It’s been a shocking and sad week with the deaths of not one, but two famous people – first Kate Spade earlier this week, and now Anthony Bourdain.
Just yesterday (June 8), Anthony Bourdain, 61, was found dead in his hotel room in France. It is suspected that he hung himself. The American celebrity chef, author, travel documentarian, and TV personality was in Strasbourg, France to film an episode of his show, Parts Unknown, which is in its 11th season. He left behind his 11-year-old daughter.
He once said: “Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks – on your body or on your heart – are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.”
He was the face of CNN’s food and travel series called Parts Unknown and he was such a fan of Singapore hawker food that he wanted to open a Singapore-style hawker centre and food market in New York called Bourdain Market. Although he pulled the plug on that project, he reportedly wanted to showcase Singapore Hainanese chicken rice there.
In the case of Kate Spade’s death on June 5, it was also an apparent suicide. She was found hanging in her apartment in Manhattan.
According to TMZ’s reporting of law enforcement sources, the fashion designer left a suicide note to her daughter saying: “Bea – I have always loved you. This is not your fault. Ask Daddy!”
Kate, who is known for her designer bag company, had been married to Andy Spade for 24 years, but was estranged from him for the last ten months. She had also been seeking treatment for depression (Are you depressed? Here are some subtle signs of it) and anxiety in the last five years.
In light of that, we rounded up other celebrity deaths in recent years. And while some of these tragic deaths came as a shock to the world at that time, we want to take a walk down memory lane to remember them for the glorious lives they led.
1. Avicii, 28
Avicii was a Swedish DJ known for his genre breaking music, which infused different genres such as country, funk, and soul into the thumping beats of electronic dance music.
His death, which happened this April, is confirmed as a suicide due to depression, according to his family.
“One day you’ll leave this world behind so live a life you will remember.” – Lyrics from his song, The Nights.
2. Robin Williams, 63
Robin Williams too committed suicide by hanging in 2014. This American actor first started his career by doing stand up comedy before eventually acting in widely acclaimed films such as Dead Poet’s Society and Night at the Museum.
“For me, comedy starts as a spew, a kind of explosion, and then you sculpt it from there, if at all. It comes out of a deeper, darker side. Maybe it comes from anger, because I’m outraged by cruel absurdities, the hypocrisy that exists everywhere, even within yourself, where it’s hardest to see.”
3. Alexander McQueen, 40
Alexander McQueen was a British fashion designer who worked at Givenchy as a chief designer from 1996 to 2001 before he started his own label, named after himself.
He won many awards for being the designer of the year, both locally in Britain and internationally, which is no surprise, given his bold and overt designs which push fashion to its limits.
“There is something sinister, something quite biographical about what I do – but that part is for me. It’s my personal business. I think there is a lot of romance, melancholy. There’s a sadness to it, but there’s romance in sadness. I suppose I am a very melancholy person.”
4. Chester Bennington, 41
Chester Bennington was best known for being the lead singer in rock band Linkin Park, though he also sang in Dead by Sunrise, Grey Daze, and Stone Temple Pilots.
With Linkin Park, he sold more than a 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. His death in 2017 was ruled as a suicide due to depression.
“You can’t be afraid of people willing to hurt you, cause if you fear life, then you will never live.”
5. SHINee’s Kim JongHyun, 27
JongHyun, a member of the K-Pop band SHINee took his life just last December by asphyxiating himself at home with charcoal smoke. He was immensely popular, with close to 3 million followers on Instagram. He used his influence to advocate for improved education policies in Korea and openness on LGBT issues.
“Physical scars and psychological scars are different. I hope everyone can think for a second that scars exist even if you can’t see them.”
6. Chris Cornell, 52
Chris Cornell led three hard rock bands in his life – Soundgarden, Audioslave, and Temple of the Dog (which was a tribute to one of his deceased friends). Soundgarden and Audioslave did very well (both sold more than 8 million records each), and you’re likely have heard the songs ‘Black Hole Sun’ or ‘Like A Stone’ before.
His wife shared that he was abusing painkillers and other drugs, which led him to behave less like himself. He used to be an optimistic person who expressed deep sorrow when people committed suicide, so it was ironic and very sad when he took his life.
“I’m not a lyric writer to make statements. What I enjoy doing is making paintings with lyrics, creating colorful images. I think that’s more what entertainment and music should be.”
7. Kurt Cobain, 27
Kurt Cobain was the lead singer and guitarist of Nirvana. He was very troubled and struggled from drug addiction as well as physical and mental health issues. In his suicide note, he talked about how he frustrated he was with people and how he was not able to be happy with his life.
He was found dead in his home, after having shot himself in 1994, leaving behind his wife Courtney Love and then two-year-old daughter, Frances Cobain.
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