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Celebrities Post Tributes to Carol Channing

From Lin-Manuel Miranda to George Takei, entertainers remember the legacy of the iconic "Hello Dolly" actress and comedian.

TV Guide

Broadway legend and comedian Carol Channing passed away from natural causes at 97 years old on Tuesday morning.

The Tony Award-winning (Hello Dolly!) actress accrued many accolades during her career, including an Academy Award for her transition to the silver screen (Thoroughly Modern Millie); but she regarded being placed on Richard Nixon's "Hate List" to be one of her highest honors. She was also the first celebrity to perform at a Super Bowl halftime show (and the first to perform twice), so we have her in part to thank for the comedic fails of past halftime shows, as well as the most theatrical ones.

With iconic blond hair and a trademark rasp, Channing gracefully took on the challenges of show business — and her four marriages — with a consistent sense of humor, once saying, "Laughter is much more important than applause. Applause is almost a duty. Laughter is a reward." She also ascribed much of her iconic status to her endeared LGBT following, as she openly stated, "The gay community is responsible for so much of my success, and I love them. It's a mutual love affair, really. They make the better audiences too, because they laugh often and loudly."

Channing's storied career earned her a lifetime achievement award at the 1995 Tony Awards. She later noted, "Live theater is something that can't possibly die because we're working on their metabolism." She added, "Some nights they're hyper, some nights they're slow, some nights they're sleepy, we have to nurse them; we have to find the way in to communicate with them... It's an electric thing for the performer; it's like plugging me in the wall."

On Tuesday, modern Broadway stars like Lin-Manuel Miranda and Sandra Bernhard took to Twitter to remember Channing. Other actors like George Takei and even Josh Gad posted tributes.

Channing is survived by her son, Channing Carson.

Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.

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Mac Miller Dead of Apparent Overdose

The Pittsburgh Rapper Was 26-Years-Old

TMZ has reported that 26-year-old rapper Mac Miller has died.

"Mac was found Friday at around noon at his San Fernando Valley home and was pronounced dead at the scene, wrote TMZ, adding, "Authorities were alerted by a male friend who placed a 911 call from Mac's home."


Set to go on tour next month, Miller's track record of drug use and abuse finally ended in the worst possible way. According to Us Weekly, "Miller has spoken candidly through the years about his battle with substance abuse." And as TMZ notes, "His 2014 mixtape, Faces, was almost autobiographical on the subject of drug use. There were also references to premature death." After breaking up with singer Ariana Grande, who called their relationship "toxic" (she's now engaged to actor/comedian Pete Davidson) and being arrested for two counts of DUI (and hit-and-run) earlier this year (his blood alcohol was twice the legal limit), Miller seems to have been on a dreadful downward spiral - despite his success - finally finding the ultimate rock bottom today.

With singer Ariana Grande

As Us Weekly shared, "'I made a stupid mistake," he told Beats 1 host Zane Lowe on July 23. 'I'm a human being. Like, [I] drove home drunk. But it was the best thing that could have happened. I needed that. I needed to run into that light pole and literally, like, have the whole thing stop.'" Unfortunately, any desire to get clean and stay sober didn't end the way Miller had hoped.

Songs like "Small Worlds," "Self Care," "Donald Trump," and "Dang!" made Miller a standout, adored by fans far and wide who were surely looking forward to his upcoming tour. But according to TMZ, Miller struggled in the spotlight, telling Vulture, "He had enormous pressure growing up in the public eye."

More information about Mac Miller's untimely death is sure to emerge. Rest in peace Malcolm James McCormick.

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RIP the Queen of Soul.

A fresh-faced Franklin

After news broke over the past few days that singer Aretha Franklin was in hospice care and in grave condition, it has been reported that she passed away this morning at her home in Detroit after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 76-years-old.

"It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the passing of Aretha Louise Franklin, the Queen of Soul. In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds" Franklin's family said in a statement.

At Obama's inauguration ceremony

Franklin not only had a family that obviously adored her, but thousands, if not millions of fans from all over the world who have enjoyed her music and performances for decades. With an impressive 18 Grammy awards to her name, Franklin was a force in the industry, bringing so much soul to every song, with power and passion that was unmatched. Whether live or recorded, her talent was of the highest level, impressing even the finest of musicians with her ability to showcase a style that was incomparable and impeccable.

Songs like "Think," "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," and "Respect" will be forever fan favorites, and at the "peak of her career, she had more than two dozen Top 40 hits," as per CNN. As the first female to be admitted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Franklin was a ground-breaker, paving the path for up-and-comers who could only hope to find a fraction of the success the singer saw over the span of her career.

