The sad news of Isabel Granada’s passing proved once more that we feel a loss over a celebrity’s death even if we’ve never met them. Vice explains that such a phenomenon is real and is part of how we tend to form “para-social relationships” to the public figures that entertain us. For some people, their idols’ demise is the first time they deal with death. While the distance between us and the celebrity as opposed to losing a loved one also gives way to more emotional sympathy. Unhindered by legal responsibilities we deal with family, a celebrity’s death allows us to turn our attention to the grief and to the people who have suffered the loss.
Social media has magnified this shared effect. It was evident with the various posts that popped up when the news of Chester Bennington‘s death broke out. Twitter becomes a support group especially when a big star like David Bowie dies or that of a revered actor like Alan Rickman. The magnitude of the loss just pierces across cultures.
A celebrity’s death also brings to mind the stories of other celebrities that were gone to soon. In looking back at their life, and what happened after, we again acknowledge our own existence. Vice quotes Dr. Samita Nandy of the Center for Media and Celebrity Studies for this, “As in real life, any such death also reminds us of our own mortality, which we tend to reverse through cultural constructions of immortality in fame.”
Here we list down and remember a few celebrity deaths which still are heavy in their fans hearts.
Every other artist of late will most likely list Amy as one of their influences. The singer-songwriter tragically joined the 27 Club. She died of alcohol poisoning due to a session of binge drinking. Her problems with alcohol were part of the many demons she dealt with through her songs.
Claudine Barretto posted a series of photos to remember Rico on his 15th death anniversary. This included a Polaroid of the two of them along with a note Rico penned for his then-girlfriend. Rico, who was a darling of the industry, met his demise in Palawan due to acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis.
In 2015, fans of the R&B star created the #AaliyahforMAC hashtag to pressure MAC Cosmetics to create a collection to commemorate the 20th anniversary of One in a Million, Aaliyah’s monumental album. This just proves the lasting impact Aaliyah had on. The young actress died at just 22 years old in a plane crash that shocked the whole world. In 2003, Aaliyah’s song Miss You became a tribute to her with cameos from different music personalities including Missy Elliot and Jamie Foxx.