The Grammy award show was littered with shocks and surprise wins this year, and people were just as focused on who wasn’t attending as who did show up.
Amidst the white roses that celebrities were wearing to show support for the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, there were other nods to recognizing the difficulties that women have been facing in Hollywood for decades.
Of particular note was the award granted to late actress and writer, Carrie Fisher. Fisher came to be known for her famous role in the Star Wars series, but she had her hand in many other productions throughout her career.
Unfortunately, likely due to discrimination as a woman in the industry, her work with doctoring scripts was constantly overlooked and unaccredited.
Now, a year after her death, it seems that she is finally getting the recognition that she deserves.
While it may be a little unorthodox, that’s exactly how Fisher would have wanted it to be!
The music industry was devastated to learn of the sudden passing of Lari White, who rocked the gospel and southern rock scene for decades.
White was a legendary performer and award-winning producer, who not only wrote hits for her own albums, but helped lift the careers of other artists along the way.
Her career began while performing with her family’s Gospel band in Florida, where she was born. Achieving stardom through a talent show, White released her debut album “Wishes” that rocketed to the top of the charts. She would go on to win several Grammy awards for her work.
With many hit songs over the course of decades, White turned her attention to producing the music of other artists, becoming the first first female producer of a male superstar, Toby Keith.
The star’s family announced earlier this week that White had passed away while in hospice care, surrounded by loved ones. Since then, there has been a flood of tributes and touching messages from the country music industry in response to her death.
Another celebrity has left us too soon, and unfortunately, there wasn’t much anyone could do to stop it.
Lari White, famed country music star, passed away Tuesday morning surrounded by her friends and family.
White rose to fame in the 80s after performing in a musical competition in Tennessee. She then entered the You Can Be A Star talent show in Nashville, blowing away the audience and judges with her incredible voice and stage presence.
In a few years time, she would take the national headlines by storm with her 1994 album, “Wishes.”
White shot up the charts with singles like That’s My Baby, That’s How You Know (When You’re In Love), and Now I Know.
She would go on to win not one, but three Grammy Awards for the Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album.
But her ambitions didn’t end there, she had a taste of the limelight as a star, and wanted more.
One of the original Queens of Hollywood, Rose Marie, has passed away at the age of 94. The famous Broadway star was a legend in the television world, with a lifelong career that eclipsed many other male actors of her era in a time when it was hard enough for women to even enter the industry.
In a professional career that spanned nine decades, her entry to fame came at age four, when she began recording songs for a sound short titled Baby Rose Marie the Child Wonder.
From there, she started working with various orchestras and jazz ensembles, skyrocketing in her youth to the charts. In fact, she was the last surviving singer to have a hit from before the Second World War, before her death.
RIP Rose Marie, one of the original (and terrific) wisecracking women in comedy. TV would never have been the same without her.
On August 8, the legendary Glen Campbell passed away at the age of 81 from complications relating to Alzheimer’s disease, which he had been battling since 2011.
The country crooner, best known for his hit “Rhinestone Cowboy,” is survived by his wife, Kim, and his eight children, Debby, who was born to his first wife Diane Kirk; Kelli, Wesley, and Kane, who were from his second marriage to Billie Jean Nunley; Dillon, who was born to his third wife Sarah Barg, as well as Cal, Shannon, and Ashley, whom he shared with Kim.
Shortly after his death, Ashley, the youngest of Glen’s children, shared a heartfelt tribute to her father on social media.
“I owe him everything I am, and everything I ever will be. He will be remembered so well and with so much love,” she wrote on Twitter.
From an outsider’s perspective, the family appeared tight-knit and in-sync, however recent court documents regarding Glen’s estate are indicating otherwise.
Apparently, there has been a rift between Glen’s family members, and according to the Tennessean, he’s left some of them out of his will.
The name Rance Howard may not ring a bell for you, but it’s almost guaranteed that his face will garner recognition. Father of Ron Howard, Rance appeared in numerous films and television shows, usually as minor characters or comic relief.
Born in 1928, Rance Howard had more than 280 acting credits to his name. The Oklahoma native was most well-known for his roles in A Beautiful Mind, Nebraska, Babylon 5, and The Waltons, and was considered one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood.
Howard married Jean Speegle-Howard in 1949, and they stayed married until her death in 2000. Together, they had two children: Ron Howard and Clint Howard. He was the grandfather to Bryce Dallas, Paige, Reed, and Jocelyn Howard, and great-grandfather to Beatrice Jean and Theodore Norman. After his wife’s death, Rance re-married in 2001. His second wife, Judy Howard, passed away in January of 2017.
Ron Howard, an award-winning director, actor, and writer, took to social media to announce his father’s passing, and to offer some kind words in his memory.
We were all saddened to hear that teenage heartthrob, David Cassidy passed away at the age of 67.
After suffering from organ failure, the former “Partridge Family” star was surrounded by his family in hospital before his passing.
“On behalf of the entire Cassidy family, it is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our father, our uncle, and our dear brother, David Cassidy,” his family said in a statement. “David died surrounded by those he loved, with joy in his heart and free from the pain that had gripped him for so long. Thank you for the abundance and support you have shown him these many years.”
