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Stars that died 2010

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

David Levine died he was 83.

David Levine [1] died he was 83. Levine was an American artist and illustrator best known for his caricatures in The New York Review of Books. Jules Feiffer has called him "the greatest caricaturist of the last half of the 20th Century".[2]
(December 20, 1926 – December 29, 2009)
Levine was born in Brooklyn, where his father Harry ran a small clothing factory. His mother, Lena, was a nurse and political activist who had Communist sympathies. He began to draw as a child, displaying a precocious talent that, at the age of nine, won him an invitation to audition for an animator's position in Disney's Los Angeles Studios.[3]

Levine later studied painting at Pratt Institute, at Temple University's Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia in 1946, and with Hans Hofmann.[2] Immediately following World War II, Levine served in the U. S. Army. After his service, he graduated from Temple with a degree in education and completed his studies at its Tyler School.[1]

Levine initially hoped to be a full-time painter, but was often forced to subsist on illustration work from publications like Gasoline Retailer. Nevertheless, he turned out a body of paintings, although many of these were destroyed in a fire in 1968.[2] Levine's paintings are mostly watercolors that often depict garment workers, honoring his father’s employees, and bathers at Coney Island. The paintings, in contrast to his illustrations, are "sympathetic portraits of ordinary citizens, fond and respectful renderings of the distinctive seaside architecture, panoramas with people on the beach."[1] Levine, together with Aaron Shikler founded the Painting Group in 1958, a salon of artists with whom he gathered for fifty years to paint models. The group was the subject of a 2007 documentary called Portraits of a Lady, which followed their creation of simultaneous portraits of U. S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.[1]

A job at Esquire in the early 1960s saw Levine develop his skills as a political illustrator.[2] His first work for The New York Review of Books appeared in 1963, the same year that the paper was founded. Subsequently, he drew more than 3,800 pen-and-ink caricatures of famous writers, artists and politicians for the publication.[4] Only about half of Levine's caricatures were created for the Review. Other work has appeared in Esquire (over 1,000 drawings), The New York Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone Magazine, Sports Illustrated, New York Magazine, Time, Newsweek, The New Yorker, The Nation, Playboy, and others.[2] As a caricaturist for these publications, Levine distinguished his process from that of political cartoonists: "I could take time to really look it over and think about it, read the articles and so on. The political cartoonists don't get a chance. The headlines are saying this and this about so-and-so, and you have to come up with something which is approved by an editor. I almost never had to get an approval. In forty years I may have run into a disagreement with The New York Review maybe two times.[5]

Levine's work has been exhibited extensively in galleries and museums around the world, and several collections of his paintings and drawings have been published by the Review and elsewhere. In 2008, he published a book, American Presidents, featuring his drawings of U.S. Presidents over five decades,[6] which was also the basis for an exhibit at the New York Public Library.[1]

John Updike, whom Levine drew many times, wrote in the 1970s: "Besides offering us the delight of recognition, his drawings comfort us, in an exacerbated and potentially desperate age, with the sense of a watching presence, an eye informed by an intelligence that has not panicked, a comic art ready to encapsulate the latest apparitions of publicity as well as those historical devils who haunt our unease. Levine is one of America's assets. In a confusing time, he bears witness. In a shoddy time, he does good work."[4]

The New York Times described Levine's illustrations as "macro-headed, somberly expressive, astringently probing and hardly ever flattering caricatures of intellectuals and athletes, politicians and potentates" that were "heavy in shadows cast by outsize noses on enormous, eccentrically shaped heads, and replete with exaggeratedly bad haircuts, 5 o’clock shadows, ill-conceived mustaches and other grooming foibles ... to make the famous seem peculiar-looking in order to take them down a peg". The paper commented: "His work was not only witty but serious, not only biting but deeply informed, and artful in a painterly sense as well as a literate one."[1] Levine drew his most frequent subject, former president Richard M. Nixon, 66 times, depicting him as, among other things, the Godfather, Captain Queeg, and a fetus.

