20+ Celebrities Who Died Young

Losing a Hollywood star is always hard, but it’s even more tragic when they die young. Many famous people have passed away in their 30s or even before, including Cory Monteith, Marilyn Monroe, John F. Kennedy Jr., Robin Williams, and many more. They all left us abruptly and without any warning.

On the other hand, actors including Willie Garson and Chadwick Boseman battled cancer privately and left us at a very young age. These beloved stars who captivated audiences and fans worldwide have left an empty space and now live in our memories.  So, here is a list of all the notable celebrities who have died at a very young age.

Misty Upham

Misty Upham

The Blackfeet actress, who was widely known for appearing in the movie Frozen River, passed away on 5th October 2014, nearly 10 years ago. The actress’s body was found dead in a ravine near Seattle when she was only 32 years old. Before her demise, the Django Unchained actress was reported missing and her father revealed that she was suffering from Bipolar Disorder. Due to this, the actress was also having suicidal thoughts. Upham was also well-known for playing the role of a housekeeper in the film August which was released in 2013.

Charmayne Maxwell

Charmayne Maxwell

The Brownstone singer, who was popularly known as Maxee, died on 28th February 2015 at the age of 46 in her own residence. The singer was found by her husband in a bleeding state after she fell from the balcony and cut her neck on a wine glass. Her husband immediately called 911 for the emergency but the R&B singer tragically died on the way. At her funeral, her husband, Carsten Schack, described her as a wonderful wife and a mother. Charmayne Maxwell’s professional career reached prominence when she started her musical band with Nicci Gilbert and Monica “Mimi” Doby.

Aaliyah

Aaliyah

Almost two decades ago, Aaliyah, the American singer and actress passed away at the age of 22 in a tragic plane crash. The twin engine of the airplane in which she was traveling crashed shortly after it took off. The R&B singer who also used to sing hip-hop was popular for her songs including Try Again, Are You That Somebody, One In A Million, Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number, and 4 Page Letter.

Anthony Mason

Anthony Mason

Another celebrity who passed away at a young age is the American Basketball player, Anthony Mason. The New York Knicks player suddenly died at the age of 48, on 28th February 2015, just two weeks after he suffered a heart attack. The player who started his career by getting selected in the 1988 NBA Draft,  was diagnosed with congestive failure a few weeks before his abrupt death. Anthony Mason had a decade-long professional career and played for teams such as the Charlotte Hornets, Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets, and New York Knicks.

Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse, the renowned singer and songwriter of all time died at the very young age of 27. The English singer, who was widely known for her deep and expressive contralto vocals, passed away on 23rd July 2011, and the cause of her untimely death was not revealed. But it was made sure by her reports that Illegal drugs were not involved. In addition, the singer who was a Grammy-winner for a total of six times, struggled with drug addiction for a long time.

Joanne Borgella

Joanne Borgella

On 18th October 2014, the American singer and plus-size model, Joanne Borgella tragically passed away at the age of 32 due to endometrial cancer. The news of her cancer diagnosis was revealed to her fans in 2013. The singer was formerly a Wilhelmina model, but she ultimately became notorious after winning the 2006 pageant for Mo’Nique’s Fat Chance. Also, Joanne’s appearance in the seventh season of American Idol in 2008 made her a household name. She also appeared on a television show, Curvy Girls, which used to air on the Latino network NUVOtv.

Brittany Murphy

Brittany Murphy

The news of Brittany Murphy’s death was made public right before Christmas in the year 2009. The popular actress and singer, who was praised for her first appearance as Tai Frasier in Clueless tragically died at the age of 32 on 20th December 2009. The cause of her death was revealed as complications from pneumonia and multiple drug intoxication. The popular actress was also known for collaborating with stars such as Eminem, Angelina Jolie, Ashton Kutcher, and many more.

Simone Battle

Simone Battle

The promising pop singer who was well-known for being a member of the girl band GRL, died at the age of 25 on 5th September, 2014. The GRL singer was found hanging by her boyfriend in their West Hollywood home. The untimely death of Simone was ruled as Suicide by the Coroner of Los Angeles County. It was revealed by the singer’s family that she became depressed over the years due to some financial struggles and her band was not breaking through the US Charts.

Big Pun

Big Pun

Big Punisher or Big Bun whose real name was Christopher Lee Rios died at the age of 28. The death of the rapper was caused due to his weight, which was a problem throughout his whole life. The American rapper struggled with his weight at the time of his demise and suffered a massive heart attack on 7th February 2000 in White Plains, New York. At this time, his total weight was 698 pounds which is 317 kg.

