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Celebrity deaths, hospitalizations, illness, major news, background information and some trivial stories. List of deaths by year, month, and category.

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B.B. King, Legendary Blues Guitarist, Dies 89

Riley B. King (September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015), known by his stage name B.B. King, was an American blues singer, songwriter and guitarist.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked him at No. 6 on its 2011 list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time (previously ranked No. 3 in the 2003 edition of the same list), and he was ranked No. 17 in Gibson's "Top 50 Guitarists of All Time". According to Edward M. Komara, King "introduced a sophisticated style of soloing based on fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato that would influence virtually every electric blues guitarist that followed." King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. He is considered one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, earning the nickname "The King of Blues", and one of the "Three Kings of the Blues Guitar" (along with Albert King and Freddie King). King was also known for performing tirelessly throughout his musical career, appearing at more than 200 concerts per year on average into his 70s. In 1956, he reportedly appeared at 342 shows.

In 1990, King was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President George H.W. Bush. In 2006, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential blues guitarists of all time, inspiring countless other electric blues and blues rock guitarists.

Illness and death

After the cancellation of the remaining eight shows of his 2014 tour due to health problems, King announced on October 8, 2014 he was back at home to recuperate. On May 1, 2015, after two hospitalizations caused by complications from high blood pressure and diabetes, King announced on his website that he was in hospice care at his home in Las Vegas, Nevada. He died there on May 14 at 9:40 P.M. PDT.  He died in his sleep.

BB King & Bobby Blue Bland - The thrill is gone - 1977

BB King with President Obama

Ben E. King, Singer, 'Stand by Me,' Dies 76

Benjamin Earl King (September 28, 1938 – April 30, 2015), professionally known by his pseudonym Ben E. King, was an American soul and R&B singer. He was perhaps best known as the singer and co-composer of "Stand by Me"-a US Top 10 hit, both in 1961 and later in 1986 (when it was used as the theme to the film of the same name), a number one hit in the UK in 1987, and #25 on the RIAA's list of Songs of the Century-and as one of the principal lead singers of the R&B vocal group the Drifters.

Ben E. King cause of death

It was announced on May 1, 2015, that King had died at the Hackensack University Medical Center on April 30, 2015, at the age of 76. His agent said he suffered from "coronary problems" at the time of his death. King was survived by his wife of 51 years, Betty.

Stand By Me, Ben E King, 1961

Ben E. King and The Drifters - There Goes My Baby

Jack Ely, Kingsmen, 'Louie Louie,' dies 71

Jack Brown Ely (September 11, 1943 – April 28, 2015) was an American guitarist and singer, best known for singing the Kingsmen's version of "Louie Louie". He was born in Portland, Oregon; his father died when Jack was four. Ely was classically trained in piano and began playing guitar after seeing Elvis Presley on television. In 1959, he co-founded the Kingsmen and with them recorded "Louie Louie" in 1963; Ely's famously incoherent vocals were partly the result of his braces and the rudimentary recording method. Before the record became a hit Ely was forced out of the group and began playing with his new band, the Courtmen.

Ely died in Terrebonne, Oregon, on April 28, 2015 at age 71 after suffering unknown illness.

Louie Louie - The Kingsmen

Julie May Wilson, singer and actress, dies 90

Julie May Wilson (October 21, 1924 – April 5, 2015) was an American singer and actress. She was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical in 1989 for her performance in Legs Diamond.

Wilson suffered a stroke on April 5, 2015 in Manhattan and died the same day. She was 90.

Julie Wilson in This Could be the Night (1957)

Tracey Ullman's mother dies in house fire at 85

Tracey Ullman's mother, Dorin "Doreen" Skinner died in a fire which occurred in her retirement flat on 23 March 2015. She was eighty-five years old.

Tracey Ullman's husband Allan McKeown died on December 24, 2013 at his home from prostate cancer, just three days shy of his thirtieth wedding anniversary.

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Tracey Ullman (born 30 December 1959) is an English-American stage and television actress, comedienne, singer, dancer, director, author, and screenwriter of dual British and American citizenship.

