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Celebrity Death Stats 2017: Nearing a Final Analysis

Getty Images / GC Images / Bauer-Griffin / AaronP

Will 2017 be the new "year of celebrity death"?

Around this time last year, one of the top news topics was the outsized number of celebrity deaths throughout the year. We at Legacy covered it, too: I crunched the numbers to compare 2016 to previous years via statistical analysis, and I found that it was pretty much the Year of Celebrity Death.  

I suspected that the trend that started in 2016 would continue in 2017, and as the year comes to a close, I'm looking back at the obituaries my colleagues and I have written and comparing the numbers to last year's. Here are a few things I'll be exploring in the analysis I'll release in about a month:

*Do 2017's numbers match up to 2016's? What about the REALLY BIG deaths – could there possibly be even more of them than last year?

*Are musicians dying in disproportionate numbers again, like they did last year?

*Do the younger-than-average deaths of Tom Petty, Chris Cornell, and Chester Bennington add up to a trend that echoes last year's extra-low average age of celebrity death?

*And what is up with all the dudes? Is it true that the vast majority of celebrity deaths this year have been men?

Stay tuned for all the answers, but don't expect them too early. In the spirit of true and accurate analysis, I'll be waiting until after the last of the year to put a cap on my findings. After all, three of last year's biggest and most shocking deaths – George Michael, Carrie Fisher, and Debbie Reynolds – happened in the very last week of the year, after many news outlets had wrapped things up for 2016.