According to Vanity Fair, "Levine put together a facebook of human history ... the durability of those Levine depicted, plus the unique insight with which he drew them, guarantees the immortality of his works". Levine's work, taken as a whole, had a leftwing bent, and he claimed still to be a Communist, although people of all political persuasions came in for the same acid treatment in Levine's caricatures. Levine said that "by making the powerful funny-looking ... he might encourage some humility or self-awareness".[2] Levine also described his purpose as follows: "Caricature is a form of hopeful statement: I'm drawing this critical look at what you're doing, and I hope that you will learn something from what I'm doing."[5]

In 2006, Levine was diagnosed with macular degeneration, an eye disease that leads to blindness. While the Review continued to run Levine's older work, no new work appeared there since April 2007.[2]

On December 29, 2009, Levine died at New York Presbyterian Hospital at the age of 83. His death was caused by prostate cancer and a number of subsequent illnesses. He was survived by his second wife, Kathy Hayes (whom he married in 1996), two children, Matthew and Eve, two stepchildren, Nancy and Christopher Rommelmann and grandchildren.[1]

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Abdurrahman Wahid died he was 69

Abdurrahman Wahid, born Abdurrahman Addakhil[1][2] died he was 59. Wahid colloquially known as About this sound Gus Dur , was an Indonesian Muslim religious and political leader who served as the President of Indonesia from 1999 to 2001. The long-time president of the Nahdlatul Ulama and the founder of the National Awakening Party (PKB), Wahid was the first elected president of Indonesia after the resignation of Suharto in 1998.

(7 September 1940 – 30 December 2009)

Like many Indonesian names, "Abdurrahman Wahid" does not contain a family name. The name "Wahid" is patronymic.

Abdurrahman ad-Dakhil Wahid was born on the fourth day of the eighth month of the Islamic calendar in 1940 in Jombang, East Java to Abdul Wahid Hasyim and Siti Solichah. This led to a belief that he was born on 4 August; instead, using the Islamic calendar to mark his birth date meant that he was actually born on 4 Sha'aban, equivalent to 7 September 1940. He was named after Abd ar-Rahman I of the Umayyad Caliphate who brought Islam to Spain and was thus nicknamed "ad-Dakhil" ("the conqueror"). His name is stylized in the traditional Arabic naming system as "Abdurrahman, son of Wahid".

He was the firstborn out of his five siblings, and Wahid was born into a very prestigious family in the East Java Muslim community. His paternal grandfather, Hasyim Asy'ari was the founder of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) while his maternal grandfather, Bisri Syansuri was the first Muslim educator to introduce classes for women.[3] Wahid's father, Wahid Hasyim, was involved in the Nationalist Movement and would go on to be Indonesia's first Minister of Religious Affairs.

In 1944, Wahid moved from Jombang to Jakarta where his father was involved with the Consultative Council of Indonesian Muslims (Masyumi), an organization established by the Imperial Japanese Army which occupied Indonesia at the time. After the Indonesian Declaration of Independence on 17 August 1945, Wahid moved back to Jombang and remained there during the fight for independence from the Netherlands during the Indonesian National Revolution. At the end of the war in 1949, Wahid moved to Jakarta as his father had received appointment as Minister of Religious Affairs. Wahid went about his education in Jakarta, going to KRIS Primary School before moving to Matraman Perwari Primary School. Wahid was also encouraged to read non-Muslim books, magazines, and newspapers by his father to further broaden his horizons.[4] Wahid stayed in Jakarta with his family even after his father's removal as Minister of Religious Affairs in 1952. In April 1953, Wahid's father died after being involved in a car crash.

In 1954, Wahid began Junior High School. That year, he failed to graduate to the next year and was forced to repeat. His mother then made the decision to send Wahid to Yogyakarta to continue his education. In 1957, after graduating from Junior High School, Wahid moved to Magelang to begin Muslim Education at Pesantren (Muslim School) Tegalrejo. He completed the pesantren's course in two years instead of the usual four. In 1959, Wahid moved back to Jombang to Pesantren Tambakberas. There, while continuing his own education, Wahid also received his first job as a teacher and later on as headmaster of a madrasah affiliated with the Pesantren. Wahid also found employment as a journalist for magazines such as Horizon and Majalah Budaya Jaya.

