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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 28, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 52
A fond farewell - Saying goodbye to musical artists we lost in 2012
Arts & Entertainment
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A fond farewell - Saying goodbye to musical artists we lost in 2012

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

As the year comes to a close and we finalize our New Year's Eve celebrations, it seems appropriate to bid adieu to the musicians who left us in 2012. Rest in peace ... your music will live on.

ETTA JAMES
January 20

James' timeless classic 'At Last' has resurfaced in popularity, being used by dozens of Gay couples at their now-legal wedding ceremonies. She was a tigress of blues music, and her death at the beginning of this year was felt by her fellow artists in rock, folk, R&B, and gospel music. James not only was a fine vocalist, she was also a pistol - she said whatever the hell she felt like saying, and that was that. And, she occasionally gave shout-outs to her Gay fans at live shows.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
February 11

On the eve of the biggest night in music, the Grammy Awards, the death of Whitney Houston brought the industry to a sudden halt. The famed singer, who balanced as best she could a superstar career and a tortured personal life, passed away in her hotel room as final rehearsals for the ceremony were taking place at Staples Center. Her greatest gift was her God-given instrument, her voice. 'I Will Always Love You,' 'Saving All My Love for You,' 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),' 'One Moment in Time,' and 'So Emotional' are just a few of the treasures she left behind.

DICK CLARK
April 18

There wasn't a Saturday that went by in my childhood without us crowding around the TV and watching American Bandstand. It was the premier program to see and hear the newest, grooviest tunes. Clark is also remembered for his New Year's Eve specials, hosting the world-famous 'dropping of the ball' in Times Square. And his production company is behind such highbrow events as the Golden Globes and American Music Awards.

ADAM 'MCA' YAUCH
May 4

The Beastie Boys were legendary. They were the first viable white faces in a Black-dominated music genre, and their punk roots revolutionized the art of hip-hop, broadening it to a more mainstream audience. Yauch lost his battle with salivary gland cancer in early May and there wasn't a rapper who didn't stop to pay his or her respects. Not only was he an amazing musician, he was a tireless and outspoken activist for the Tibetan freedom campaign. '(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party),' 'So What'cha Want,' 'Sabotage,' and my personal favorite, 'Intergalactic,' are just some of the Beastie Boys' unforgettable hits.

DONNA SUMMER
May 17

She may have died peacefully, but the Queen of Disco's passing this spring created loud soundwaves around the world. There wasn't a dance club in the '70s that wasn't playing Summer's music, from 'I Feel Love' to 'Love to Love You Baby' to 'Hot Stuff.' Her reign continued into the '80s with 'On the Radio,' 'She Works Hard for the Money,' and 'Love Is in Control (Finger on the Trigger).' Though her relationship with LGBT fans took a turn for the worse, 'Last Dance' remains an iconic song at Gay clubs to this very day.

ROBIN GIBB
May 20

Robin Gibb was the second loss to pop super-trio The Bee Gees when he passed away this year, leaving Barry Gibb as the group's sole surviving member. Talk about blockbuster albums - the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack has sold more than 15 million copies in the U.S. alone. 'Staying Alive,' 'Jive Talkin',' 'How Deep is Your Love,' 'More Than a Woman,' and 'Night Fever' will never get old.

MARVIN HAMLISCH
August 6

A much-feted songwriter and composer, Hamlisch is one of only 11 people to have won all of entertainment's four big awards - Grammy, Oscar, Tony, Emmy. A longtime collaborator and friend of Barbra Streisand, who acknowledged him on her 2012 tour, he was behind such classic works as 'The Way We Were,' 'Nobody Does It Better,' and A Chorus Line.

JENNI RIVERA
December 9

The sudden death of Jenni Rivera shook the Latin music community and her legion of fans throughout Mexico and South America when her plane crashed in early December. Rivera had immense fame as a Spanish recording artist and reality TV star, but she was on her way to becoming a crossover success in the U.S., where she was born and resided.

Others we lost in 2012: Andy Williams (Sept. 25), Davy Jones (Feb. 29), Ravi Shankar (Dec. 12), Doc Watson (May 29), and Kitty Wells (July 16).

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