25 Most shocking celebrity deaths of all time: Michael Jackson to Heath Ledger

The death of Paul Walker was indeed a global shocker. Here, we will list some shocking celebrity deaths like Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger, Whitney Houston, and many more.

Anubhuti Mishra
Written by Anubhuti Mishra , Relationship Expert
Updated on Jun 07, 2023 | 01:14 PM IST | 4.3M
25 Most dreadfully surprising celebrity deaths | Celebs who died shockingly
25 Most dreadfully surprising celebrity deaths | Celebs who died shockingly
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We agree that everyone has to say goodbye sooner or later but does this thinking really make it easy? Anyone who has recovered (or is recovering) from the loss of a dear or near one knows that the pain and shock never really go away. No matter the reason for death, their death just takes a tiny part of us with them. The same is the case when it comes to celebrity deaths. Although we may not know them personally - we do follow them, we react to their news, sing along to their songs, dance to their music videos, celebrate their achievements, and feel sad about their loss. And when we lose them all of a sudden in a shocking tragedy, it certainly takes a dig at us - we do feel heartbroken even though it's short-lived.

When we feel this day without having actual connections with them, their family and close friends definitely feel the loss - even more than any media can cover. At such times, indeed we do feel remorse and helplessness. All we can do is pay tribute to those celebrities by playing their popular and most iconic movies, TV shows, moments, talk shows, music, most loved dialogues, etc. to keep them alive in our memories and hearts. Right from legends like Michael Jackson to Heath Ledger today we will talk about shocking celebrity deaths and remember the celebs that died too soon.


(Trigger Warning- This article contains references to suicide, drugs, depression, and anxiety.)


25 Most dreadfully surprising celebrity deaths | Celebs who died shockingly


1. Paul Walker - 40 years old

Paul Walker

  • Birth name: Paul William Walker IV
  • Date of birth: September 12, 1973
  • Place of birth: Glendale, California, U.S.
  • Date of death:  November 30, 2013 
  • Age of death: 40
  • Place of Burial: Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, California, U.S.
  • Occupation: Actor
  • Years active: 1975–2013

The beloved Fast and the Furious actor, Paul Walker, would have turned 49 years old on 12 September 2022. However, his life shockingly came to an abrupt end when his car burst into flames after crashing in Santa Clarita, California, on 30 November 2013.


Cause of death

Paul was co-hosting a charity car show through Reach Out Worldwide, his non-profit organization, to raise money for the typhoon-affected victims of the Philippines. He got into Porsche, along with his close pal Roger Rodas. Within a few minutes (just a few blocks away), their car crashed and burst into flames, tragically killing both of them on the spot.


2. Kobe Bryant - 41 years old and Gianna Bryant - 13 years old

Kobe Bryant

  • Birth name: August 23, 1978
  • Place of birth: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
  • Date of death:  January 26, 2020 
  • Age of death: 41
  • Occupation: Basketball player 

Kobe Bryant's, the 18-time NBA All-Star, life shockingly came to an abrupt end when his helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California, in January 2020.


Cause of death

Kobe, the former highly loved and popular L.A. Lakers player, Gianna, his 13-year-old daughter, and seven other people were traveling in his private jet when a fire (reportedly) broke out. Fire Captain Tony Imbrenda (a witness) stated that the helicopter went down quickly and slammed into the ground, killing everyone on board.


3. Chadwick Boseman - 41 years old

Chadwick Boseman, the adored Black Panther actor, died

  • Birth name: Chadwick Aaron Boseman
  • Date of birth: November 29, 1976[a]
  • Place of birth: Anderson, South Carolina, U.S.
  • Date of death:  August 28, 2020 
  • Age of death: 43
  • Place of burial: Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery, Anderson, Anderson County, South Carolina, U.S.
  • Occupations: Actor, playwright
  • Years active: 1993–2020

Chadwick Boseman, the adored Black Panther actor, died at his Los Angeles home. His life shockingly came to an abrupt end after battling cancer for four whole years in August 2020.


Cause of death

Chadwick Boseman's family revealed that he was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer back in 2016. And as he battled with it, cancer progressed to stage IV, ultimately taking his life. Although he was in pain, he did not let out this information. Not only this, he even continued shooting films like Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Da 5 Bloods, Marshall, and more amidst his treatment appointments, chemotherapy, and countless surgeries. A true fighter - Wakanda forever!


4. Luke Perry - 52 years old

Luke Perry

  • Birth name: Coy Luther Perry III
  • Date of birth: October 11, 1966
  • Date of death:  March 4, 2019 
  • Age of death: 52
  • Occupation: Actor
  • Years active: 1981–2019
  • Children: 2

Luke Perry, Riverdale, and The Beverly Hills, 90210 star, died on 4 March 2019 at his Los Angeles home.