Stephanie Moseley

Stephanie Moseley

The well-known American actress who was born in Canada lost her life at the very young age of 30. The former star of VH1’s Hit the Floor tragically lost her life in a death that was ruled as murder-suicide. It was revealed that the notable celebrity was killed by her husband Earl Hayes on 8th December 2014, who also shot himself after killing her. The sounds of the gunshots and screams were heard by the neighbors who were living in the area. Stephanie was known for her parts in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, Catwoman, and Mirror Mirror.

DJ AM

DJ AM

Adam Goldstein who was popularly known by his stage name DJ AM, died very soon and left a void in the hearts of many. The American DJ tragically passed away at the age of 36 due to an apparent drug overdose and officials found eight different kinds of drugs in his body. The disc jockey passed away on 28th August 2009 from a lethal cocktail of cocaine and cold medicine. After he joined the band named Crazy Town in 1999, the Philadelphia-born DJ became a household name.

Titi Branch

Titi Branch

Another untimely demise that shook the entire New York City to its core was the tragic death of Titi Branch, who was the co-founder of Miss Jessie. On 4th December 2014, the hair care maestro and a successful businesswoman who was 45 years old, died by claiming her own life in Midtown Manhattan. It was claimed by Titi’s sister that her boyfriend treated her like an ATM and was only with her for money due to which she took her life. She also alleged that Titi was ready to break up with him, but he blackmailed her with some photos.

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee

The death of the renowned martial artist from Hong Kong deeply shook people around the world, leaving fans heartbroken and mourning the loss of such an iconic figure. On 20th July 1973, Bruce Lee tragically passed away at the age of 32 in Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong. The artist was found to have cerebral edema when he fell unconscious while he was dubbing for his film, Enter the Dragon. At the time of his death, the medical examiners also found out that his brain had a considerable amount of swelling.

Lee Thompson Young

Lee Thompson Young

The American actor who began his professional career as a teenager died abruptly at the age of 29. On 19th August 2013, the South-Carolina-born actor, who was widely known for his appearance in the Disney Channel television series The Famous Jett Jackson tragically took his own life. But this has not been confirmed since his passing because nobody has said anything about his death.

Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger

The popular Australian actor, who was widely known for featuring in the 1999 film 10 Things I Hate About You, passed away very early. On 22nd January 2008, Heath Ledger suddenly died from an accidental prescription drug overdose. The official cause of death was ruled as a lethal mix of medications including OxyContin, Vicodin, Valium, Xanax, Unisom, and Restoril. At the time he was only 27 years old and was also in the middle of shooting his final film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. During his career, he appeared in 20 films including The Patriot, A Knight’s Tale, and Monster’s Ball.

Chris Kelly

Chris Kelly

The notable rapper who was born on 11th August 1978 tragically passed away at a very young age. On 1st May 2013, the Jump rapper died at the age of 34 due to a drug overdose that consisted of heroin and cocaine. Chris died at the Atlanta Hospital when he was found unresponsive at his home. However, the medical examiner of Fulton County ruled that his death was an accident which was caused by combining the drugs.

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix

The tragic and untimely death of Jimi Hendrix left the world in a state of mourning. On 18th Septemeber 1970, the American musician passed away at the age of 27 from an accidental drug overdose that was caused by Vesparax sleeping pills. However, it was also stated that there were certain suspicious occurrences during the time of his death which could have led to his demise. During his prominence in the 1960s, he was known as arguably the best instrumentalist in the history of rock music.

Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston

On 11th February 2012, the pop diva, who had a major impact on the music industry tragically left this world. The singer passed away due to accidental drowning just a day before the Grammy Awards in her hotel room at the age of 48. The contributing factors to her death were heart disease and cocaine use. After her death, it was revealed by her family that she had a long drug addiction which impacted her personal life scenes. Whitney was survived by her daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, who also died just 3 years after her mother’s death.

James Dean

James Dean

The Hollywood celebrity, whose career lasted only for five years tragically passed away at the young age of 24. The actor was killed in a car accident on 30th September 1955 in Cholame, California. In the Hollywood film industry, James is the only actor who has received two posthumous Academy Award acting nominations during his lifetime. The actor has received praise worldwide for appearing in several films including the East of Eden and Giant.

Heavy D

Heavy D

Another untimely death that sent shockwaves throughout the music industry was of the Jamaican-American rapper, Heavy D. On 8th November 2011 the rap legend died suddenly after he fainted in an empty hallway of his Los Angeles condo building. At the time of his death, the record producer was just 44 years old. The record producer was known for shaping rap music with a New Jack Swing in the late 80s and 90s.

Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain

The Nirvana frontman who only released three albums during his lifetime with the group sadly passed away on 5th April 1994. At the age of 27, Kurt died after battling a long battle with drug addiction and shooting himself in his head. He was discovered dead by an electrician who had visited his residence in Seattle to fix something. The death of Cobain marked the end of Nirvana and enhanced the 27-club which includes musicians who have died at the same age. Also, the death of Cobain raised the awareness of suicide and mental health.

Left Eye

Left Eye

Lisa Nicole Lopes who was popularly known by her stage name Left Eye, died at a very young age almost two decades ago. The American singer passed away in a car accident on 25th April 2002 at the age of 30, just weeks before her 31st birthday. Left Eye was a part of TLC which was the greatest girl group of all time and released nine singles which topped the billboard charts.

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

The sudden death of American actress and model, Marilyn Monroe sent shockwaves around the world. On 5th August 1962, she passed away due to acute barbiturate poisoning which was the result of a probable suicide inside her home in Los Angeles. At the time of her demise, she was only 36 years old and her body was discovered before dawn the next morning. In the 1950s and 60s, Marilyn Monroe was the greatest star of Hollywood and was one of the top-billed actresses.

Tupac

Tupac

Tupac whose real name was Tupac Amaru Shakur, left us all very soon. The American rapper who was also known as Makaveli passed away at the age of 25 on 13th September 1996. He died six days after a gunman shot him four times in his chest at a stoplight in Las Vegas, Nevada. The rapper was sitting at the back of a Black BMW with Suge Knight when a white Cadillac pulled over and started shooting multiple times.

Steve Irwin

Steve Irwin

On 4th September 2006, Steve Irwin who is also known as The Crocodile Hunter suddenly passed away at the age of 44 in Australia. The zookeeper and conservationist was killed by a stingray while he was filming in the Great Barrier Reef. The wildlife educator was struck by a huge trauma when the fish’s barb pierced into his chest, ultimately causing his demise. The death of Steve Irwin is one of the few deaths that have been caused by Stingrays and have actually been filmed.

The Notorious B.I.G.

The Notorious B.I.G.

The tragic death of Notorious B.I.G. who was also known as Christopher George Latore Wallace took place on 9th March 1997 when he was just 24 years old. His death occurred at the peak of his professional career. He was also killed in a drive-by shooting in LA, California. Just before his murder, he came back from promoting his second studio album Life After Death, and attended an after-party in Los Angeles.

Bob Marley

Bob Marley

The Jamaican singer who was considered a pioneer of his genre tragically passed away when he was just 36 years old. On 11th May 1981, the popular guitarist died from Melanoma which spread out to his brain and lungs. In July 1977, he was diagnosed with a type of malignant melanoma under the nail of his right big toe, but with time it got severe. Before his death, Bob’s influence on Jamaican music made him a popular figure worldwide and turned him into a global figure.

Anna Nicole Smith

Anna Nicole Smith

The final moments of Anna Nicole Smith were very tragic as the American actress struggled her whole life. The model whose real name was Vickie Lynn Hogan tragically passed away on 8th February 2007 at the young age of 39 due to combined intoxication from prescription drugs, although it was first reported to be suicide and homicide by the Seminole Police Department in Florida. It was also revealed by the officials that she had ingested sleeping medication to relieve her anxiety.

Florence Griffith Joyner

Florence Griffith Joyner

Another death that took place at a very young age was of track and field athlete Florence Griffith Joyner. The athlete who was popularly known as FLO-JO, tragically died in her sleep after suffering a severe epileptic seizure in Mission Viejo, California on 21st September 1998. At the time, she was just 38 years old and the seizure led her to suffocate which caused her to lose her life. During her lifetime, Florence set world records in the year 1988 for racing in the 100 m and 200 m and became an iconic figure because of her personal style.

Chris Farley

Chris Farley

The American Comedian who was known worldwide for his energetic comedic style, suddenly passed away on 18th December 1997 due to a suspected drug overdose and and advanced atherosclerosis. At the time of demise, the Saturday Night Live funnyman was just 33 years old. An autopsy conducted on his body afterward revealed that Chris had died of an overdose of a combination of cocaine and morphine, which is normally referred to as a speedball.

Eazy-E

Eazy-E

Another death that shook the rapping community to its core was of the popular rapper Easy-E, who was also known as Eric Lynn Wright. On 26th March 1995, the American rapper who propelled West Coast rap died due to AIDs at the young age of 31 in California, United States. The Godfather of Gangsta Rap passed away at the peak of his professional career.