A career that spanned decades

From her birth in Memphis to her life lived mostly in Detroit, Franklin was moved to the core by gospel, recording music for the first time as a teen. In 1960, she was signed to Columbia Records and later to Atlantic Records, churning out hit after hit, collaborating with fellow musicians, and touring, performing, and recording with a drive that was as exciting as the "Freeway of Love." Her final performance was at an Elton John AIDS Foundation gala in New York this past November, as CNN reports.

Franklin is survived by four children: Clarence Franklin, 63, Edward Franklin, 61, Ted White Jr., 54, and Kecalf Cunningham, 48. Funeral announcements are reported to be released within the next few days. Surely there will be an outpouring of love from friends, family, fans, and fellow stars who have looked up to Franklin as a shining example of everything music is meant to be.

Rest in peace...

Like her song, "I Say a Little Prayer," we say one for Aretha Franklin today, wishing her peace as she rests for eternity.

Melissa A. Kay is a New York-based writer, editor, and content strategist. Follow her work on Popdust as well as sites including TopDust, Chase Bank, P&G,, The Richest, GearBrain, The Journiest, Bella, TrueSelf, Better Homes & Gardens, AMC Daycare, and more.

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Christina Grimmie murdered by deranged fan;

On the night of Friday June 10, Former Voice competitor Christina Grimmie performed with her brother Marcus in Orlando.

After the show, the performing siblings were doing a meet and greet with about 120 fans when a man walked straight up to her, drew a gun, and opened fire as she signed autographs for fans at a merchandise table. Her brother immediately tackled the shooter, and during the scuffle, the gunman took aim and deliberatley shot and killed himself.

Now, Grimme, the 22-year-old rising star is dead.

Investigators say the murderer was a deranged fan who plotted the murder in advance. There was no other connection between them.

Police have identified him as 27-year-old Kevin James Loibl of St. Petersburg, FL.

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Kimbo Slice dead at 42;

Street fighter and pioneer of MMA, Kimbo Slice has died after being rushed to hospital early Monday morning.  His death was confirmed by his longtime manager, Mike Imber in a text message to the Associated Press;

"We lost our brother today."

A statement was released by Bellator MMA CEO Scott Coker read;

"We are all shocked and saddened by the devastating untimely loss of Kimbo Slice, a beloved member of the Bellator family.  One of the most popular MMA fighters ever, Kimbo was a charismatic, larger-than-life personality that transcended the sport.  Outside of the cage he was a friendly, gentle giant and a devoted family man.  His loss leaves us all with extremely heavy hearts, and our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Feguson family and all of Kimbo's friends, fans and teammates."

Kimbo was taken to hospital near his home in Coral Springs, Florida but sadly died just a few hours later. his training partner, Tyler Cook has revealed in a series of Facebook messages, that the fighter's heart just "quit" working.

Slice, whose real name was Kevin Ferguson, was born in the Bahamas but grew up in Florida. He leapt to fame in 2003 when videos of his unsanctioned street fights went viral. He was an undefeated 7-0 boxer and despite being one of MMA's most recognizable fighters he never won a championship belt—although he had a 5-2 record.

The South Florida hero was the headliner for the first MMA show to be broadcast on network TV back in 2008 when he beat James Thompson by a third round knockout.

He last fought at Bellator 149 in February this year when he defeated Dada 5000—however his win was overturned after he tested positive for a banned steroid and an elevated testosterone ratio. His next fight was scheduled to be in London next month with a rematch against Thompson, and the Mirror are reporting that his son, Kevin Ferguson Jr is in talks to replace him in that bout.

Bellator signed Slice in 2015 after a five year absence from the ring and his first fight for them was against another MMA pioneer, Ken Shamrock, which Slice won in the first round.

Shamrock summed up the outpouring of social media sentiment;

Check out Kimbo Slice's best knockouts...

Kimbo Slice dead at 42;





Muhammad Ali not suffering anymore...

Muhammad Ali, who passed away on Friday aged 74 was "trapped inside of his body" says his daughter Laila Ali.

Laila 38, an ex-boxer herself, was speaking on GMA and described the boxer's final moments in a Phoenix hospital, revealing that all of Ali's nine children had managed to fly into Arizona to be with him.

Ali said that whilst she was really sad that he has died, she's been sad for a long time as she watched her father struggle with Parkinson's disease. Some of his children recited Islamic prayers and Laila said that she took comfort knowing he is not suffering any more and that his passing was very peaceful.

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