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Avicii Dies: Swedish DJ and Musician Was 28

Sad news out of the music world today, as several sources have now confirmed that the wildly popular Swedish DJ and music producer known as Avicii has passed away.

The artist – whose real name was Tim Berling – was just 28 years old.

“It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii,” reads a publicist’s statement issued moments ago.

“He was found dead in Muscat, Oman this Friday afternoon local time, April 20th. The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time. No further statements will be given.” 

A two-time Grammy nominee, Avicii scored a number of international hits during his tragically foreshortened career.

He is best known for making music that transcended the world of EDM to achieve mainstream success on Top 40 radio, as well as in film and television soundtracks.

Songs such as “Wake Me Up,” “Hey, Brother,” and “Without You,” helped make Avicii one of the most revered performers in his genre

No cause of death has been announced, but Avicii’s health issues and struggles with alcoholism have been well-documented over the years.

In 2016, he retired from performing live in order to focus on his health, but in an online message to fans, Avicii stated that he felt he had many years of making music to look forward to:

“WE ALL REACH A POINT IN OUR LIVES AND CAREERS WHERE WE UNDERSTAND WHAT MATTERS THE MOST TO US,” he wrote.

“For me it’s creating music. That is what I live for, what I feel I was born to do.”

“Last year I quit performing live, and many of you thought that was it. But the end of live never meant the end of Avicii or my music. Instead, I went back to the place where it all made sense – the studio.

“The next stage will be all about my love of making music to you guys. It is the beginning of something new.”

News of Avicii’s death instantly made his name a worldwide trending topic on Twitter with tributes pouring in from friends, family, and fans all over the globe.

Many have quoted one of Avicii’s most beloved songs, “The Nights,” which begins with a recording of a young man saying:

“When I die, I want to be remembered for the life I lived, not the money I made.”

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Bruno Sammartino Dies; WWE Legend Was 82

The wrestling world is in mourning today.

Bruno Sammartino, one of the most respected and revered WWE stars of all-time, died on Wednesday morning at his home in Pittsburgh.

He was 82 years old.

Known as “The Italian Superman,” Sammartino won the WWE Championship in a match against Buddy Rogers in Madison Square Garden in 1963…

… and then held the belt for eight straight years, easily the longest reign in the company’s history.

To be exact, he was champion for 4,040 days in a row.

He got his start in what was then known as the WWWF, an organization run by Vince McMahon Sr.

But Sammartino went on to do color commentary and make plenty of on-camera appearances for the WWF (now the WWE) throughout wrestling’s explosion into the mainstream in the 1980s.

The cause of death is unknown at this time.

Sammartino was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a member of the 2013 class after turning down previous offers to do so, according to ESPN.

Why did he wait to long to accept this honor?

Because he first insisted on seeing changes made in the organization, such as performing drug tests on athletes and the end of the frequent use of profanity.

“Being inducted into the Hall of Fame at Madison Square Garden is the biggest thing in my life,” Sammartino told ESPN years ago, adding:

“Anytime that people feel that you accomplished enough to enter into a Hall of Fame, of course this is a tremendous, tremendous thrill for me.”

Sammartino was actually inducted at the time by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Bruno is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, Carol, along with three children.

He also leaves behind a wrestling legacy few can match, as evidenced by the messages that have come pouring in via social media since news of his death went viral.

Hulk Hogan: RIP Bruno,thank you for loving and living our business,only love HH.

Triple H: Devastated to hear the passing of a true icon, legend, great, honest and wonderful man… A true friend…and one of the toughest people I’ve ever met. My thoughts are with his entire family. #RIPBrunoSammartino #AmericanDream.

Bret Hart: Forever a champion. Rest in peace.

bruno tribute

Back in July, musician Bruno Mars even shared a photo with his namesake while holding a replica championship belt.

“I was nicknamed after this professional wrestler Bruno Sammartino. Tonight in Pittsburgh I had the honor of meeting him!” the singer captioned the snapshot.

Who knew?!?

We certainly did not.

May Bruno Sammartino rest in peace.

