The Idols We Lost In 2017

The Idols We Lost In 2017

The past year took its fare share of influencers with it, leaving the world a little darker.

For many people, 2017 was a year of hardly any ups and majority of downs. Although we are moving forward to a year full of new resolutions, new beginnings, and new hopes for our future, it is proper to remember and memorialize those that we lost this past year. From singers to comedians, actors, and actresses to public figures, here is a list of those that have shaped history through pop culture, movements, and more.

1. David Cassidy

In the 1970’s David Cassidy was the quintessential definition of a teen idol. As Keith Partridge on “The Partridge Family,” he graced the screen as the handsome older brother that every single pre-teen girl fawned over during the early '70s. After a string of a successful solo career, he was added to the list of former teen idols who was featured on a beloved All-American family sitcom.

In late November of 2017, he passed of liver failure, leaving behind two children, one being Katie Cassidy who many know as the “Arrow” star. When word of his passing was made public, middle-aged women across the country mourned of the loss of what was one of their first teen heartthrobs and the man whose Tiger Beat posters were plastered across their bedroom walls.

2. Jerry Lewis

If you know a bit about the comedy circuit, you know exactly who Jerry Lewis, is and that he’s one half of the duo with Dean Martin. With acts such as the original “Nutty Professor,” nightclub shows at the Copacabana, and appearances on multiple late night TV shows, Jerry Lewis brought laughter and joy to television screens, radio stations, and cinemas appropriate for all to enjoy.

What makes him so original and different from comedians today is that he took the time to match up to his comedy acts to the background music he conducted. He took the time to make every piece organic and original, and he incorporated the art of music, miming, and imitating to his acts — something we rarely see today.

Aside from being a comedian, one of his biggest roles is his philanthropic work with the Muscular Dystrophy Association. From 1966 to 2010, Jerry Lewis hosted the telethon starting on Sunday morning and leading into Monday morning of Labor Day. He eventually became the Association Chairmen and raised billions of dollars for children and adults everywhere. After his passing, the comedy world was in mourning, memorializing the man that he was and the laughter he brought to pop culture.

3. Mary Tyler Moore

After the success of the “Dick Van Dyke Show,” Mary Tyler Moore played Mary Richards, a single, 30-year old who moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota in the early '70s to start her career in a television station. When she goes in to apply as a secretary, she comes out as an associative producer, proving to little girls everywhere that with the right drive and the right mindset, you really can “make it after all.”

What made Mary so unique was she took the feminist movement by storm and inspired women of all ages, teaching them being single at that time in history was nothing to be ashamed of. You didn’t need a man to rely on, if you fought with your stubborn boss hard enough, you would be successful, and with a fabulous wardrobe, you could conquer just about anything. Along with that, she was not afraid to discuss topics in front and behind the camera such as equal pay for women, birth control, and abortion, all of which were deemed taboo at that time, especially on television.

Aside from acting, she was also an activist for Juvenile Diabetes, having struggled with diabetes herself, the Humane Society, and Farm Sanctuary. On January 25, 2017, she was admitted to the hospital after a battle with pneumonia and passed at the age of 80. The now-grown women cried at the loss of their first idol who told them that they could be what they wanted. She made it after all.

4. Glen Campbell

In the early 1960’s, country music recognized a new face and a handsome front man in Glen Campbell. As an entertainer who graced the stage on variety shows such as “The Carol Burnett Show,” “The Johnny Cash Show,” and much more, he made history in the country music genre.

By the 1970’s he became a crossover star with country-pop hits such as “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Southern Nights” in which stars such as Brad Paisley and Blake Shelton have described as, “the type of songs that are somehow embedded into your DNA, you know it so well.” In 2005, he was finally inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, rightfully earning his place in such a prestigious Hall.

In 2011, at the age of 75, Glen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He publicly battled with this treacherous disease, and he spoke to legislatures about passing all sorts of bills in regards to the disease. In 2012, he was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, which would be one of his final public appearances.

At the age of 81, he passed on August 8, 2017. The Rhinestone Cowboy has found his way to peace.

5. Don Rickles

Similar to Jerry Lewis, Don Rickles was known for his comedic act, but was titled as an “insult comedian.” He tore down everyone, from himself to his wife, to even the beloved Mr. Ronald Reagan when he was in office. As a regular guest on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson,” and later appearing on “Dean Martin’s Celebrity Roast,” Don Rickles did not discriminate on who he insulted because everyone had a fair chance.

My generation best knows this man as the voice of Mr. Potato Head in “The Toy Story” trilogy, as well as being a regular guest on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” On April 6, 2017, he died of kidney failure, leaving behind memories of laughter and insults of those he loved.

