bond can be quite strong (on a one sided basis, obvs).
Personally, I’m still trying to get to grips with Amy Winehouse and, although I used to listen to her music constantly, I’m too upset to hear her now. It’s not the ideal way for her to be remembered, but it genuinely makes me sad to hear her voice and think about how fabulously talented she was.
This year, I’ve already stopped listening to The Eagles (one of my favourite bands), and, although not a Bowie fan, I won’t be tuning in to anything from his back catalogue. I’m not a real Prince fan, either, but I can appreciate talent when I hear it. I haven’t been able to watch Batman since Heath Ledger died, or anything with Philip Seymour Hoffman since he passed. I just find it so incredibly sad that I tend to avoid it.
I guess the underlying worry behind it all is that it makes you realise how precious life is. It also drives home just how many stars that I thought were young and fit have actually been ageing along with the rest of us or quietly battling demons that we didn’t know about. It’s not a very pleasant thought.
Here’s to enjoying what we have and remembering people fondly. I will even try to put on some classic Prince this weekend in his honour. I think he deserves that, at the very least.