Wahid was married to Sinta Nuriyah with whom he had four daughters: Alissa Qotrunnada Munawaroh, Zannuba Arifah Chafsoh (popularly known as Yenny Wahid), Annita Hayatunnufus, and Inayah Wulandari.[58]

Wahid personally asked to be brought to visit Rembang (situated in Central Java) and Jombang despite his bad health condition. He had previously been admitted into a hospital just before he left Jakarta. During his visit, his health condition worsened and Wahid was admitted into one of the hospitals in Jombang on 24 December 2009. Following his return the next day, he was admitted into Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital in Central Jakarta in order to undergo a dialysis.[59] He underwent dental surgery on 28 December after complaining of toothache.[60][61][62] Wahid died on 30 December at approximately 6:45 p.m. local time (UTC+7) after his condition deteriorated because of complications from kidney disorders, heart disease and diabetes. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited the hospital prior to his death.[63][64][65] The Government held a state funeral for Wahid on 31 December, and flags will be flown at half-staff for seven days.[66][67] He was buried next to the graves of his grandfather and parents at his birthplace, Jombang, East Java.[68]

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The Rev -James Owen Sullivan died he was 28

James Owen Sullivan ,[1][2] better known by his stage name, The Rev, was the drummer for the American rock band Avenged Sevenfold, and was as well the lead vocalist in the avant-garde metal band Pinkly Smooth, along with fellow Avenged Sevenfold guitarist Synyster Gates. Sullivan lived in Huntington Beach, California and was married to Leana MacFadden (also known as Leana Silver). He was found dead on December 28, 2009,he was 28.[3]

(February 9, 1981 – December 28, 2009)

James Sullivan performed vocals and piano in his and Synyster Gates' side project, Pinkly Smooth, in 2002. He was most notable as the drummer and a backing-vocalist in Avenged Sevenfold.

His vocals were also featured in other songs from the Avenged Sevenfold eponymous album, such as “A Little Piece of Heaven”, “Brompton Cocktail”, “Gunslinger”, “Lost”, “Afterlife”, and “Almost Easy“. Sullivan also played many different instruments other than the drums, such as the piano and guitar and had used these abilities to write songs such as “A Little Piece of Heaven.” Before leaving to join Avenged Sevenfold, Sullivan performed with the third wave ska band Suburban Legends, as their drummer.

Sullivan was the primary writer for the songs "Almost Easy", "A Little Piece of Heaven", "Afterlife" and "Brompton Cocktail" that appear on Avenged Sevenfold's self-titled album. He also wrote parts for "Critical Acclaim" and "Lost". He provided vocals in "A Little Piece of Heaven", "Afterlife", "Crossroads", "Critical Acclaim", and the cover of Iron Maiden's "Flash of the Blade". [4]

He had stated he was influenced by drummers such as Vinnie Paul, Mike Portnoy, and Terry Bozzio.[5]

Sullivan stated that he had 6 different cars, one for all, but one day of the week. Ironically, in his earlier life he lived in a car, and at another time lived in a laundromat, where he worked during the day, and slept at night. He was arrested 7 times total throughout his lifetime, although only for incidences such as bar fights. [6]

Sullivan's arms were covered in various tattoos and he had the word "fiction" tattooed down his chest as part of a large tattoo on his torso. He also had handcuffs tattooed upon his neck; a "VII" behind his left ear, and a few smaller tattoos on his hands, including a dollar sign on the lower part of his right pinky and his wife's name on his left ring finger. On his right hand there was a bottle with handcuffs on both sides along with a pair of wings and the numbers "2" and "12", speculated to be a tattoo dedicated to himself for his birthday. There was also a tattoo behind his right ear of what appeared to be a bird. He sported a labret piercing and an industrial piercing in his left ear. He was also the tallest member of Avenged Sevenfold. [7]

Sullivan was found dead in his home at approximately 1:00 PM PST December 28, 2009, aged 28 years.[3] His death was reported as due to natural causes at the scene, however, the results of the autopsy performed were inconclusive, and further tests are pending.[3]

There were statements from Avenged Sevenfold and were posted to the their official website along with their MySpace, Facebook and Twitter profiles. Soon after the discovery of the death of Sullivan, Avenged Sevenfold made the following statement:

"It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we tell you of the passing today of Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan. Jimmy was not only one of the world's best drummers, but more importantly he was our best friend and brother. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jimmy's family and we hope that you will respect their privacy during this difficult time.

Jimmy you are forever in our hearts. We love you.