Below, we have compiled a list of other wrestlers who died over the past few years, many of whom were far younger than 82 years old.

This is a tough business and it can take its toll on its participants, both physically and mentally.

We send our condolences to their friends, family members and loved ones.

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Barbara Bush Dies; Former First Lady Was 92

Sad news out of the world of politics today, as Barbara Bush – wife of George H.W. Bush and mother of George W. Bush – has passed away at the age of 92.

The office of the elder President Bush confirmed the news in a statment released moments ago:

“A former First Lady of the United States of America and relentless proponent of family literacy, Barbara Pierce Bush passed away Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at the age of 92,” the statment reads.

“She is survived by her husband of 73 years, President George H. W. Bush; five children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, seven great grandchildren; and her brother Scott Pierce.

“She was preceded in death by her second child, Pauline “Robin” Bush, and her siblings Martha Rafferty and James R. Pierce.”

The statement also indicated that funeral arrangements will be announced “as soon as is practical.”

Bush’s death comes just days after it was revealed that she will no longer seek medical treatment following her latest round of health issues.

“Following a recent series of hospitalizations, and after consulting her family and doctors, Mrs. Bush, now age 92, has decided not to seek additional medical treatment and will instead focus on comfort care,” read a statement released by one of the former first lady’s representatives.

“It will not surprise those who know her that Barbara Bush has been a rock in the face of her failing health, worrying not for herself — thanks to her abiding faith — but for others.

“She is surrounded by a family she adores, and appreciates the many kind messages and especially the prayers she is receiving.”

Many Americans first became familiar with Barbara Bush during her husband’s tenure as vice president under President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1989.

The New York native then served as first lady from 1989 through 1993.

During her husband’s time in the White House, Bush founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.

Bush’s eldest son, George W. Bush served as president from 2001 to 2009.

Her third child, Jeb Bush, was the 43rd governor of Florida and a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

She is survived by five children, 14 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren. 

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Harry Anderson Dies; Beloved Night Court Star Was 65

Harry Anderson, the three-time Emmy Award nominee who anchored former NBC sitcom Night Court and who was also a well-known and respected magician, died on Monday morning.

He was 65 years old.

This very sad piece of news was confirmed to TMZ by Anderson’s son, Dashiell, who says his father passed away at his home in North Carolina.

It is believed that Anderson died of natural causes.

At the time of this writing, no foul play is suspected.

He was found at his residence by local police officers.

Anderson is best known to television fans for his role as Judge Harry Stone on Night Court, a series that ran from 1984 through 1992.

During its heyday, the sitcom was part of NBC’s early “Must See TV” Thursday lineup, which also included The Cosby Show, Family Ties and Cheers.

At one point, Anderson was nominated three years in a row for portraying the judge who ruled over a quirky Manhattan court.

Anderson also appeared on Cheers (as Harry the Hat for a six-episode run) and starred in his own sitcom, “Dave’s World,” which ran from 1993 to 1997.

anderson, h

The hilarious actor kept a lower profile later in life, although you may recognize him from appearances he made on such programs as 30 Rock, Son of the Beach and Comedy Bang! Bang!.

What separated Anderson from many of his peers was the fact that he was actually an accomplished magician.

This was a trait woven into the character of Stone, along with one that Anderson took advantage of in another professional capacity:

He opened a magic shop in the French Quarter of New Orleans and also had a nightclub in the French Quarter called Oswald’s Speakeasy.

Anderson also made a dozen appearances on The Tonight Show to flaunt his impressive array of skills and tricks in this area.

As this news spreads around the Internet, expect plenty of tributes and messages to come pouring in.

h, anderson

Judd Apatow, for instance, has already Tweeted the following:

“I interviewed Harry Anderson when I was 15 years old and he was so kind, and frank and hilarious. The interview is in my book Sick In The Head.

“He was a one of a kind talent who made millions so happy.”

Anderson is survived by two children and his wife, Elizabeth Morgan.

May he rest in peace.

