The Purple One is gone… Have more celebrities died so far than in any other year?

It’s a sad day in Minneapolis and for Prince fans around the world. In 1984, Purple Rain was all over the radio and in high school pep rallies. R.I.P. to The Artist.

Recently, BBC Radio 4’s “More or Less” with Tim Hartford asked if more celebrities have died in early 2016 than during the first three months of other recent years. (I was surprised When Muppet creator Jim Henson died in 1990, and it occurred to me that there will be a time when the deaths of music, movie and TV celebrities would become much more common since there were many more when I grew up in the 70s and 80s compared to when my parents were growing up in the 40s and 50s.)

“More or Less” went through BBC obituaries from January to March from 2012 to 2016 and found the number of deaths had increased:

2012 5
2013 8
2014 11
2015 12
2016 24

The obituary writer explains that celebrities who came to fame in the 50s and 60s when TV and pop music took off are now at ages where dying is more likely (very few died young) whereas in the past celebrities were mostly limited to movie stars.

BBC Radio 4: Have more celebrities died than usual this year than usual?

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