6. Hugh Hefner

Behind bunny ears and a famous mansion stood the creator of the most popular men’s entertainment magazine.

Hugh Hefner rose to fame with his first issue in December of 1953, featuring Marilyn Monroe. Though his career choice and magazine enterprise was a controversial topic, in a sense, Hefner’s take on the portrayal of nude women was as classy as it could get. He advocated for choice in anyone and everyone’s sexuality, and his work allowed the topic of sex to be as comforting as can be. His impact on the adult industry as well as pop culture has left many devastated, and left the idea of parties at the mansion a thing of the past.

Though we lost many great ones in the year 2017, their impact and the legacy they have left behind through pop culture and the Hollywood scene has been memorable. They have shaped pop culture as we know it, and they will always be remembered for all they did throughout their careers. Rest in paradise, beauties.

Cover Image Credit: flickr

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A Playlist From The iPod Of A Middle Schooler In 2007

I will always love you, Akon.

Something happened today that I never thought in a million years would happen. I opened up a drawer at my parents' house and I found my pink, 4th generation iPod Nano. I had not seen this thing since I graduated from the 8th grade, and the headphones have not left my ears since I pulled it out of that drawer. It's funny to me how music can take you back. You listen to a song and suddenly you're wearing a pair of gauchos, sitting on the bleachers in a gym somewhere, avoiding boys at all cost at your seventh grade dance. So if you were around in 2007 and feel like reminiscing, here is a playlist straight from the iPod of a middle schooler in 2007.

1. "Bad Day" — Daniel Powter

2. "Hips Don't Lie" — Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

SEE ALSO: 23 Iconic Disney Channel Moments We Will Never Forget

3. "Unwritten" — Natasha Bedingfield

4. "Run It!" — Chris Brown

5. "Girlfriend" — Avril Lavigne

6. "Move Along" — All-American Rejects

7. "Fergalicious" — Fergie

8. "Every Time We Touch" — Cascada

9. "Ms. New Booty" — Bubba Sparxxx

10. "Chain Hang Low" — Jibbs

11. "Smack That" — Akon ft. Eminem

12. "Waiting on the World to Change" — John Mayer

13. "Stupid Girls" — Pink

14. "Irreplaceable" — Beyonce

15. "Umbrella" — Rihanna ft. Jay-Z

16. "Don't Matter" — Akon

17. "Party Like A Rockstar" — Shop Boyz

18. "This Is Why I'm Hot" — Mims

19. "Beautiful Girls" — Sean Kingston

20. "Bartender" — T-Pain

21. "Pop, Lock and Drop It" — Huey

22. "Wait For You" — Elliot Yamin

23. "Lips Of An Angel" — Hinder

24. "Face Down" — Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

25. "Chasing Cars" — Snow Patrol

26. "No One" — Alicia Keys

27. "Cyclone" — Baby Bash ft. T-Pain

28. "Crank That" — Soulja Boy

29. "Kiss Kiss" — Chris Brown

SEE ALSO: 20 Of The Best 2000's Tunes We Still Know Every Word To

30. "Lip Gloss" — Lil' Mama

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To My Younger Brother, Now That We're Both Older

Always know that I'm proud of you.


I'm writing this for you because even though we're all grown up now, I still find myself thinking about the days back when we'd play pretend with all of our toys, wishing we'd grow up faster. I'm writing this because I remember the days we'd bounce on the trampoline until the sky overhead turned pitch black, reaching for the stars as if one of them may hold the key to the future. I remember that night out in the pouring rain and thunder when we ran from yard to yard with our neighbors because this suburb was ours, and we wouldn't let any weather stop us from having our fun. I remember Uppy-And-Downy, Mission On, and blaps, all the silly tactics we invented to avoid sleeping at night because our imaginations never rested. I remember how we fought all too well, but we made up every time because that's what best friends do.

And now that we're older, I'm off at college and you're finishing up high school. Every visit home to you is like winning the lottery. It's worth a million dollars and more when I walk through the front door and you pick me up and spin me around, sometimes before I've even set down my luggage. I've never smiled bigger than in those moments because then, everything comes flooding back to my memory, and I remember how lucky I am to have you in my life. The best part is seeing how different you are every time I'm home, finding out what's new in your life, and seeing how you've changed in my absence.

I'm writing this to you because you should how much you mean to me, even more so now than ever. Always know I'm proud of you. Distance can't break our bond, just like the rain couldn't stop our fun. Distance only drives us closer to one another.

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