Cause of death

His life shockingly came to an abrupt end when he suffered a massive stroke and remained hospitalized for five days until his death on March 4. Sophie and Jack (his children), Wendy Madison Bauer (fiancé), Minnie Sharp (ex-wife), Ann Bennett (mother), Amy Coder (sister), Tom Perry (brother), Steve Bennett (step-father), and some close friends surrounded him during his last days and also in the time of great mourning.


5. Taylor Hawkins - 50 years old

Taylor Hawkins

  • Birth name: Oliver Taylor Hawkins
  • Date of Birth: February 17, 1972
  • Place of birth: Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
  • Date of death:  March 25, 2022 
  • Age of death: 50
  • Years active: 1990–2022

Taylor Hawkins, a Foo Fighters drummer, died in a hotel in Bogota, Colombia.


Cause of death

Taylor Hawkins', the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, life shockingly came to an abrupt end on 25 March 2022 while he was touring South America with his band.


6. Naya Rivera - 33 years old

Naya Rivera

  • Other names: Naya Rivera Dorsey
  • Date of birth: January 12, 1987
  • Place of birth: Valencia, California, U.S.
  • Date of death:  July 8, 2020 
  • Age of death: 33
  • Place of burial: Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), California
  • Occupations: Actress, singer, model
  • Years active 1991–2020
  • Children: 1

Naya Rivera, the former Glee star, was found dead after she was declared missing on 8 July near Los Angeles.


Cause of death

Naya Rivera's life shockingly came to an abrupt end when she took a pontoon boat out on Lake Piru with Josey, her 4-year-old son, on July 8. She went missing the same day. While Josey was found asleep on the vessel the same afternoon by a boater, there was no sign of Naya. Alongside her child were found her wallet, purse, and ID. On 13 July, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department stated that they had recovered Naya Rivera's body after a thorough search. Nothing else was revealed by the sheriffs about her disappearance and the cause of death.


7. Benjamin Keough - 27 years old

Benjamin Keough

  • Birth name: Benjamin Storm Keough
  • Date of birth: October 21, 1992
  • Place of Birth: Florida, United States.
  • Parents: Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley 
  • Profession: Aspiring actor

Benjamin Keough was the only son of Lisa Marie Presley and the grandson of Priscilla and Elvis Presley. He died on 12 July 2020 in Calabasas, California.


Cause of death

Benjamin Keough's life shockingly came to an abrupt end when he gave up his life.


8. Heath Ledger - 28 years old

Heath Ledger

  • Birth name: Heath Andrew Ledger
  • Date of birth: 4 April 1979
  • Place of birth: Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  • Date of death:  22 January 2008 
  • Age: 28
  • Place of burial: Karrakatta Cemetery, Perth
  • Occupations: Actor, music video director
  • Years active: 1992–2008

Heath Ledger, a super popular Australian actor, died on 22 January 2008. Heath Ledger is (to date) renowned for his incredible performance as the Joker in the movie The Dark Knight and went on to receive an Academy Award for the same one year after his death.


Cause of death

Heath Ledger's life shockingly came to an abrupt end due to an accidental drug overdose, and his body was found in his New York City apartment. His hugely famous dialogues - “I Believe That Whatever Doesn’t Kill You, Simply Makes You... Stranger!” and “Why So Serious?” have been etched into the memory of the audiences eternally!


9. Mac Miller - 26 years old

Mac Miller

  • Birth name: Malcolm James McCormick
  • Date of birth: January 19, 1992
  • Place of birth: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
  • Date of death:  September 7, 2018 (aged 26)
  • Other names: Delusional Thomas, Easy Mac, Larry Fisherman, Larry Lovestein, The Velvet Revival
  • Occupations: Rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer
  • Years active: 2007–2018

Mac Miller, a rapper, died on 7 September 2018 in his home in the San Fernando Valley.


Cause of death

Mac Miller's life shockingly came to an abrupt end (apparently) from an overdose of cocaine, alcohol, and fentanyl. His body was found in his home by the LAPD.


10. Kelly Preston - 57 years old

Kelly Preston

  • Birth name: Kelly Kamalelehua Smith
  • Date of birth: October 13, 1962
  • Place of birth: Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
  • Date of death:  July 12, 2020 (aged 57)
  • Occupation: Actress
  • Years active: 1980–2020

Kelly Preston, John Travolta's wife, died on 12 July 2020. She was famous for her roles in the movies like Twins, SpaceCamp, For Love of the Game, and Jerry Maguire.