M Shadows, Synyster Gates, Zacky Vengeance and Johnny Christ"[8]

Shown on Avenged Sevenfold's official webste was a message from Sullivan's family which expressed their gratitude to his fans for their support:

"We would like to thank all of Jimmy's fans for the heartfelt comments that have been posted – it is comforting to know that his genius and antics were appreciated and that he was loved so much. Our hearts are broken – he was much too young to fall. Óg agus saor go deo (forever young and free)"[9]

On December 14, 2009, exactly 2 weeks before his death, Sullivan was sent an email from drummer Steven DuBois, suggesting that he include a drum solo in the new album, saying " are the only drummer alive today capable of the job."[10]

Sullivan is survived by his wife, Leana McFadden.[11]

In addition to comments made about the passing of Sullivan, the band's manager Larry Jacobson expressed how Sullivan was a kind figure to all. Jacobson stated within the interview that;

He was expressive. He'd tell you how he felt about you -- you didn't wonder because he'd put his arm around you," he said. "He knew how to tell his friends he loved them." [12]

In addition to Jacobson, over 50 musical artists have commented upon the death of Sullivan. [13] Sullivan's funeral was held on January 6, 2010. In attendance were the family and friends of Sullivan as well as bands such as Lostprophets and Brian Haner Sr..[14]

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Jay Reatard died he was 29

Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr who was better known by the stage name Jay Reatard, has died he was 29. Reatard was an American garage punk musician from Memphis, Tennessee. Lindsey was signed to Matador Records. He released recordings as a solo artist and as a member of The Reatards and Lost Sounds.

(May 1, 1980 – January 13, 2010)

His recording career began at the age of 15, when a home-made demo tape he had sent in to Goner Records caught the ear of former-Oblivian and Goner Records’ owner, Eric Friedl.[1] Lindsey's introduction to Friedl and his Oblivians bandmates had come that same year when the Oblivians had returned home to Memphis as an opening act for Rocket from the Crypt. Upon seeing the act live, Lindsey became enamored with their sloppy, lo-fi music and set forth creating his own brand of heavily distorted garage rock music.[2] Friedl was impressed by Lindsey's demos and signed him to his label, later commenting, “I loved the racket so we did the record, and I've been a fan of everything he's done since. He's a pretty amazing kid.” [1]

Lindsey named his first project the Reatards, which at the time included only himself as a member, and adopted an Oblivians-influenced surname,[2] calling himself Jay Reatard. The Reatards’ first release on Goner was a 7” EP called Get Real Stupid, which featured Lindsey as a solo performer alternating between playing guitar, singing, and beating on a bucket to provide a percussive rhythm. For Lindsey’s second release he recruited a backing band, hiring bassist Steve Albundy and drummer Elvis Wong to accompany him. The Reatards’ first LP as a trio was 1998’s Teenage Hate. This was followed by a second LP, Grown Up Fucked Up, and a number of singles. [3] The Reatards' first European tour came in 1998, when Lindsey was just 18.[2]

In 2001 Lindsey began recording with Alicja Trout and Rich Crook as the Lost Sounds, a side project which would ultimately usurp the Reatards as Lindsey’s primary musical venture. With alternating male and female vocals, as well as prominently-employed synthesizers, the Lost Sounds were a departure from the guitar-driven garage rock of the Reatards, and had a sound more akin to the early punk rock of The Screamers, a synthesizer-heavy punk band that Lindsey had been exposed to by Elvis Wong shortly after the recording of the Reatards’ first LP. Lindsey once claimed that his time in the Lost Sounds “was and is more fun than anything else I have ever done.” [4] Yet despite Lindsey’s enthusiasm for the band, the Lost Sounds bitterly broke up in 2005.

Lindsey was a prolific songwriter, often acting as a member and contributing compositions to two or more bands concurrently. One of Lindsey’s first side projects was the Bad Times, a one-off band which also included Eric Friedl and King Louie Bankston. The band recorded an album’s worth of material after only one practice session in 1998, releasing a self-titled LP in 2001. After one live performance the band disbanded, the members returning to their respective solo commitments. [4]

While Lindsey was still a member of both the Reatards and the Lost Sounds he joined a side project called the Final Solutions. Lindsey’s association with the future members of the Final Solutions began while he was still a teenager. Fighting problems at home, Lindsey opted to take up residence with members of a local band called the Jackmonkeys. While he was rooming with the band he was conscripted to play drums for them at a battle of the bands which was being held at the school's cafeteria. With Lindsey on drums (under the moniker 'the High and Mightys' the band performed a set of Oblivians covers, earning instant hate in the competition (FS bassist Tommy Trouble's band, the Squirrels earned third place). After separating for a number of years the group reformed under the name the Final Solutions and began touring and releasing albums. [4]

In 2004, Lindsey, together with his ex-girlfriend, Alix Brown of Atlanta rock band the Lids, formed Shattered Records, an independent record label that released mainly limited edition vinyl. [5] Shattered Records released records for a number of lo-fi punk and rock bands, including: Kajun SS, Jack Oblivian, Tokyo Electron, Reatards, Final Solutions, Terror Visions, Angry Angles, Carbonas, Rat Traps, Digital Leather and the Knaughty Knights.

