As we say goodbye to another year, we must also acknowledge the influential people who passed away in 2018. While all deaths are tragic, some are sudden, premature or just so unexpected that they shock the entire world. Here is our list of the top 5 most shocking celebrity deaths of 2018.
Lead singer of The Cranberries Dolores O'Riordan passed away on January 15, 2018, to the dismay of fans across the globe.
The Irish mezzo-soprano joined The Cranberries when she replied to an advertisement for a female singer in 1989. The band released hits such as "Zombie," "Dreams" and, perhaps their most famous single, "Linger." Her unique voice and signature pixie hair made her a 90s music and style icon. She went on to some solo ventures before returning to The Cranberries in 2009. The band remained together until her death.
At only 46 years of age, the news of her passing sparked much public interest but the cause of death was kept under wraps for months. In September of 2018 an inquest ruled that O'Riordan had died of accidental drowning as a result of alcohol intoxication. She also has prescription drugs in her system at the time of her death, but it was determined that these were only in therapeutic doses.
Her musical legacy lives on in her songs, and tributes made in her honor by notables such as Irish president Michael D. Higgins.
Mac Miller was an American rapper, singer and music producer who quickly made a mark on musical history in his short life. He passed away on September 7, 2018, at the young age of 26.
He first began rapping at just 14 years old under his first stage name, Easy Mac. He signed to his first record label in 2010, and began to collaborate with artists such as Maroon 5, Pharrell Williams and Ariana Grande. He released hit after hit, including songs like "Donald Trump," "Self Care," and "Hurt Feelings."
In August of 2016, Mac Miller and Ariana Grande began a romantic relationship that continued until May 2018. That same month, he was involved in a hit and run, and charged with driving under the influence. Miller had famously kicked an addiction to "purple drank," a combination of cough syrup and a carbonated soda, after relying on it heavily to cope with the pressures of touring.
Although he managed to kick his addiction to purple drank, he ultimately died of an overdose of cocaine, alcohol and fentanyl. His death was totally unexpected, with some misguided fans blaming his ex-girlfriend Ariana Grande for the rapper's tragic end. His music continues to be an inspiration to those who followed the young rapper's short, but prolific, career.
Kate Spade's death in June of 2018 was another that no one saw coming. The 55-year-old handbag designer and fashion mogul was a mother, wife, and one of the most universally loved New York elites. When news began to trickle out that the death had been a suicide, the outpouring of grief was palpably dumbfounded.
Kate Spade's self-styled brand of handbags, accessories and clothing is recognizable by its bright, chunky and ever-optimistic patterning. Launched in 1993, soon Kate Spade was a household name. The handbags were popular with young American women, who loved the stylish, yet affordable, pieces. Blending sophistication with whimsy and fun, Spade's brand was a Manhattan staple that went global.
On June 5, 2018, Kate Spade was discovered dead by hanging in her Manhattan apartment, bringing and end to her reign as a fashion monarch. Leaving behind 11-year-old daughter Frances, many could not understand how such a bright and vibrant woman, who seemingly had it all, could succumb to depression so suddenly. Her death was a stern reminder that signs of depression aren't always obvious on the outside.
Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain was another unexpected and tragic celebrity death of 2018. At 61, he was still traveling the world filming episodes for his culinary show, Parts Unknown.
Known as a culinary bad boy, Anthony Bourdain made the world of executive cooking mainstream in various television projects. He worked as an executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in New York for years, before turning his attention to travel documentaries and the exploration of international cuisine, which garnered most of his public reputation for culinary excellence.
Though he was known to use drugs like cocaine, heroin and LSD earlier in his career (perhaps contributing to his bad boy image), he had no illegal drugs in his system when he was discovered dead by hanging on June 8, 2018. His death was a shock. Those closest to him couldn't believe the celebrity chef would do such a thing, and the death was chalked up to an impulsive act. It was another reminder from 2018 of the private pain that can continue behind the closed doors of depression.
Colin Kroll's death came late in 2018, dealing one final blow of the year. At 34 years old, Kroll was a tech entrepreneur who ought to have had a bright future ahead of him.
Colin Kroll co-founded the short-form video app Vine in 2013. He sold the app to Twitter, where he worked following the transition. However, he was fired from Twitter following allegations of being a bad manager and workplace harassment. Later, he and Vine co-founder Rus Yusupov also founded the free app Trivia HQ.
On December 16, 2018, Colin Kroll was found in his New York City apartment, dead of a a drug overdose. His death was a tragedy in the tech sector, and a brutal end to the year of 2018.
Sudden deaths are often the most shocking and unfortunate. Suicides and drug overdoses can be prevented, and it makes these kinds of losses all the more tragic.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can help. It's a 24/7 toll-free hotline that can help if you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts. Pass this number to a friend, or save it for future reference:
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