Leonard Nimoy, Spock of 'Star Trek,' Dies 83

walk of fame

Leonard Simon Nimoy (March 26, 1931 – February 27, 2015) was an American actor, film director, photographer, author, poet, singer and songwriter. He was known for his role as Mr. Spock of the Star Trek franchise.

In 1965, he made his first appearance in the rejected Star Trek pilot "The Cage", and went on to play the character of Spock until 1969, followed by eight feature films and guest slots in the various spin-off series.

Leonard Nimoy starred in Mission: Impossible for two seasons. He also had a recurring role in the science fiction series Fringe.

Leonard Nimoy has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Leonard Nimoy cause of death

Leonard Nimoy died of complications of COPD on February 27, 2015, at the age of 83, in his Bel Air home.

In February 2014, Nimoy revealed publicly that he had been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition he attributed to a smoking habit he had given up about 30 years earlier. On February 19, 2015, having been in and out of hospitals for the past several months, Nimoy was taken to UCLA Medical Center for chest pains.

TOP 7 Spock's Moments [season 2]

Rod Taylor, Actor, 'The Birds,' 'The Time Machine,' Dies 84

Rodney Sturt "Rod" Taylor (January 11, 1930 – January 7, 2015) was an Australian actor of film and television. He appeared in over 50 films, including leading roles in The Time Machine, Seven Seas to Calais, The Birds, Sunday in New York, Young Cassidy, Dark of the Sun, The Liquidator, and The Train Robbers.

He also made a strong impression guest-starring in an episode of The Twilight Zone titled “And When the Sky Was Opened” (1959).

Taylor suffered a heart attack and died on 7 January 2015 in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 84.

The Time Machine Official Trailer

The Birds (1963)

Joe Cocker, Singer, Dies 70

grammy winner

John Robert "Joe" Cocker OBE (May 20, 1944 – December 22, 2014) was an English rock and blues singer, who came to popularity in the 1960s, and was known for his gritty voice, his spasmodic body movement in performance and his cover versions of popular songs, particularly those of the Beatles.

His cover of the Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends" reached number one in the UK in 1968, and he performed the song live at Woodstock in 1969. His version also became the theme song for the TV series The Wonder Years. His 1975 cover of Billy Preston's "You Are So Beautiful", reached number five in the US. Cocker is the recipient of several awards, including a 1983 Grammy Award for his US number one "Up Where We Belong", a duet with Jennifer Warnes. In 1993 he was nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Male, in 2007 was awarded a bronze Sheffield Legends plaque in his hometown, and in 2008 he received an OBE at Buckingham Palace for services to music. Cocker was ranked #97 on Rolling Stone's 100 greatest singers list.

Joe Cocker cause of death

Cocker died of lung cancer on 22 December 2014 in Crawford, Colorado. Joe Cocker was 70 years old at the time of his death.

JOE COCKER -With A Little Help From My Friends- 1969 Woodstock..

Mike Nichols, Oscar-winning director of 'The Graduate,' dies 83

oscaremmy winneremmy winneremmy winneremmy winnergolden globegrammy winner

He was married to former ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer on April 29, 1988 (until his death)

Mike Nichols (born Mikhail Igor Peschkowsky; November 6, 1931 – November 19, 2014) was a German-born American film and theatre director, producer, actor and comedian. He began his career in the 1950s with the improv troupe The Compass Players, predecessor of the Second City in Chicago and as one half of the comedy duo Nichols and May, along with Elaine May. May was also in the Compass. In 1968 he won the Academy Award for Best Director for the film The Graduate. His other films include Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Catch-22, Carnal Knowledge, Silkwood, Working Girl, The Birdcage, Closer, Charlie Wilson's War (his final picture), and the TV mini-series Angels in America. He also staged the original theatrical productions of The Apple Tree, Barefoot in the Park, Luv, The Odd Couple and Spamalot.

Nichols was one of a small group of people who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award. His other honors included the Lincoln Center Gala Tribute in 1999, the National Medal of Arts in 2001, the Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2010. His films garnered a total of 42 Oscar nominations and seven awards.