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R. Lee Ermey Dies; Full Metal Jacket Star Was 74

R. Lee Ermey, a Golden Globe-nominated actor likely best known for his role as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, passed away on Sunday morning from complications of pneumonia.

He was 74 years old.

The sad piece of news was confirmed via Ermey official twitter account by his longtime manager, Bill Rogin, who wrote the following:

“It is with deep sadness that I regret to inform you all that R. Lee Ermey (“The Gunny”) passed away this morning from complications of pneumonia.

“He will be greatly missed by all of us. Semper Fi, Gunny. Godspeed.”

Ermey was a Marine himself for 11 years, having retired from the service in 1971.

He was a staff sergeant who served in Vietnam and Okinawa, Japan and who was later awarded the honorary rank of gunnery sergeant.

Equipped with this real-life experience, Ermey often portrayed military and law-enforcement figures, including the voice of Sarge, the leader of the little green army men in the Toy Story movies; Sheriff Hoyt in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake (2003), and a police captain in Se7en (1995).

On Ermey’s Facebook page, meanwhile, Rogin added more thoughts about the star.

This is what he wrote:

He will be greatly missed by all of us.

It is a terrible loss that nobody was prepared for. He has meant so much to so many people. And, it is extremely difficult to truly quantify all of the great things this man has selflessly done for, and on behalf of, our many men and women in uniform.

He has also contributed many iconic and indelible characters on film that will live on forever. Gunnery Sergeant Hartman of Full Metal Jacket fame was a hard and principled man.

The real R. Lee Ermey was a family man, and a kind and gentle soul. He was generous to everyone around him.

And, he especially cared deeply for others in need.

There are many Gunny’s, but this one was OURS. And, we will honor his memory with hope and kindness. Please support your men and women in uniform.

That’s what he wanted most of all.

A bit more background:

Ermey studied criminology and drama at the University of Manila after his time in the military, starting his acting career as a Marine drill instructor in 1978’s The Boys in Company C.

Francis Ford Coppola then hired him for an uncredited role as a helicopter pilot in 1979’s Apocalypse Now.

On television,, Ermey had voice roles on The Simpsons (as Colonel Leslie Hapablap) and Family Guy.

Matthew Modine, his Full Metal Jacket co-star, actually quoted poet Dylan Thomas as he remembered Ermey on Twitter:

#SemperFidelis Always faithful. Always loyal. Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And, in closing, even Donald Trump Jr. Tweeted a tribute upon learning of the actor’s death:

Well today we lost a legend and a great American. I am proud to have had R. Lee Ermey as a friend and shooting teammate.

If you thought he was motivating in Full Metal Jacket you should have seen him on the firing line when points mattered.

I’ll never forget those moments just not sure I can relay them fully here… just take my word for it LEGENDARY!!! (I wish I filmed his reaction to me bringing a pink gun to shoot in a match see pic 2.

He was having none of my “it takes a real man to shoot a pink gun” line. I made it just for that response and he did not disappoint.) They unfortunately don’t make many like him these days.

Thanks for your friendship sir.

May R. Lee Ermey rest in peace.

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Brian Lancaster Dies; Former Road Rules Star Was 43

Brian Lancaster, a reality star best known for having been a cast member on Season 7 of Road Rules, was found dead in his Pennsylvania home last Thursday.

He was 43 years old.

According to TMZ insiders, Lancaster had a history arrhythmia (that is, irregular heartbeats) and his family believes he passed away from heart failure.

Lancaster competed on Road Rules: Latin America back he was 23.

This season of the widely-viewed adventure reality series found Lancaster competing in missions across Mexico, Costa Rica and the United States.

On its website, the DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home in West Chester, Pennsylvania shared an obituary for Lancaster.

It described him as a “jack of many trades, including advertising account manager, telecommunications project manager, special education teacher, bartender, and reality TV star.”

His relatives tell TMZ the death was not drug or alcohol related.