In 2007 Lindsey put Shattered Records on hold while he promoted his solo records.[2] Then in 2009 Lindsey revived the label with the "Shattered Record Club" and the announcement of his final solo album, Watch Me Fall .

Out of this partnership came another musical endeavor for Lindsey, the Angry Angles. Together with Brown, and alternating between drummers Paul Artigues from Die Rotzz and Ryan Rousseau ('Elvis Wong') from Tokyo Electron, the band began touring the U.S. in the Fall of 2006. Before the band had even released its second single, Lindsey and Brown began a short European tour. The Angry Angles disbanded after releasing a number of vinyl singles. [6]

By 2005 both the Reatards and the Lost Sounds had broken up, and Lindsey focused his attention on a handful of side projects, working with and releasing material as Terror Visions and Destruction Unit. Though after he began focusing on his solo career in 2006, Lindsey said he has no desire to reform his previous bands. "I'd just feel like I was going backwards if I worked on anything else," Lindsey said. [7]

2006 saw the release of Blood Visions (In the Red), Lindsey's first solo album under the moniker Jay Reatard. After a lengthy tour supporting his solo album, in 2008 he signed a multi-album, exclusive deal with the New York-based indie label Matador Records. He released six, limited, 7" singles throughout 2008 with Matador. Soon after the release of the first single and write-ups in NME, Spin Magazine and Rolling Stone, Lindsey began playing larger shows and various music festivals all over the world. [7]

In October 2008 Reatard's Matador Singles '08 LP compiled all six of the 2008 singles on one LP/CD. Lindsey again hit the road to support the album with a second, extensive 2008 tour. Lindsey's later records sound drastically different from his early punk records. He said writers often misinterpret his newer sound. "I just think it's noisy pop music," Lindsey said. [7]

Lindsey's final album, Watch Me Fall (his first proper studio album with Matador), was released in August 2009. He described this collection of songs as more melodic and twee-inspired. In a 2009 interview, Jay said "these new batch of songs feature organ, some mandolins, a cello, a lot more back-ups and harmonies." [7] In that vein he's also noted that he's "become a little bit more about the melodies... I think I stripped away a layer of the fuzz; I might have been challenging people before to find them and this time I might be making them a little bit more obvious." [8]

While he claimed Watch Me Fall was more mellow than his previous works, Jay said his live show would remain energetic. "I just want it to be like an assault live, and softer on records," he said. [7]

Lindsey also contributed to a tribute album for New Zealand rock and roll musician Chris Knox, with whom he was to collaborate until Knox suffered a stroke in June 2009. All proceeds from the album will go towards Knox's recovery. [9]

Lindsey's band (that consisted of members of another Memphis band, The Barbaras) quit playing with Jay around Oct. 5, 2009, although specific details were not released. He did find replacement players to finish the dates he had previously booked. [10]

Lindsey was found dead in bed at his home in Midtown, Memphis around 3:30 a.m. on January 13, 2010. A death investigation has been opened by Memphis police. A statement was posted on the website of Goner Records, that Reatard had died in his sleep. Friends of Lindsey stated that he had recently complained of flu-like symptoms.[11]

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Steve " Dr. Death" Williams died he was 49

Steven Williams [1] died he was 49. Williams better known by his ring name "Dr. Death" , was an American professional wrestler and former collegiate football and wrestling star at the University of Oklahoma.