Nate Dogg

Nate Dogg

Nathaniel Dwayne Hale who was popularly known by his stage name, Nate Dogg died at the age of 41. On 15th March 2011, the American singer and rapper died from certain complications which arose from multiple strokes he suffered during his lifetime. His fans referred to him as the King of Hooks because he gained recognition for giving his voice to several hit rap songs during the years 1992 to 2007.

Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke

On 11th December 1964, the American singer and songwriter, Samuel Cooke tragically passed away at the age of 33. It was revealed by the Court of Investigation that Cooke was killed by a manager of a hotel and the cause of death was ruled as Justifiable Homicide. Considered to be one of the most influential singers, Sam was popularly called the King of Souls by his fans. Also, during his professional career, his songs topped the charts of Billboard.

Reggie Lewis

Reggie Lewis

The American professional basketball player, whose official name was Reginald C. Lewis suddenly died at the age of 27 after suffering a heart attack. The death of the player occurred on 27th July 1993 in Waltham, Massachusetts, when he was in his off-season practice with his team the Boston Celtics.

Otis Redding

Otis Redding

The death of Otis Redding, the renowned singer and songwriter from America caused shockwaves among the nation. On 10th December 1967, the popular singer passed away due to a horrific plane accident which crashed into a Wisconsin lake. On the day of his death, the singer was returning after recording his greatest hit The Dock of the Bay, which became a huge hit after his demise.

Ryan Dunn

Ryan Dunn

The popular American stunt performer who is widely known for his involvement in the Jackass series tragically passed away at the age of 34. The television personality died in a tragic car accident which ultimately took his life. During his professional career, Ryann was featured in five Jackass films including Jackass: The Movie, Jackass Number Two, Jackass 2.5, Jackass 3D, and Jackass 3.5.

Minnie Riperton

Minnie Ripperton

The death of Minnie Riperton, when became public,  shook the entire music industry to its core. On 12th July 1979, the American singer and songwriter tragically passed away after a long battle with breast cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, United States. At the time of her death, she was just 31 years old.

ODB

Ol' Dirty Bastard

Just two days before his 36th birthday, the popular American rapper, ODB passed away at the age of 35. On 13th November 2004, the Shimmy Shimmy Ya rapper died due to an accidental drug overdose. During his professional career, the rapper earned several credits in his name, including Got Your Money, Brooklyn Zoo, Wu-Tang, Triumph, and many more.

Florence Ballard

Florence Ballard

The founding member of The Supremes, Florence Ballard, sadly died at a very young age. On 22nd February 1976, the American singing sensation passed away after suffering a severe heart attack at the age of 32. Florence was known widely as an iconic figure in the Midtown music era and for singing ten songs which reached number one in a short span of time.

Donny Hathaway

Donny Hathaway

The well-known keyboard player Donny Hathaway, who was known as the soul legend among his fans, tragically passed away at the age of 33. The American singer was discovered dead on 13th January 1979 at the JW Marriott Essex House. After his autopsy, it was ruled by the medical examiners that the singer took his own life.

M-Bone

M-Bone

The popular member of Cali Swag District, M-Bone, sadly passed away at a very young age. On 15th May 2011, the talented rapper was killed in a drive-by shooting in Inglewood, California, according to multiple reports. The medical examiners ruled the official cause of death as multiple gunshot wounds to the head.

Merlin Santana

Merlin Santana

Another tragic death that left everyone in a state of mourning was of Merlin Santana. The American actor and rapper passed away suddenly on 9th November 2002 at the young age of 22. The Under One Roof actor died due to a gunshot that was inflicted on him while his car was parked in the Los Angeles, California area. During his lifetime, the actor was well-known for featuring in The Cosby Show and on The Steve Harvey Show.

Malcolm X

Malcolm X

At the young age of 39, Malcolm X, an African-American revolutionary, and a renowned Muslim minister tragically lost his life. The public figure was shot and killed on 21st February 1965 while he was giving a speech and the funeral of the civil rights activist was attended by nearly 30000 people.

J Dilla

J Dilla

The popular American producer J Dilla, who was also known as James Dewitt Yancey, sadly passed away at the age of 32. The record producer was suffering from a rare kind of blood disease which took his life abruptly on 10th February 2006. After his death, the medical examiners revealed that his death took place because of a combination of TTP and lupus. Despite his short life, Dilla is considered one of the most influential figures in the hip-hop industry.

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Megha Chauhan
Megha Chauhan
Megha Chauhan is an accomplished content writer who holds a degree in Law. Her extensive expertise in research and writing has helped her excel in this field. Her expertise spans from engaging blog posts and in-depth articles. Passionate about storytelling, Megha continually hones her skills to stay ahead of trends, ensuring her content remains fresh and impactful.
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