2016 seems to be a bad year with many of the world’s best-loved celebrities saying goodbye, but why is this year worse than any other for superstar deaths?
2016 has seen the tragic loss of 75 celebrities (and it’s only April), including David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Terry Wogan and, most recently, Prince.
The Daily Telegraph maintains a gallery of famous deaths and has recorded more this year (75 in total) than 2014 (38) and 2015 (30) combined. So, why is this?
According to a BBC article, it’s partly to do with age (obviously), as many big names from the 1960s reach their 70s and death rates rise by around 50% from age 65.
But it’s also to do with the number of “celebrities” and how we use the term much more loosely nowadays.
“In my father or grandfather’s day, the only famous people really were from the cinema,” write Roland Hughes and Laura Gray, “There was no television. If anybody wasn’t on TV, they weren’t famous.”
Back when David Bowie was rising to fame, there simply weren’t the sheer numbers of “famous”-ish people around and the icons of those generations had massive followings.
Add to that the number of social media celebrities (and how fast information about famous deaths travels) and the number of deaths we keep seeing appear overwhelming.
So while it seems like more celebrities are dying, we’ve actually just got more celebrities (and celebrity news) than ever before.
It’s also to do with the baby boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964; as there were so many babies born into this generation, there’s a greater ageing population.
And out of the 74million baby boomers growing up, statistically a larger percentage than ever before would end up being famous people.
And finally, the bad news: the article reckons this trend will continue over the next 10 years as yet more beloved celebrities enter their 80s.
So let’s just get all the national treasures over 65 together and keep them super safe, okay?