New years bring about new hopes and a host of annual occasions to celebrate, from birthdays to anniversaries. But with the passing of the days also comes new losses, as time spent with those we love and admire turns into memories.
As we journey through this year, each day we remember the celebrities and public figures whose lights now shine among us in a different way and the impact they’ve had on not only the entertainment industry but as public servants. Here are the stars we’ve lost in 2021.
Eric Jerome Dickey
Famed author Eric Jerome Dickey passed away from cancer at the age of 59 on January 3.
Actress Marion Ramsey, known for her role as Officer Laverne Hooks in the Police Academy franchise, passed away from a short illness on January 7 at age 73.
Gospel singer Duranice Pace of the Pace sisters passed away at the age of 62 on January 15.
On January 28, Award-winning actress and activist Cicely Tyson passed away at the age of 96.
American TV writer and brother of Larry Wilmore, Marc Wilmore, died on January 30 at the age of 57. He had been battling COVID among other long-term health conditions.
Original Supremes member Mary Wilson died in her home at age 76 on February 8.
Prince Markie Dee
Prince Markie Dee, born Mark Anthony Morales, was a member of the pioneering rap group the Fat Boys. He died on February 18, one day before his 53rd birthday.
Canadian actor Jahmil French, best known for his role on Degrassi, passed away at the age of 29 on March 1.
The last living member of the Bob Marley reggae group The Wailers, Bunny Wailer, died on March 2 at 73.
Pro Boxer Marvelous Marvin Hagler died at his home at the age of 66 on March 13.
Former NBA player Elgin Baylor died of natural causes at the age of 86 on March 22.
Representative Alcee Hastings was the longest-serving member of Florida’s congressional delegation at the time of his death on April 6. He was 84.
CNN and MSNBC legal analyst and ESSENCE contributor Midwin Charles passed away unexpectedly at the age of 47 on April 6.
(Photo by Aurora Rose/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
On April 9, DMX’s (née Earl Simmons) family confirms the Ruff Ryder icon succumbed at age 50 after suffering a heart attack.