Joy of Cannabis
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20 Musicians, Actors and Athletes Who've Died from Covid-19

The following celebrities have passed away from the coronavirus:

Blum played Richard Mason in "Crocodile Dundee" in 1986.

Mark Blum

On March 25, the stage and screen actor passed away. Blum tested positive the previous week and was hospitalized at New York Presbyterian. He was 69. Blum's career took off after he appeared opposite Rosanna Arquette and Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan in 1985. He appeared on numerous TV show, including Mozart in the JungleLaw and Order and Capital News, and in such movies as Crocodile Dundee and Shattered Glass.

Nick Cordero

On July 5, the stage actor passed away. He suffered for months after contracting the virus in March, requiring an amputation, placement of a pacemaker and a medically induced coma. Cordero received a Tony nomination in 2014 for his role in as Cheech in Bullets Over Broadway. He also appeared in Rock of Ages, Waitress and A Bronx Tale.

Fred Dean

On October 15, Pro Football Hall of Famer Fred Dean passed away. He was 68. A defensive end, Dean started his career with the Chargers in 1975 and ended with the 49ers 11 years later in 1985. The Louisiana-born four-time Pro Bowl selection was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.

Tom Dempsey

On April 4, the former NFL place kicker passed away. Dempsey had been living in a retirement home in New Orleans when he was stricken. He tested positive on March 30. Fifteen residents at Lambert House have died from the coronavirus. Dempsey, who didn't have toes on his right kicking foot, famously nailed a 63-yard field goal while playing for the Saints in 1970. His record for the longest field goal in NFL history stood for 43 years. 

Manu Dibango

On March 24, the saxophonist from Cameroon passed away in Paris. He had a No, 35 hit with the African-funk song, "Soul Makossa," in 1972. Dibango was 86.

Image via FilmMagic

Joe Diffie

On March 29, the Tulsa-born country singer passed away. On March 27, Diffie said he had tested positive: “I am under the care of medical professionals and currently receiving treatment. My family and I are asking for privacy at this time. We want to remind the public and all my fans to be vigilant, cautious and careful during this pandemic.”

From 1990-2019, Diffie released 12 albums and had No. 1 country hits with "Home" (1990), "If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets)" (1991), "Third Rock from the Sun" (1994), "Pickup Man" (1994) and "BIgger Than the Beatles" (1995). He was 61.

Dave Greenfield (second to right) with his Stranglers mates

Dave Greenfield

On May 4, the Stranglers' keyboardist passed away. Greenfield had been hospitalized in England with a heart condition when he tested postive for Covid-19. While they never really crossed over commerically in the U.S., the punk band had a number of U.K. hits, including "Golden Brown" (No. 2, 1982), "Strange Little Girl" (No. 7, 1982), "Peaches" (No. 8, 1977), "No More Heroes" (No. 8, 1977) and "Something Better Change" (No. 9, 1977).

1942-2020

Toots Hibbert

On Sept. 11, the reggae great passed away. Frederick "Toots" Hibbert was stricken just a week before the release of his final album, Got to Be Tough, which won a posthumous Grammy, his second. He was known for coining the term "reggae" and playing in a funky R&B syle on hits like "Monkey Man" and "54-46 Was My Number."

1964-2022

Hana Horka

On Jan. 16, the Czech folk singer passed away. Her death drew international attention because she intentionally contracted Covid from her husband and/or son in order to gain immunity. Horka planned to request a recovery pass which would've allowed her to play in certain venues, but she died just two days after testing positive. Horka was 57.

Photo of Trini Lopez in 1965 by Stanley Bielecki/ASP

Trini Lopez

On August 11, the Mexican-American folk singer passed away. Lopez, who was 83, had hits with "If I Had a Hammer" (No. 3, 1963), "Lemon Tree" (No 20, 1964), "Kansas City" (No, 23, 1963), "Michael" (No. 42, 1964) and "La Bamba Pt. 1 (No. 86, 1966), and released 32 albums from 1963-2011, including the No. 2 Trini Lopez at PJ's (1963); he also had roles in The Dirty Dozen (1967) and other films.