(May 14, 1960 – December 29, 2009)

Williams graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1981 after a football career that saw him named an All-American. He also competed as an amateur wrestler, losing in the finals of an NCAA tournament to future Olympic medalist Bruce Baumgartner. Already interested in professional wrestling, Williams had a ready-made nickname which dated back to an incident in junior high where he had to wrestle in a hockey goalie's mask and was jokingly labeled "Dr. Death" by one of his school's coaches.Williams, trained for professional wrestling by Bill Watts and Buddy Landel, started wrestling in 1982 in Watts' Mid-South Wrestling. In 1985, he formed a team with Ted DiBiase and feuded with Eddie Gilbert and The Nightmare. In 1986, Mid-South was renamed the Universal Wrestling Federation and Williams went on to win the UWF Heavyweight Championship from Big Bubba Rogers. When Jim Crockett Promotions bought the UWF in late 1987, he was one of the few UWF wrestlers to receive an initial push in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA).

Williams became involved with Jimmy Garvin's war with Kevin Sullivan's Varsity Club in 1988, often teaming with Jimmy and Ron Garvin or Ron Simmons in various matches, including a Triple Cage "Tower of Doom" match at The Great American Bash in 1988. Williams, however, turned heel and joined the Varsity Club in late 1988. He and Sullivan won the NWA United States Tag Team Championship at Starrcade. They feuded with the Road Warriors and he and Mike Rotunda won the NWA World Tag Team Championship in the process.

In May 1989, Williams and Rotunda were stripped of the title, and the Varsity Club disbanded. Williams went to All Japan Pro Wrestling where he formed a tag team with Terry Gordy called the Miracle Violence Connection. They went on to win the WCW World Tag Team Championship from the Steiner Brothers. One week after winning the WCW World Tag Team title, they won the vacant NWA World Tag Team title, defeating Dustin Rhodes and Barry Windham in the tournament final. Their NWA World Tag Team title win, however, went unrecognized by the NWA. They held onto both titles until September 1992, when they lost them to Rhodes and Windham. At Starrcade in 1992, Williams substituted for the injured Rick Rude to challenge Ron Simmons for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, but lost by disqualification. He left WCW shortly thereafter.

It was during the 1990s that Williams arguably had his most success. He continued to work for All Japan Pro Wrestling and became a main eventer for the company, making him one of the most successful foreign athletes in Japanese wrestling history. He also sporadically wrestled in the U.S. on the independent circuit. Incredibly through his tag team appearances in WCW and success on the independent circuit in the 1990s, Williams went unpinned on U.S. soil for over a decade. That run was brought to an end during one of his appearances in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). After defeating Axl Rotten in approximately 2 minutes, Williams had an impromptu ECW World Title match, but lost to the then champion Raven. The loss happened in February 1997 at ECW Crossing the Line Again.

In 1998, Williams was signed by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) prior to the "Brawl for All" competition which was set up in legitimate fights. He was expected to win the competition, but after beating Pierre Carl Ouellet in the first round, he was knocked out in the quarterfinals by Bart Gunn, suffering a major injury in the process. Following the event, Williams was involved in a brief angle where he was managed by Jim Ross before Williams was released. During his time with Ross he would attack people with suplexes.

In 1999, Williams appeared briefly in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) again with Oklahoma as his manager in a feud with Vampiro, as a result of this feud, he wrestled against Jerry Only from the Misfits on an 1999 episode of WCW Monday Nitro in a steel cage match. He went back to All Japan Pro Wrestling in 2002 and wrestled a couple of matches for WWE in 2003 against Lance Storm. In late 2003, he was involved with the independent promotion Major League Wrestling (MLW) and also wrestled for the new NWA Mid-Atlantic, where he won their title in one of the first professional wrestling events in China.

In 2004 he was beaten in an MMA match by Alexey Ignashov in just 22 seconds at a K1 event in Japan. This defeat ended Steve Williams brief MMA career.

In 2004, Williams underwent surgery for throat cancer and was declared cancer-free the next year. He made an appearance at a SmackDown! brand house show on March 11, 2006 in Alexandria, Louisiana, after which he was signed to help train up and coming WWE wrestlers in its Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) developmental territory. While acting in that capacity he made a few appearances on OVW television "helping out" fellow Oklahoma wrestler Jake Hager and briefly working as his tag team partner. He also made an appearance at an August 30 Raw brand house show, sitting ringside, during which he addressed the crowd and announced how happy he was to be "four years cancer free."

In 2007, he appeared at a taping of Harley Race's World League Wrestling in West Plains, Missouri, signing autographs and giving a brief speech about his battle with cancer and his newfound Christian faith.

