Singer, dancer, and actress Aaliyah was just 14 when she recorded her debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number,” a smash hit that went double platinum and launched a career that just kept rising. We remember Aaliyah’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
Singer, dancer, and actress Aaliyah was just 14 when she recorded her debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number,” a smash hit that went double platinum and launched a career that just kept rising. Her subsequent albums also were chart favorites, and her hit singles included “If Your Girl Only Knew” and “Try Again.” She starred in the movies “Romeo Must Die” and “Queen of the Damned,” and she was poised for further stardom when she died in a plane crash at 22. We remember Aaliyah’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2018: John McCain, the “maverick” Republican who survived years of torture as a prisoner of war in Vietnam to become one of the most influential U.S. senators of his time, dies at 81.
2016: Marvin Kaplan, U.S. prolific comedy character actor who played the diner patron Henry the telephone repairer on the sitcom “Alice,” dies at 89.
2013: Bobby Hoff, U.S. professional poker player known as the Wizard, who finished second in the 1979 World Series of Poker and won more than $500,000 in poker tournaments, dies at 73.
2012: Neil Armstrong, U.S. astronaut who was the first person to walk on the moon, dies at 82.
Armstrong, the astronaut who became the first man to set foot on the moon, personified NASA’s Apollo space mission. When Armstrong died, a nation remembered his massive contributions to the space program, especially that first step on the moon. “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind” is one of the most famous quotes in our history, one that still quickens pulses and makes us turn our eyes to the sky in wonder. Read more
In nearly 50 years in the Senate, Kennedy served alongside 10 presidents — his brother John Fitzgerald Kennedy among them — compiling an impressive list of legislative achievements on health care, civil rights, education, immigration, and more, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. His only run for the White House ended in defeat in 1980. More than a quarter-century later, he handed then-Sen. Barack Obama an endorsement at a critical point in the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, explicitly likening the young contender to President Kennedy. Read more
2001: Aaliyah, U.S. singer, dancer, and actress whose three albums each sold in excess of 3 million copies and who starred in the movie “Romeo Must Die,” dies in a plane crash at 22.
The strident “diva” sound reigned supreme for female R&B artists of the 1980s and ’90s. Think Whitney Houston belting out “I Will Always Love You” – a loud voice and plenty of notes on each syllable. Indeed, Houston was a major innovator of that style, and for years her influence had a tight grip on the genre. Then came Aaliyah, and her subtle, quiet, breathy vocals changed everything. Sometimes almost disappearing into the music instead of rising above it, Aaliyah’s hypnotic voice compelled attention instead of demanding it. Aaliyah’s quiet, sometimes monotone style has since been echoed by Rihanna, Ashanti, and others – and while the divas are still out there, they’re now far from the primary female sound on the airwaves. Read more
2000: Allen Woody, U.S. bassist known best as a member of the Allman Brothers Band and Gov’t Mule, dies at 44.
2000: Jack Nitzsche, Oscar-winning U.S. musician, producer, and composer who played keyboards on many of the Rolling Stones’ early albums and produced Neil Young’s album “Harvest,” dies of cardiac arrest brought on by a recurring bronchial infection at 63.
2000: Carl Barks, U.S. cartoonist who worked for The Walt Disney Studio and created the characters Scrooge McDuck and the Junior Woodchucks, dies at 99.
1999: Rob Fisher, English keyboardist and songwriter who formed the group Naked Eyes with Pete Byrne and had the new wave hit songs “Always Something There To Remind Me” and “Promises, Promises,” dies at 42.
1991: Niven Busch, U.S. author and screenwriter who wrote the best-seller “Duel in the Sun” and co-wrote the screenplay for “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” dies of congestive heart failure at 88.
1988: Art Rooney, U.S. Pro Football Hall of Fame owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers from the start of the franchise in 1933 until his death, dies after a stroke at 87.
1986: Allen Case, U.S. actor who starred on the television series “The Deputy,” dies of a heart attack at 51.
1985: Samantha Smith, U.S. peace activist and actress who became famous during the Cold War era for writing a letter to the leader of the Soviet Union, Yuri Andropov, asking him to accept peace and not war with the U.S., who also was a regular cast member on the television series “Lime Street,” dies in a plane crash at 13.
1984: Waite Hoyt, U.S. Major League Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher who was a dominant starting pitcher for the New York Yankees during the 1920s, helping them to win three World Series championships, dies after a heart attack at 84.
1984: Truman Capote, U.S. author, playwright, and screenwriter known best for “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “In Cold Blood,” dies at 59.
1980: Gower Champion, U.S. actor, dancer, and theater director who appeared in such movies as “Show Boat” and “Give a Girl a Break,” and directed the Broadway hit plays “Hello Dolly!” and “Bye Bye Birdie,” dies of a rare blood cancer at 61.
1971: Ted Lewis, U.S. bandleader, singer, and musician known as Mr. Entertainment – whose catchphrase was, “Is everybody happy?” – dies at 81.
1967: Paul Muni, Austrian-born U.S. actor known best for his starring role in the original version of the movie “Scarface,” dies at 71.
1965: Moonlight Graham, U.S. Major League Baseball player and then a medical doctor who appeared in only one big league game with the New York Giants, whose story provided the basis for the popular movie “Field of Dreams,” dies at 85.
1956: Alfred Kinsey, U.S. sexologist and biologist who was a pioneer in studying human sexuality and was known for writing “The Kinsey Reports,” dies of a heart ailment and pneumonia at 62.
1900: Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher who was highly influential, particularly in the schools of existentialism and postmodernism, dies at 55.