Ellis Marsalis Jr.

On April 1, the New Orleans jazz pianist passed away after being tested for the coronavirus and hospitalized. Marsalis, who was 85, headed the popular Crescent City jazz family that includes sons Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason. Thanks to his sons' success, he released 21 albums from 1985-2018. A regular performer in clubs around New Orleans, Marsalis also taught at various colleges and institutions.

Terrence McNally

On March 24, the Award-winning playwright passed away. He won Tonys for Kiss of the Spider Woman (1993), Love! Valour! Compassion! (1995), Master Class (1996) and Ragtime (1998). McNally was 81.

1947-2022

Meatloaf

On Jan. 20, the Grammy winning singer passed away. Meatloaf (nee Marvin Aday) opposed vaccine mandates and was reportedly sick with Covid in the week prior to his death. It's unclear whether he was vaccinated. In August, he commented: "I’m sorry, I understood stopping life for a little while, but they cannot continue to stop life because of politics. And right now they’re stopping because of politics. On CNN last night, it finally came out that the masks we’re all wearing are useless. But I’ve known that for six months. They don’t do anything. They don’t stop you from getting COVID. They’re just a nuisance and make your nose itch and make it so you can’t breathe. If I die, I die, but I’m not going to be controlled." Meatloaf was 74.

Alan Merrill

On March 29, the Bronx-born rock and roller passed away. Merrill (nee Allan Sachs) co-wrote "I Love Rock 'n Roll," which was a No, 1 hit for Joan Jett & the Blackhearts in 1982. He originally performed the song with the Arrows. Merrill, who's mother was jazz singer Helen Merrill, was 69.

Bucky Pizzarelli

On April 2, the jazz guitarist from New Jersey passed away. He tested positive for the coronavirus on March 29. Pizzarelli recorded 36 albums from 1961-2007. He was 94.

John Prine

On April 7, the folk singer passed away. He'd been hospitalized with cornonavirus symptoms since March 26. On March 17, his wife Fiona said she'd tested positive. 

Prine, who was 73, released 18 albums from 1971-2018. He won Grammys for The Missing Years (1991) and Fair & Square (2005), both in the Contemporary Folk category. Prine's song, "Illegal Smile," on his debut self-titled debut album in 1971, has long been regarded as an ode to marijuana. 

Wallace Roney

On March 31, the jazz trumpeter passed away. "I am saddened to confirm that the iconic trumpeter and jazz legend Wallace Roney passed away due to complications of COVID-19 this morning just before noon,” publicist Lydia Liebman confirmed. “The family is looking to have a memorial service to honor Wallace and his musical contributions once this pandemic has passed.”

The Philadelphia-born musician released 21 albums from 1987-2019. Roney won a Grammy for A Tribute to Miles in 1994. He was 59.

Adam Schlesinger

On April 1, the Fountains of Wayne co-founder passed away. The day before, Schlesinger's attorney Jaime Herman stated, "Adam has been hospitalized with COVID-19. He’s on a ventilator and has been sedated to facilitate his recovery." He'd been hospitalized since last week.

Based in New Jersey, Fountains of Wayne had a No. 21 hit with "Stacey's Mom" in 2003. Schlesinger, who was 52, had received numerous award nominations, including Oscar and Golden Globe recogitiion in 1997 for the title song of That Thing You Do, which he wrote and performed as The Wonders.

Ty (nee Benedict Chijioke)

On May 7, the London-born rapper passed away. He had a U.K. hit with "Oh You Want More?" (No. 64, 2004). Ty was 47.

Hal Willner

On April 6, the eclectic music producer passed away. "I always wanted to have a number one - but not this," Willner tweeted on March 28. He famously produced tribute albums and concerts about a wide range of musical lumanaries, from Thelonious Monk to Shel Silverstein. Willner also helmed albums by Lou Reed, Marianne Faithfull (see the section on her in this article) and Lucinda Williams, and worked at Saturday Night Live. He was 64.

This article was originally posted in 2020. It has been updated.

 

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.