Celebrities Leave World, Leave Behind Legacy

Clockwise from top left, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Prince and Harper Lee.

Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons.

Clockwise from top left, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Prince and Harper Lee.

By Megan Park, Business Manager

Several artists died this year but left their mark on the souls of many. Prince, Alan Rickman, Harper Lee and David Bowie: all beloved people from the start of their careers to the end. With wide ranging talent and expertise, they made a huge impact within the entertainment industry, and outside of it as well. All of these artists will continue to hold a special place in the hearts of many and continue to influence many artists in a positive way.

David Bowie

David Bowie passed away Jan. 10. Considered a musical legend, Bowie was widely known throughout the rock and roll community for his spontaneous style and major influence on all music genres. In the 1970s, according to an All The Tropes article, Bowie launched an age in reinvention and visual representation, inspiring many by his personality and work. Many CHS teachers grew up listening to him and look up to Bowie and the positive impact he’s had.

“I was shocked and saddened to hear about his death,” AP NSL and global issues teacher Paul Jacobson said. “He had just put out a new album, which was great, and it reminded me of how his music is still so important. So many punk, post-punk and new wave bands looked to Bowie for inspiration. He was androgynous, which influenced style and made it okay to be different.”

Bowie was strongly dedicated to change and and new ideas throughout the span of his career. He incorporated jazz into his music and performing in stage musicals, not wanting to be defined by one sub group of the musical industry and always looking for a way to change whether it be his physical or musical style.

Harper Lee

Talented and well-known, Harper Lee, who died Feb. 19, is most often recognized for her 1960 novel, To Kill A Mockingbird. Lee won a Pulitzer Prize in 1961 for the novel along with many other awards such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Best Novel of the Century.

As part of the English 9 curriculum, CHS students read this book, and many students have fallen in love with the book and were impacted when they heard about her death.

“It was a nice book,” freshman Abby Sachar said. “I thought it had an interesting perspective on segregation in the South. The book itself was heartwarming and made a lot of people, including me, happy.”

According to “19 Things You Never Knew About Harper Lee and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’” a Reader’s Digest article, Lee spent six to twelve hours a day at her desk continuing to write the famous novel and in total, spent two and a half years writing and perfecting the novel, wanting to make sure every word was just right.

Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman, who died on Jan. 14, is considered one of the most influential British actors of our generation today by his fans and is widely known for his wide variety of his appearance in plays and cinematography such as Die Hard (1988) and Love Actually (2003).

There’s no doubt that CHS community contains a large fan base dedicated to the Harry Potter series and has grown to love the character of Severus Snape, Rickman’s character in the Harry Potter series. From Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood, to Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd, many fans would agree Rickman played all of his characters flawlessly, proven by his winning of an Emmy award, Golden Globe and many more.

“I was sad to hear of his passing,” junior Nina Hazra said. “I believe Alan Rickman’s most significant achievement was his role as Snape in Harry Potter, as it brought him worldwide fame. I think he positively influenced the series because his character was somewhat of a mystery until his true loyalties were revealed in the last movie.”


Prince, an American singer, songwriter, record producer, actor and one of the best-selling artists of all time with over 100 million records sold worldwide throughout his career, died April 21..

Prince was known for his wide ranges of not only style, but stage presence as well. The progression of today’s music such as soul, rock and R&B owes much to many artists, but none more than Prince himself.

“I was sad and surprised when I heard of Prince’s death,” AP World teacher Jamie Kimbrough-Groves said. “While I was at Coachella, bands of different genres paid their tributes to him. It shows how open-minded his music was. Prince was different and reveled in it. He was so talented, and I was connected and surrounded by his music, especially because my uncle and cousins were as well.”

All of these artists have left their mark on the world in one of the most positive and influential ways. From expressing emotion through acting, writing or singing, they have helped others in all types of encouraging ways.