Christmas is a celebration of life, the birth of Jesus - an incarnation of God, and the centre of all Christian beliefs. This cheerful and, perhaps, famous of all birth dates is, however, also marked in memory of several personalities across the world. They include:
English singer, songwriter and record producer George Michael was found dead at his home in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire over Christmas in 2016. The 53-year-old died of natural causes and was suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver, according to a post-mortem report by Oxfordshire senior coroner, as reported by the BBC. Billed as one of the best-selling music artists of all time, the pop star is remembered for Careless Whisper, Wham, and Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.
James Brown, the godfather of soul, died of heart failure at age 73 on Christmas Day 2006 in Georgia at Atlanta's Emory University Hospital Midtown. Family and friends, however, believe the singer, songwriter and record producer may have been murdered. According to an investigation by CNN, there may have been foul play involved in his death and that of his third wife, Adrienne. Adrienne, 45, died in California on January 6, 1996, in what was ruled as an accidental overdose of painkillers following plastic surgery. Brown is best remembered for, Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag, Cold sweat, Say it Loud and Funky drummer.
English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer Charlie Chaplin died in his sleep on Christmas on 25 December 1977, in Vevey, Vaud, Switzerland from a stroke. Seven of his children, Michael, Josephine, Victoria, Eugene O’Neill, Jane and Annette-Emilie, were by his bedside when he died at 88, reported Variety. On March 1978, months after he was laid to rest in the Swiss village of Corsier-sur-Vevey near Lausanne, grave robbers stole the body of the silent era icon and held it for ransom. The robbers, two auto mechanics, demanded Sh67 million ($600,000) from Chaplin’s widow, Oona. They were, however, arrested on May 17 and led police to Chaplin’s body, reported History.
Born in Steubenville, Ohio, the legendary American singer, actor and comedian died of acute respiratory failure in Beverly Hills, California on Christmas day in 1995. The ‘King of Cool’ was 78.
The C'est si Bon hitmaker died of colon cancer on December 25, 2008, in Weston, Connecticut at the age of 81. The South Carolina native and larger than life singer, songwriter and actress is remembered for, among others, playing Catwoman on the TV show Batman.