Later, he made appearances for Oklahoma based independent federation Sooner World Class Wrestling (SWCW).[2] He also worked for Southwest Airlines in Colorado.[3]

After the death of longtime rival and friend Mitsuharu Misawa in June 2009, Williams made the decision to retire from the ring after 27 years. Williams' final American match took place August 15 in Colorado Springs, Colorado for Asylum Championship Wrestling. He defeated Franco D'Angelo for the ACW Heavyweight Championship, which he vacated after the match.[4][5]

His final match was held on October 25 in Tokyo.

The throat cancer eventually returned and Williams' health gradually worsened. His last public apperance was at the K&S Wrestlefest Wrestling Convention on December 12, 2009, in Carteret, New Jersey. On December 29, 2009, Williams died at St. Anthony Central Hospital in Denver from throat cancer.[6] He was 49 years old.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Percy Sutton died he was 89

Percy Sutton died he was 89. Sutton was a civil-rights activist, entrepreneur and lawyer.[1]

(November 24, 1920 — December 26, 2009)

Sutton was born in San Antonio, Texas, the last of fifteen children born to Samuel and Lillian Sutton. Both of his parents were educators with his father being one of the first blacks in Bexar County, Texas. His father, born into slavery, also served as principal of three high schools. S. J. Sutton, an early civil rights activist who did not use his first name for fear it would be shortened to Sambo, farmed, sold real estate and owned a mattress factory, funeral home and skating rink — in addition to being a full-time principal. All Percy Sutton's siblings graduated from college. His brothers included G. J. Sutton (the first black elected official in San Antonio[citation needed]) and Oliver Sutton (a judge on the New York Supreme Court).

Percy milked cows and rode around San Antonio with his father in the same Studebaker that was used for funerals, distributing milk to the poor. He liked to attach strings to cans to pretend to be a radio broadcaster.

Sutton joined the Boy Scouts of America and attained the rank of Eagle Scout in 1936 and was recognized with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award as an adult. Sutton stated that scouting was a key factor in shaping his life.[2]

At 12, he stowed away on a passenger train to Manhattan where he slept under a sign on 155th Street. Far from being angry, his family regarded it as an adventure.

His family was committed to civil rights, and he bristled at prejudice. At 13, while passing out N.A.A.C.P. leaflets in an all-white neighborhood, he was beaten by a policeman.

He took up stunt-flying on the barnstorming circuit, but gave it up after a friend crashed. Later, during World War II, he served with the Tuskegee Airmen, the famed all-black unit in the Army Air Forces, as an intelligence officer. He won combat stars in the Italian and Mediterranean theaters.

Sutton attended Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas; the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama; and the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia. He went on to attend Brooklyn Law School in Brooklyn, a borough of New York City, New York.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Sutton became one of America's best-known lawyers[citation needed]. He represented many controversial figures, such as Malcolm X. After the murder of Malcolm X, Sutton and his brother Oliver helped to cover the expenses of his widow, Betty Shabazz.[citation needed] Sutton's civil-rights advocacy took him even further in the minds of many. Being jailed with Stokely Carmichael and other activists endeared him to the Harlem community and showed many that he was willing to be placed in harm's way for his client's sake.

Sutton was a longtime leader in Harlem politics, and was a leader of the Harlem Clubhouse. The Clubhouse has dominated Democratic politics in Harlem since the 1960s. His allies in running the Clubhouse were former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, U.S. Representative Charles Rangel, and former New York Secretary of State Basil Paterson.

He ran for borough president of the Manhattan borough of New York City in 1965, and won with 80% of the vote. He served in that post until 1977, when he ran for the Democratic nomination for New York City Mayor against U.S. Representative Ed Koch, New York Secretary of State Mario Cuomo, New York City Mayor Abraham Beame, former U.S. Representative Bella Abzug, and U.S. Representative Herman Badillo. Koch won the nomination and mayoralty.

In 1971, Sutton cofounded the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation which purchased New York City's WLIB-AM, which became the city's first African-American-owned radio station.

He initiated, December 2009 the revitalizing of the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem. He also produced the successful It's Showtime at the Apollo, a syndicated, music television show, first broadcast in September 12, 1987.