Cause of death

Kelly Preston's life shockingly came to an abrupt end after secretly battling breast cancer for two whole years. John Travolta shared the heartbreaking news of his wife's death via Instagram, calling her a courageous fighter.


11. Amy Winehouse - 27 years old

Amy Winehouse

  • Birth name: Amy Jade Winehouse
  • Date of birth: 14 September 1983
  • Place of birth: Southgate, London, England
  • Date of death:  23 July 2011 (aged 27)
  • Place of burial: Edgwarebury Cemetery, Edgware, London, England
  • Occupations: Singer, songwriter
  • Years active: 2002–2011

Amy Winehouse, a British singer, died on 23 July 2011 in London. She led a British soul revival and was a highly popular singer who was beginning to record her third album.


Cause of death

Amy Winehouse's life shockingly came to an abrupt end due to substance abuse and alcohol poisoning.


12. Kate Spade - 55 years old

Kate Spade

  • Birth name: Katherine Noel Brosnahan
  • Other names: Kate Valentine
  • Date of birth: December 24, 1962
  • Place of birth: Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
  • Date of death:  June 5, 2018 
  • Age of death: 55
  • Place of burial: Calvary Cemetery, Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, U.S.
  • Occupation: Fashion designer, businesswoman
  • Years active: 1985–2018
  • Famous for: Kate Spade New York

Kate Noel Valentine Brosnahan Spade, an American fashion designer and entrepreneur, died on 5 June 2018. She (along with Andy Spade) was the co-founder of Kate Spade New York, an American fashion house.


Cause of death

Kate Spade's life shockingly came to an abrupt end due to suicide. As per the officials and the reports, Kate was found hanging (by her housekeeper) in her Manhattan apartment on 5 June 2018.

Andy Spade, Kate's husband, revealed in his statement that Kate was battling depression and anxiety and was actively seeking help to treat her diseases. However, the personal demons won.


13. Cameron Boyce - 20 years old

Cameron Boyce

  • Birth name: Cameron Mica Boyce
  • Date of birth: May 28, 1999
  • Place of birth: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
  • Date of death:  July 6, 2019 
  • Age of death: 20
  • Occupation: Actor
  • Years active: 2008–2019

Cameron Boyce, famous for his roles in The Descendants and Grown Ups, died in his sleep on 6 July 2019 in his home in North Hollywood.


Cause of death

Cameron Boyce, a Disney Channel star, had epilepsy and suffered a seizure in his sleep, causing a shockingly abrupt end to his life.


14. Kurt Cobain - 27 years old

Kurt Cobain

  • Birth name: Kurt Donald Cobain
  • Date of birth: February 20, 1967
  • Place of birth: Aberdeen, Washington, U.S.
  • Date of death:   c. April 5, 1994 (aged 27)
  • Occupations: Singer, songwriter, musician, visual artist
  • Years active: 1982–1994

Kurt Cobain, Nirvana's frontman, died on 5 April 1994 in Seattle, Washington.


Cause of death

Kurt Cobain, who gave us rocking hits like Smells Like Teen Spirit, struggled with substance abuse and depression throughout his fame. Kurt's life shockingly came to an abrupt end when he took his own life in his home.


15. Avicii - 28 years old


  • Birth name: Tim Bergling
  • Other names: Tim Berg, Tom Hangs, Timberman
  • Date of birth: 8 September 1989
  • Place of birth: Stockholm, Sweden
  • Date of death:  20 April 2018 
  • Age: 28
  • Place of burial: Hedvig Eleonora Church, Stockholm
  • Occupations: DJ, remixer, record producer, songwriter
  • Years active: 2006–2018

Avicii, or Tim Bergling (his original name), died on 20 April 2018 in Muscat, Oman.


Cause of death

Avicii was a Swedish DJ, music producer, remixer, and Grammy-nominated artist. He took retirement in 2016 due to stress and health issues, including acute pancreatitis. He went on a holiday to Muscat, where he apparently took his own life, causing a shockingly abrupt end to his life.


16. Chester Bennington - 41 years old

Chester Bennington

  • Date of birth: March 20, 1976
  • Place of birth: Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
  • Date of death:  July 20, 2017 
  • Age: 41
  • Occupations: Singer, songwriter, actor
  • Years active: 1992–2017

Chester Bennington was an American singer-songwriter and the popular lead vocalist of the beloved band Linkin Park. He died on 20 July 2017 in Los Angeles.


Cause of death

Chester Bennington's life shockingly came to an abrupt end when he took his own life in his private residence in the Palos Verdes Estates near Los Angeles.