Cassidy leaves behind his son Beau, his daughter Katie, his brother Shaun, Patrick and Ryan, as well as his mother Shirley-Jones and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
In spite of having a huge support system and fan base, Cassidy will not be having a funeral.
Touched By An Angel was a show like no other. Rarely did we see a television program based so heavily in faith, and that’s why we loved it. Every week, we learned a little more about God and a little more about ourselves, too.
Della Reese played our favorite angel, Tess. She was a wise, mothering type, who always gave tough love and great advice. Roma Downey, her co-star, even said Reese was like a mother to her.
“She’s very wise. She’s very loving,” Downey said. “She can be a little gruff at times, but she’s always adoring and adorable. I lost my mother when I was very young, and during my whole adolescence and into my twenties, I’d been looking for a mother figure, and I really think I can say with absolute truth and sincerity that I feel that I finally found her in Della Reese. I think I’ll just always remember the feel of her neck against my cheek when she hugs me and the love I know that she has for me and the love that I feel for her and the love that she has for God. To know Della is to know that she loves God.”
A jazz singer in her own right, Della Reese shot to fame in 1957 with the release of “And That Reminds Me” which landed her on the Top 20 chart. In 1961, she was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Female Pop Performance on her show, Della.
Reese had a few TV appearances after Touched By An Angel, but her life was interrupted when she began experiencing complications from type II diabetes.
“My life is at stake,” she said. “I don’t have type 2 diabetes — type 2 diabetes has me.”
Reese was confined to a wheelchair after two brain surgeries resulting from diabetes complications. The world did not realize how bad Reese’s condition had gotten until 2014 when she appeared at Roma Downey’s Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony.
Sadly, Della Reese lost her battle with diabetes at the age of 86. Roma Downey released a touching statement regarding the news.
Hugh Hefner recently passed away, but it would be a lie to say he didn’t live a good life.
In 1953, the iconic Playboy magazine was launched be Hefner, who hadn’t hit 30 years old yet.
“It was an exciting time because I had no idea how things would turn out,” Hefner said. “I launched the magazine on $5000 dollars. My mother loaned me $1000. The first issue came out at the end of 1953. I knew I needed something original. I had a photographer shoot a 3D feature for the first issue and learned it would cost too much money. When the 3D thing turned out to be too expensive, at that same moment I came across the photos of Marilyn Monroe. People had heard about it but they hadn’t seen it. And that was the first issue.”
Hefner was married to his childhood sweetheart, Mildred Williams from 1949 to 1959. Together, they had two children, Christie and David.
“I was an absent dad. Once the magazine started, I really had two families,” Hefner revealed to People. “The dream was the magazine. I worked through the night all the time.”
After their marriage fell apart, Hefner had many girlfriends. He married again in 1989, this time to Kimberely Conrad. Together, they had two sons, Martson and Cooper.
“I was more into the marriage the second time,” Hefner confessed. “It was good. I was ready to be a dad again…having two boys was a parallel of my own childhood, my brother and I.”
The couple separated in 1998 but didn’t officially divorce until 11 years later in 2010. In 2012, Hefner married his third wife, Crystal Harris. Despite their 60-year age gap, the two seemed to be in love.
“I didn’t give [getting married again] a lot of thought,” said Hefner in an interview. “I wasn’t really planning on getting married. She indicated that she wanted. And I don’t think either one of us has ever regretted it. We’re very happy together. I’m not sure how, but something clicked there very quickly. Crystal is one in a million. I feel very lucky to have her in my life in this way.”
When Hefner passed away, he left behind a $43 million fortune, not to mention the $100 million he made off selling the Playboy Mansion. He had $36million worth of stocks and bonds and $6million in a joint account with an unnamed person. His monthly earnings from the magazine only totaled $100,000, with the rest coming from his pension.
However, if Crystal thought this was a game of “wait it out and then get rich,” you would be wrong.
Though Lewis had his problems in the public eye, there were rumors he also had issues at home. Married to Patti Palmer from 1944 to 1980, Lewis was a father to six sons. As years went by, stories came to light that Lewis may not have been a great dad. In 2009, his youngest son Joseph died of a drug overdose, and one of the other sons, Gary, blamed it on their father.
“He was never loving and caring toward me or my brothers,” Gary said. “I don’t know if Joe’s death is drug related, but I believe it could have been prevented if he and my father had been on better terms. I believe he partly died of a broken heart. [My father] doesn’t really care. He’s more worried about his career and his image than his own family.”
“To this day I don’t understand it because it’s unfair — not unfair to me, but unfair to him. That he went that way made the unfairness stupidity,” said Jerry of his son’s death. “But he was my son and he’s gone, and there’s not a lot I can do about that. I beat myself a thousand times.”
In 1983, Lewis married his second wife, SanDee Pitnick. The two never had biological children, but they did adopt a daughter in 1992, Danielle.
Now that Lewis has passed on, his estate is left to be dealt with. But when the will was opened, his estranged family was left with a shock.