Police will likely investigate but, as far as his loved ones know, there were no foreign substances found inside Brian’s home.

lancaster

Out of respect for Lancaster (pictured below in the latest photo we can find of him), we’re going to simply excerpt other portions of his obituary:

In his formal education, Brian graduated from University of Colorado Boulder with a B.A. in Journalism, Public Relations and Advertising and graduated from Eastern University with a Master’s degree in Elementary Education.

He would tell you though that his real education came from examining life endeavoring to become “well sharp” in order to chop through life’s challenges.

Although not actually Jamaican himself, Brian was long entranced by their culture and proudly sported excellent dreadlocks.

A spiritual explorer, dreamy stargazer, inquisitive world traveler and barstool philosopher who enjoyed a good mind meld, Brian exceled at being a human being rather than a human doing. 

Constant in his soul and spirit, he would share possessions, thoughts and every part of his essence with anyone who came into his orbit.

Brian, who was also known as Chilly Willy, Lanc, Dawg and Briana, never knew a stranger and was a connoisseur and collector of an eclectic assortment of friends ranging from 18-97.

He was a consummate hugger, professional cuddler, iconoclast and master bullshitter who was extremely accident prone.

Ever the authority shirker he was well-known for crossing lines and pushing the envelope.

lancaster at 43

As you can tell by these passages, Lancaster was a unique individual.

He is survived by his fiancee Sarah J. Bell and his parents Dennis and Carol Lancaster and he will be greatly missed.

A private service was held in memory of Lancaster on Wednesday for his friends and family members.

The obituary also notes that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Lancaster’s name may be made to the Brandywine Valley SPCA, a no-kill shelter in Chester and Delaware County, where Lancaster adopted his faithful companion, Reagan.

Pretty admirable.

rules,road

This, sadly, is not the first tragedy to hit the Road Rules cast over the past several months.

If you recall, Danny Dias died in June of 2017 at the even younger age of 33.

Toward the end of Lancaster’s obituary, meanwhile, it reads:

Because he couldn’t be sent to space or have his head cryogenically frozen he will have to settle with living on forever as ashes in the earth, just the way he wanted.

Amen.

May he rest in peace.

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Johnny Valiant, WWE Hall of Famer, Dies in Truck Accident

Johnny Valiant, a former WWE Superstar who was elected to this company’s Hall of Fame in 1996, died on Wednesday morning after getting hit by a truck.

He was 71 years old.

According to various reports, the fatal incident occurred in Ross Township, Pennsylvania.

The wrestler, whose real name was Thomas Sullivan, was killed as he tried to run across a busy road and was hit by an oncoming vehicle.

“We do have witnesses,” Ross Township Detective Brian Kohlhepp told WPXI, adding:

“There was other traffic on McKnight [Road] at the time, so we were able to speak with people who actually witnessed the accident.”

Kohlhepp added that police were still investigating what transpired, but said there was “no indication that this was anything other than a terrible accident at this point.”

He was transported to a hospital after getting hit (around 5 a.m.) and passed away shortly afterward from injuries he sustained.

so valient

Valiant started his wrestling career in 1969.

Five years later, he won the World Tag Team Championships with James Fanning, the duo combining to be known as The Valiant Brothers.

In 1979, the grappler became wrestling partners with “Gentleman” Jerry Valiant, a Canadian whose real name was John Hill, going on once again to win the World Tag Team Championship.

The tandem was managed at the time by Hall of Famer Captain Lou Albano.

In the early 1980s, Valiant himself became a manager, initially working alongside legend Hulk Hogan.

He went on to manage the “Dream Team” of Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake in 1985 leading them to the World Tag Team Championship and also managed Dino Bravo and Demolition.

johnny on mic

As pictured above, Valiant eventually served as color commentator for WWE before returning to the AWA in 1989 as a manager.

In 1996, “Luscious” Johnny and “Handsome” Jimmy were immortalized when then both were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

After his retirement, Valiant even guest-starred on a handful of TV shows, such as Law & Order and The Sopranos; he also hosted a one-man show called An Evening with Johnny Valiant in New York City.

WWE has said it “extends its condolences to Valiant’s family, friends and fans.”

May Johnny Valiant rest in peace.

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