Mike Nichols cause of death

Nichols died of a heart attack on November 19, 2014, at his apartment in Manhattan.  Mike Nichols was 83 years old at the time of his death.

Jimmy Ruffin, Motown singer, 'What Becomes of the Brokenhearted', dies 78

Jimmy Lee Ruffin (May 7, 1936 – November 17, 2014) was an American soul singer, and elder brother of David Ruffin of The Temptations.

He had several hit records between the 1960s and 1980s, the most successful being the Top 10 classics, "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" and "Hold On (To My Love)".

After leaving the Army in 1964, he returned to Motown, where he was offered the opportunity to join the Temptations to replace Elbridge Bryant. However, after hearing his brother David, they hired him for the job instead so Jimmy decided to resume his solo career.

Jimmy Ruffin cause of death.

Living in the Las Vegas, Nevada area, on October 17, 2014, it was reported that Jimmy was gravely ill and had been taken into an intensive care unit at a Las Vegas hospital. Ruffin died on November 17, 2014, in Las Vegas, aged 78.

Cause of death was not releases.

Jimmy Ruffin - What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted (1965)

Carol Susi, voice of Mrs. Wolowitz in 'Big Bang Theory', dies 62

Carol Ann Susi (February 2, 1952 – November 11, 2014) was an American actress best known for providing the voice of recurring unseen character Mrs. Wolowitz on the television series The Big Bang Theory.

Susi made her first screen appearance in Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Other television and film credits included: Coyote Ugly, Just Go with It, Becker, Grey's Anatomy, That '70s Show, Out of Practice, Cats & Dogs, Just Shoot Me, Married... with Children, The King of Queens, Death Becomes Her, Seinfeld, The Secret of My Success, My Blue Heaven, and Sabrina, The Teenage Witch. She also had extensive experience in live theater and voiced a character on the video game installment of CSI: NY.

Carol Ann Susi cause of death

Susi died of cancer on November 11, 2014 in Los Angeles, California at the age of 62.

Howard's Mother, Mrs. Wolowitz, All Scenes - Season 1-4

Big Bank Hank, of Sugarhill Gang, Dies 57

Henry Lee Jackson (January 11, 1956 – November 11, 2014), known by his stage name, Big Bank Hank, was an American old school rapper and manager. Also known as Imp the Dimp, he was a member of the trio The Sugarhill Gang, the first hip hop act to have a hit with the cross-over single "Rapper's Delight" in the pop music charts in 1979.  He contributed to many documentaries based on the rap music industry

Big Bank Hank cause of death

A resident of Tenafly, New Jersey, Hank died at the age of 58 at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in nearby Englewood on November 11, 2014, from kidney complications due to cancer.

The sugar hill gang - Rapper's delight

Big Bank Hank with a hat

Tom Magliozzi, NPR's 'Car Talk', Dies 77

Thomas Louis Magliozzi (June 28, 1937 – November 3, 2014) and his brother Raymond F. Magliozzi (born March 30, 1949) were the co-hosts of NPR's weekly radio show, Car Talk, where they were known as "Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers". Their show was honored with a Peabody Award in 1992.

Tom Magliozzi cause of death

On November 3, 2014, Tom died in Belmont, Massachusetts, due to complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 77.

Acker Bilk, jazz clarinettest, dies 85

Bernard Stanley "Acker" Bilk MBE (January 28, 1929 – November 2, 2014) was an English clarinettist and vocalist, billed as Mr. Acker Bilk on many of his recordings. He was known for his trademark goatee, bowler hat, striped waistcoat and his breathy, vibrato-rich, lower-register clarinet style.

Bilk's 1962 instrumental tune "Stranger on the Shore" became the UK's biggest selling single of 1962 where it remained in the UK charts for more than 50 weeks, peaking at number two, and was the first No. 1 single in the US by a British artist in the era of the modern Billboard Hot 100 pop chart.

Acker Bilk cause of death

He died on November 2, 2014 at the age of 85. He is survived by his wife Jean, daughter Jenny and son Pete. Cause of death was not released.

Stranger On The Shore - Acker Bilk

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