17. Brittany Murphy - 32 years old

Brittany Murphy

  • Birth name: Brittany Anne Bertolotti
  • Date of birth: November 10, 1977
  • Place of birth: Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
  • Date of death:  December 20, 2009 
  • Age: 32
  • Place of burial: Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, California
  • Occupation: Actress, singer
  • Years active: 1991–2009

Brittany Anne Murphy-Monjack, an American actress and singer, was renowned for her roles in Clueless, 8 Mile, and King of the Hill. She died on 20 December 2009 in her home in Los Angeles.


Cause of death

Brittany Murphy's life shockingly came to an abrupt end after suffering from drug-related heart failure while battling pneumonia. She was found dead in her home in Los Angeles. Within six months of her passing, Simon Monjack, her widower, also died due to pneumonia disease-related heart failure in their Los Angeles home.


18. Chris Cornell - 52 years old

Chris Cornell

  • Birth name: Christopher John Boyle
  • Date of birth: July 20, 1964
  • Place of birth: Seattle, Washington, U.S.
  • Date of death:  May 18, 2017 
  • Age of death: 52
  • Place of burial: Hollywood Forever Cemetery
  • Occupations: Singer, songwriter, musician
  • Years active: 1983–2017

Christopher John Cornell, an American singer and musician, was a popular lead vocalist and guitarist of the beloved rock bands - Soundgarden and Audioslave. He died on 17 May 2017 in his hotel room in Detroit.


Cause of death

Chris and Soundgarden band members were in Detroit to perform. It was a sold-out concert. However, later that same day, Chris Cornell's life shockingly came to an abrupt end when he took his own life in his hotel room in Detroit. His body was found hanging in the room by a family friend.


19. Selena Quintanilla - 23 years old

Selena Quintanilla

  • Birth name: Selena Quintanilla
  • Other names: Selena Quintanilla Pérez
  • Date of birth: April 16, 1971
  • Place of birth: Lake Jackson, Texas, U.S.
  • Date of death:  March 31, 1995 (aged 23)
  • Place of burial:  Seaside Memorial Park, Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S.
  • Occupations: Singer fashion designer

Selena Quintanilla Pérez, an American Tejano singer, was known as the Queen of Tejano music. She died on 31 March 1995 in Texas, United States.


Cause of death

Selena's life shockingly came to an abrupt end when she was brutally shot by Yolanda Saldivar. Yolanda Saldivar was the president of Selena's fan club and was accused by Selena of embezzling funds. Selena wanted to fire her, and out of spite Yolanda fatally killed her.


20. Whitney Houston - 48 years old

Whitney Houston

  • Birth name: Whitney Elizabeth Houston
  • Date of birth: August 9, 1963
  • Place of birth: Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
  • Date of death:  February 11, 2012 (aged 48)
  • Burial place: Fairview Cemetery, Westfield, New Jersey
  • Occupations: Singer, actress, producer
  • Years active: 1977–2012

Whitney Elizabeth Houston, an iconic pop diva, was a Grammy-winning American singer and actress. She died on 11 February 2012 at the Beverly Hills hotel. Her biggest single, "I Will Always Love You", became a legendary way to remember her.


Cause of death

Whitney Houston's life shockingly came to an abrupt end when she was found dead in her bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. As per the reports, she drowned in her bathtub due to an overdose of cocaine use and atherosclerotic heart disease.


21. Robin Williams - 63 years old

Robin Williams

  • Birth name: Robin McLaurin Williams
  • Date of birth: July 21, 1951
  • Place of birth: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
  • Date of death:  August 11, 2014 (aged 63)
  • Occupations: Actor, comedian
  • Years active: 1976–2014

Robin Williams was a world-class comedian and an Oscar award-winning actor. Sadly, he died in August 2014.


Cause of death

As per the reports, it is said that Robin Williams was troubled with depression and took his own life, causing a shockingly abrupt end to his life.


22. Michael Jackson - 50 years old

Michael Jackson

  • Birth name: Michael Joseph Jackson
  • Other names: Michael Joe Jackson
  • Date of birth: August 29, 1958
  • Place of birth: Gary, Indiana, US
  • Date of death:   June 25, 2009 (aged 50)
  • Place of Burial: Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California, US
  • Occupations: Singer, songwriter, dancer, record producer

Michael Jackson, the unbeatable King of Pop, died in June 2009.


Cause of death

Michael Jackson's life shockingly came to an abrupt end when he had a cardiac arrest due to an overdose of the drug Propofol. TMZ even made a documentary - "TMZ Investigates: Who Really Killed Michael Jackson?" - to investigate the cause of his death. The documentary premiered on 6 September 2022.


