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Here at NewsOne, we want to take a moment to remember those who ended their Earthly journey in 2011:

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Heavy D

Heavy D, the self-proclaimed “overweight lover” of hip-hop who became one of rap’s top hit-makers with wit, humor and a positive vibe, died in a Los Angeles hospital after collapsing at his condominium building on November 28. He was 44.

Cesaria Evora

Cesária Évora, the Grammy-winning singer from Cape Verde, died in her native island of Sao Vicente in Cape Verde on December 17 . She was 70.

Ralph MacDonald

Ralph MacDonald, who penned the classic R&B tunes “Just the Two of Us” and “Where is the Love,” won Grammy Awards as a performer and producer for “Calypso Breakdown,” which appeared on the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack. After suffering from a stroke and lung cancer in recent years, MacDonald died after a long battle with illness on December 18.

Fred Shuttlesworth

The Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth, who was bombed, beaten and repeatedly arrested in the fight for civil rights and hailed by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. for his courage and energy, died on October 15. He was 89.

Slim Dunkin

Rapper Slim Dunkin was gunned down in an Atlanta recording studio as he was preparing to film a video on December 16. He was 24.

Vesta Williams

R&B singer Vesta Williams was found dead in a hotel room in Hollywood, Calif., on September 23. She was 48.

Patrice O’Neal

Comedian Patrice O’Neal died of complications from a stroke on November 29. He was 41.

Joe Frazier

Legendary boxer Joe Frazier died from liver cancer on November 7 . He was 67.

Nate Dogg

Popular singer Nate Dogg, whose real name was Nathaniel Hale, died on March 16th. Nate Dogg suffered from strokes in 2007 and 2008 that left him partially paralyzed, and he was in therapy for close to two years. He was 41.

Nick Ashford

Nick Ashford, one-half of the legendary Motown songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson, died on August 22. He was 70.

Bubba Smith

Former all-pro football player-turned-actor and commercial pitchman Bubba Smith died of acute drug intoxication and other conditions on August 3. He was 66.

Clarence Clemons

Longtime Bruce Springsteen sidekick and sax player Clarence Clemons died from complications following a stroke in his Florida home on June 18. He was 69.

Gil Scott-Heron

Musician Gil Scott-Heron, who helped lay the groundwork for rap music by fusing minimalistic percussion, political expression and spoken-word poetry on songs such as “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” died on May 27. He was 62.

Mia Amber Davis

Actress and plus-sized model Mia Amber Davis, whose claim to fame was a scene in “Road Trip,” passed away after undergoing a knee surgery on May 12. She was 36.

Loleatta Holloway

Disco singer Loleatta Holloway, known for disco songs such as “Hit and Run” and “Love Sensation,” died after battling an illness on March 22. She was 64.

Dwayne McDuffie

Black comic book pioneer Dwayne McDuffie, who founded Milestone Comics and helped create the character “Static Shock,” died on February 22. He was 49.

Clarice Taylor

Clarice Taylor, famous for her role on the “Cosby Show” as “Anna Huxtable” and on “Sesame Street” as “Harriet,” died June 2. Taylor also appeared in “The Wiz” and on “Sanford and Son.” She was 93.


Rapper M-Bone, from the group Cali Swag District, died of gunshot wounds on May 16. He was 22.

Pinetop Perkins

Blues man Pinetop Perkins died of cardiac arrest in his Austin, Texas, home on March 22. He was 97.


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