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Vic Chesnutt died from an overdose he was 45

James Victor "Vic" Chesnutt died from an over dose he was 45. Chestnutt was a singer-songwriter living in Athens, Georgia. Injured in a car accident in 1983, the paraplegic artist's first big breakthrough to commercial success came with the release of the tribute album Sweet Relief II: Gravity of the Situation.[1]

(November 12, 1964 – December 25, 2009)

Chesnutt released several albums during his career, including two produced by Michael Stipe, and a 1996 release on Capitol Records. His musical style is described as "skewed, refracted version of Americana that is haunting, funny, poignant, and occasionally mystical, usually all at once".[2]

Around 1985, Chesnutt moved to Athens and joined the band, The La-Di-Da's.[3] After leaving that group he began performing solo on a regular basis at the 40 Watt Club; it was there that he was spotted by Michael Stipe of R.E.M.; Stipe produced Chesnutt's first two albums, Little (1990) and West of Rome (1991).[3]

In 1992, Chesnutt was the subject of a PBS documentary, Speed Racer. He also had a small role in the 1996 Billy Bob Thornton movie Sling Blade which he later described self-mockingly as a poor performance.[4]

In 1996, Chesnutt was exposed to a wider audience with the release of the tribute album Sweet Relief II: Gravity of the Situation, the proceeds from which went to the Sweet Relief Fund. The album consisted of Chesnutt covers by famous musicians including Garbage, The Smashing Pumpkins (with Red Red Meat), Madonna, R.E.M. and Live.

He recorded with other groups and artists. Most notably he made two albums with a fellow Athens, Georgia group Widespread Panic, under the name of brute. Chesnutt's album The Salesman and Bernadette (1998) was recorded with alt-country group Lambchop as the backing band. The album Merriment was a collaborative effort between Chesnutt and Kelly and Nikki Keneipp, with Vic writing and singing the songs, and the Keneipps playing the music. The 2005 album Ghetto Bells featured famed guitarist Bill Frisell, whom Chesnutt met in 2004 at the renowned Century of Song concert series at the German festival RuhrTriennale. Ghetto Bells also featured the legendary eccentric lyricist and composer Van Dyke Parks on accordion and keyboards. Chesnutt's wife, Tina Chesnutt, would frequently play bass on his albums. His niece, and fellow songwriter, Liz Durrett also appeared on the Ghetto Bells album.

Chesnutt's first four albums were released on the independent Texas Hotel label. He then recorded About to Choke (1996) for Capitol Records, which was his first and only major record label recording. The Salesman and Bernadette (1998) was on PolyGram; Merriment (2000) was on the Backburner Records label; spinART was the label for the self performed and recorded Left to His Own Devices (2001). Vic then found a new home at the New West Records label, who released two albums for him. In 2004 New West also re-released the early Texas Hotel recordings, including expanded liner notes and extra tracks.

In the winter of 2006, he recorded North Star Deserter at the Hotel2Tango in Montreal. It was released on September 11, 2007 by Constellation Records. The record included contributions from Constellation artists Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band, members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, as well as Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto. The album was produced by documentary filmmaker Jem Cohen. [5] He also appeared as a guest musician on Cowboy Junkies' 2007 album Trinity Revisited, a 20th anniversary edition of their classic album The Trinity Session.

Chesnutt was also a supporter of medical marijuana[6], which he claimed helped with his medical problems. He contributed the track Weed to the Rescue to the 1998 Hempilation II charity album, with proceeds going to NORML, an American organization dedicated to marijuana legalization.

Elf Power (also from Athens, Georgia) collaborated with Chesnutt on the album Dark Developments, released under the name Vic Chesnutt, Elf Power, and the Amorphous Strums. The "amorphous strums" refers to Curtiss Pernice and Sam Mixon, who also played on the album.

An adoptee, Chesnutt was raised in Zebulon, Georgia, where he first started writing songs at the age of 5. At 18, a car accident left him partially paralyzed, though it wasn't long afterward that he realized he could still play guitar.[3] After his recovery he left Zebulon and moved to Nashville, Tennessee; the poetry he read there (by Stevie Smith, Walt Whitman, Wallace Stevens, W. H. Auden, Stephen Crane, and Emily Dickinson) served to inspire and influence him.[3] Chesnutt stated his atheism since age 13.[7]

On December 25, 2009, Chesnutt died from an overdose of muscle relaxants that had left him in a coma in an Athens hospital.[1]

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Look Who Just Got Busted In Memphis

Stars that died video of 2010 updated

Stars That Died 2008