A UI article written by news reporter Randall Barnes on June 22, 2017 spoke of the deaths of some of our most magnificent and notable icons in the music industry and how they were honored at the BET Awards for that year or the following.

He stated and I repeat … “The BET Awards is always a fun time for Black America. We get a chance to see our culture’s biggest stars in the same place at the same time. It’s one of the only times where parents and children can sit together and appreciate generations of music in 3-4 hours of epic performances. The tributes are always great and the antics that occur during the show itself are normally hilarious. And let’s not forget that BET Awards weekend has been dubbed the ‘Black Family Reunion’ on Twitter. It’s the time where black folks from all over hop on the hashtag and rip on the happenings at the award show.”

That particular summer shows Barnes outlining the stars lost to us but new to the Celestial Choir. Those SHINING stars were:

2009: Michael Jackson’s death
2010: Chris Brown Tribute to MJ
2011: Heavy D
2012: Donna Summer, Whitney Houston, Don Cornelius
2015: BB King, Andrae Crouch
2016: Prince
2017: Prodigy

Summer 2019

This summer, we will and should add to that list
2010 add: Teena Marie and Teddy Pendergrass.
2011 add: Gil Scott-Heron.
2012 add: Etta James.
2013 add: Chris Kelly, Richie Haven, Bobby “Blue” Bland.
2014 add: Maya Angelou (You do know her career started as a dancer and singer, right?).
2015 add: Natalie Cole, Percy Sledge, Allen Touissant, Ornette Coleman, Ben E. King.
2016 add: Sharon Jones.
2017 add: Della Reese, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry.
2018: Aretha Franklin, Dennis Edwards, Nancy Wilson, and Denise LaSalle.
2019, so far … James Ingram.


…And we hope and pray no one else for 2019, but such is life. No matter how much it pains us, these things come and these things go.

Philippians 1:20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have complete boldness, so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. So what shall I choose?

One thing is certain and guaranteed about this life and this world, none of us will make it our of here in the same bodies we are living in right now – young, old, and anything in between.

May the peace and mercy of Allah/Yahweh/’God’ which passes all understanding be with you this day.

Celestial Choirs

Scientists claim to have recordings of stars “singing” or at least humming. Who is to say every one of them don’t represent those who lived and sang on this Earth? There are literally billions of them humming right along eternally.

This is what we hear, but there’s no telling what it sounds like once we are out of here.

Did we leave anyone out? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.



PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.