23. Steve Irwin - 44 years old

Steve Irwin

  • Birth name: 22 February 1962
  • Place of birth: Upper Ferntree Gully, Victoria, Australia
  • Date of death:  4 September 2006 
  • Age of death: 44
  • Place of burial: Australia Zoo, Beerwah, Queensland
  • Occupations: Naturalist, zoologist, conservationist, television personality, herpetologist

Years active: 1991–2006

Steve Robert Irwin, the infamous Crocodile Hunter, was a renowned Australian zookeeper, television personality, conservationist, environmentalist, and wildlife expert. He died in September 2006.


Cause of death

Steve Irwin was filming one of his insanely wild wildlife adventures when he was stung by the poisonous spine of a stingray. The audience saw him remove the barb on the television before he lost consciousness, causing a shockingly abrupt end to his life. He was buried on 9 September 2006 in the Australia Zoo in Landsborough.


24. Tupac Shakur - 25 years old

Tupac Shakur

  • Birth name: Lesane Parish Crooks
  • Date of birth: June 16, 1971
  • Place of birth: Harlem, New York City, U.S.
  • Date of death:  September 13, 1996 (aged 25)
  • Occupations: Rapper, songwriter, actor
  • Years active: 1989–1996

Tupac Amaru Shakur, or 2Pac and Makaveli, was a highly popular and one of the most influential American rappers. He died on 13 September 1996 in Las Vegas.


Cause of death

Tupac Shakur's life shockingly came to an abrupt end after he became a victim of a drive-by shooting. He was brutally shot several times by (still unidentified) assailants and died six days after this incident in a hospital in Las Vegas.


25. Jimi Hendrix - 27 years old

Jimi Hendrix

  • Birth name Johnny Allen Hendrix
  • Date of birth: November 27, 1942
  • Place of birth: Seattle, Washington, US
  • Date of death:  September 18, 1970 (aged 27)
  • Occupation(s): Musician, songwriter, singer
  • Years active: 1962–1970

James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an admired American singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He is also regarded as one of the most celebrated musicians and influential electric guitarists of the 20th century. He died on 18 September 1970.


Cause of death

Jimi Hendrix's life shockingly came to an abrupt end when he was found dead due to an overdose of sleeping pills in Notting Hill, London. He was buried on 1 October 1970 in Greenwood Memorial Park & Funeral Home in Renton, United States.



Celebs who died shockingly

The loss of our beloved stars is never easy, especially when death comes as a burdensome shock with no warning. Anyone who went through a major loss has unquestionably played this song by Wiz Khalifa on a loop.


I am sure all of you remember the lyrics -

"It's been a long day without you, my friend

And I'll tell you all about it when I see you again"


This song really did a number on everyone worldwide. This was out list of 25 celebs who died shockingly. To our favorite stars = gone too soon but forever in our hearts! RIP.


Which celebrity death shocked you the most? Tell us in the comments section below.


If you need support or know someone who is struggling, please reach out to your nearest mental health specialist or speak to someone about it. There are several helplines available for the same.


Also Read: Luke Bell: The ‘missing’ Country singer was found dead on 29th August

Also Read: Joey DeFrancesco: The reigning King of Jazz dies at 51


Which famous person has died recently?
Lisa Marie Presley, Lance Reddick, Tina Turner, Ray Liotta, and Ivana Trump (Donald Trump's first wife) are some of the famous people who have died recently.

Which famous person died from diarrhea?
Taylor died on 9 July, after suffering for four days from symptoms including diarrhea, severe cramping, dehydration, and nausea.

Which is the most famous celebrity death?
Paul Walker, Robin Williams, and Heath Ledger are some of the most famous celebrity deaths.

Which celebrities have passed away so far in 2023?
Celebrities who have died in 2023 include Tina Turner, Harry Belafonte, Raquel Welch, and Lisa Marie Presley among others.

Which musician just died in 2023?
David Crosby, legendary American songwriter died in 2023.

Which celebrity has died on stage?
Jack Pleasants, a music hall artist, dropped dead on stage during a pantomime performance in 1924. He was 49 years old.

Which president choked on a chicken bone?
President George Washington

Which two presidents died on the same day?
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams - both died on 4 July 1826.

Which country music star just died?
Luke Bell, a country music star, died on 29 August 2022.

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About The Author
Anubhuti Mishra
Anubhuti Mishra
Relationship Expert

A marked inclination toward understanding human emotions and relationships led Anubhuti to become a certified Relationship Expert. With dual


Credits: Youtube, Getty Images

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