Jean-Michel Basquiat (December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988) was an American artist and is cited by Graham Thompson as the first painter of African descent to become an international art star. He started as a graffiti artist in New York City, and in the 1980s produced Neo-expressionist painting. Basquiat died of a heroin overdose on August 12, 1988.
John Adam Belushi (January 24, 1949 – March 5, 1982) was an American comedian, actor, and musician notable for his work on Saturday Night Live, National Lampoon's Animal House, and The Blues Brothers. He was the older brother of James Belushi.
Ike Wister Turner (November 5, 1931 – December 12, 2007) was an American musician, bandleader, talent scout, and record producer. Considered to be one of the fathers of rock and roll, his first recording, "Rocket 88" by "Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats," in 1951, is considered by some to be the "first rock and roll song" ever. However, he is best known for his work with his ex-wife Tina Turner as one half of the Ike & Tina Turner revue.
John Alec Entwistle (9 October 1944 – 27 June 2002) was an English bass guitarist, songwriter, singer, and horn player, who was best known as the bass guitarist for the rock band The Who. His aggressive lead sound influenced many rock bass players. He has been described as "the greatest bassist in the history of rock" by Greenwich Time and The Ledger.
Christopher Crosby "Chris" Farley (February 15, 1964 – December 18, 1997) was an American comedian and actor. Farley was a member of Chicago's The Second City Theatre and the cast of the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. He has also starred in a string of successful comedy films in the 1990s including Tommy Boy, Black Sheep, and Beverly Hills Ninja before his death on December 18, 1997 in his Chicago apartment of cardiac arrest caused by a drug overdose.
River Jude Phoenix (August 23, 1970 – October 31, 1993) was an Oscar- and Golden Globe-nominated American film actor. He was listed on John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 38 as one of twelve "promising new actors of 1986", and was hailed as highly talented by such critics as Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel. Also well known for his animal rights activism, he was a spokesperson for PETA and a strict vegan.
Russell Tyrone Jones (November 15, 1968 – November 13, 2004) was an American rapper and occasional producer, who went by the stage name Ol' Dirty Bastard (often shortened to ODB). He was one of the founding members of the hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan. Ol' Dirty Bastard simultaneously brought a measure of humor and a touch of the absurd to the Wu-Tang Clan.
Thomas Richard "Tommy" Bolin (August 1, 1951, Sioux City, Iowa - December 4, 1976) was an American-born guitarist who played with Zephyr (from 1969 to 1971), The James Gang (from 1973 through 1974), Deep Purple (from 1975 to 1976), and his solo work. He died of a drug overdose in 1976.
Darrell Ray Porter (January 17, 1952 – August 5, 2002) was a former American catcher in Major League Baseball, and one of the first American professional athletes to publicly admit he had a problem with substance abuse.
Richard Shannon Hoon (September 26, 1967 – October 21, 1995) was an American singer-songwriter and musician. He was the frontman and lead singer of the band Blind Melon until his death from a drug overdose in 1995.
Leonard Kevin "Len" Bias (November 18, 1963 – June 19, 1986) was a first team All-American college basketball player. He was selected by the Boston Celtics as the second overall pick in the 1986 NBA Draft on June 17, but died two days later from cardiac arrhythmia induced by a cocaine overdose. He is considered by some sportswriters to be one of the greatest players not to play at the professional level.
Kevin DuBrow (October 29, 1955 – c. November 19, 2007) was an American rock singer, best known as the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Quiet Riot from 1973 until his death in 2007. During Quiet Riot's commercial heyday in the 1980s, DuBrow was known for his on-stage charisma, black-and-white striped microphone stand, gravelly bluesy voice, and suspenders.
Curtis Michael "Curt" Hennig (March 28, 1958 – February 10, 2003), also known by the ring name Mr. Perfect, was an American professional wrestler who wrestled for, among other promotions, the American Wrestling Association (AWA), World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and perhaps most notably, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). He was the son of wrestler Larry "The Axe" Hennig. Hennig held fifteen championships in various promotions throughout his career.
Mitchell Lee "Mitch" Hedberg (February 24, 1968 – March 29, 2005) was an American stand-up comedian known for his surreal humor and unconventional comedic delivery. Hedberg's comedy typically featured short, sometimes one-line jokes, and observational comedy, mixed with absurd elements and non sequiturs. Hedberg's comedy and on-stage persona gained him a cult following, with audience members sometimes shouting out the punchlines to his jokes before he could finish them.
Stuart Errol "Stu" Ungar (September 8, 1953 – November 22, 1998) was a professional poker and gin rummy player, widely considered to have been the greatest Texas hold 'em and gin rummy player of all time. He is one of only two people to have won the World Series of Poker Main Event three times (Johnny Moss also has three WSOP titles but his first was obtained by a vote of the players, not by winning a tournament).
Kenneth Gene Caminiti (April 21, 1963 – October 10, 2004) was an American third baseman in Major League Baseball and the 1996 National League Most Valuable Player. He was born in Hanford, California, and attended San Jose State University. He died of a drug overdose on October 10, 2004.
Davis Eli "David" Ruffin (January 18, 1941 – June 1, 1991) was an American soul singer and musician most famous for his work as one of the lead singers of The Temptations from 1964 to 1968 (or the group's "Classic Five" period as it was later known). He was the lead voice on such famous songs as "My Girl" and "Ain't Too Proud to Beg. " Known for his unique raspy and anguished tenor vocals, Ruffin was ranked as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine in 2008.
Eric Vaughn Show (rhymes with "now") (May 19, 1956 – March 16, 1994) was a Major League Baseball player for the San Diego Padres and Oakland Athletics. On September 11, 1985, Show gave up Pete Rose's record-breaking 4,192nd career hit.
Judee Sill (born Judith Lynn Sill, October 7, 1944 - November 23, 1979) was an American singer and songwriter. The first artist signed to David Geffen's Asylum label, she released two albums, then worked briefly as a cartoonist before dying of drug abuse in 1979.
Scott Charles Bigelow (September 1, 1961 – January 19, 2007) was an American professional wrestler, best known by the ring name Bam Bam Bigelow. His professional wrestling career spanned twenty-one years. He had a tattoo that spanned most of his bald head, and was known for being agile for his size of "nearly 400 pounds". Bigelow has worked in major wrestling promotions, including Extreme Championship Wrestling, World Championship Wrestling, and the World Wrestling Federation.