All the celebrity deaths


If it seems like celebrities have been dropping off in unusually high numbers lately, there’s a good explanation for that. It’s because they are. According to the BBC – five obituaries were broadcast in the first quarter of 2012. This year the number skyrocketed to 24  – and that was before Prince. Writing celebrity obituaries is a growth industry it seems. (Sadly the only growth area in journalism).

Of course this trend has been analysed to (ahem) death. My Facebook feed is overflowing with pieces from New Scientist, IFLS (I F*$king Love Science) and other turbo nerd publications elucidating  the phenomena.

According to the boffins, the celebrity death spree is down to two factors. 1) A timing issue – many of departed rose to prominence during the 70s and 80s and are getting old. Old people have a higher propensity to die than the general population. 2) Its a numbers game – for better or worse (I’d say worse) there are more celebrities nowadays. Back in the 1960s you had Elvis, the Beatles, the Stones and a hand full of movie stars. Fast forward to 2016 and just about any turkey with a webcam can become a global super star.  It logically follows that in a growing celebrity population, more of them will be available to cark at any given time.

What does this mean for YOU? Perhaps you’re life will become a litany of despair as more and more of your favorite crumpets shuffle off in a conga line of doom. You’ll dread switching your phone on in the morning for fear that yet another of your idols has slipped away depriving you of both eye candy and inspiration.

Or perhaps (and I think this more likely) ‘celebrity death fatigue’ will become a thing. Personally I would feel more bereaved by the passing of Prince if it had not been for the double whammy of David Bowie and Alan Rickman back in January. That was a hard month for us all and it depleted me of most of the hoots I had to give. The sad news about Prince was greeted merely with a loud ‘Oh Shit!’ and a subsequent side eye from my husband for swearing.

For my husband who was not a huge Prince fan (he likes Coldplay which proves that he saved all of his good taste  for choosing a wife) the event was a reminder of our own mortality. ‘Its a good thing we’re not getting close to that age’ he said ironically. I pointed out that there was a big lifestyle gap between ourselves and Prince to which he responded ‘not in my imagination.’ Oh dear. My husband is a man of many talents – none of them musical. His name is David and he’s not funky. (To be fair I doubt Prince could fix anyone’s computer problems).

We can safely conclude that Dadabs wasn’t greatly affected but I kinda was and now I’m going to to tell you how I feel…

David Bowie

My High School girl posse was introduced to Bowie’s more avant garde works by a shady group of boys from a neighboring school. That lot listed their hobbies as listening to Bowie man, smoking weed  man and railing aimlessly against our soulless capitalist society man. Those dudes faded out of my life and into their own drug haze shortly after but my appreciation of Bowie continued to grow. It peaked in middle age when I starting mixing Bowie and NZ pinot noir to self medicate when world events became to heavy. The prospect of a ‘Star man waiting in the sky’ was a comforting one.

smokin' Bowie med

Smoking is not cool kids – wait a minute….

As this is the Mumabs blog respect must be paid to Bowie’s divine hawtness.  David Bowie was one outrageously smokin’ hawt individual. That magnificent bone structure, the otherworldly mismatched eyes, the graceful line of his slender body. Angelically beautiful yet downright dirty. (Phew is it getting hawt in here or is menopause kicking in?).

When Facebook heralded the news of his passing, it was a shock. Afterall he’d just completed a comeback album and was looking fiercely fine for a man nearing 70.

I doubt there’ll be another Bowie – he was an innovator in some many ways and he informed much of the post punk, new wave and British indie music I was drawn to back in the day. Ashes to ashes…funk to funky. Vale Bowie..

Bowie med

He’s the same age as my Dad! How is that fair!

Alan Rickman

So the gaping Bowie shaped hole in my heart was still weeping when a few days later THWACK! comes the news of Alan Rickman’s passing. “Oh No! I really liked him’, I told my husband. What I did not tell my husband and what the avalanche of tributes and obituaries did not say was ‘Damn that man was sexy!’

Yes someone has to say it and that someone is the Mumabs. Alan Rickman was so freakin’ sexy!  Even playing a penis-less angel in the 1999 film Dogma he was sex on legs. (Something I fear GoT actor Alfie Allen will not achieve for Theon Greyjoy ) That film also featured Ben Affleck and Matt Damon – Alan blew those light weights away.

My fandom began with Die Hard. The movie was on the TV one evening. I wasn’t really watching but I overheard that voice pontificating at Bruce Willis. If anyone deserves to cop a good monologue its Bruce Willis. My ears pricked up. That voice was the richest, creamiest, sexiest I had ever heard. It was aural sex. Of course I had to check out the visuals and I was not disappointed. Soon I was rooting (in a manner of speaking) for the bad guy Hans Gruber.

Alan Rickman’s darn freaking sex appeal is the key takeaway of Die Hard, the entire Harry Potter franchise, Sense and Sensibility, Truly Madly Deeply et al (Galaxy Quest not so much).  The world is orders of magnitude less crumpety for his departure.

hans-gruber med

Hans Gruber – sexiest screen villain ever.

Sense and sensibility med

How Kate Winslet resisted him in Sense and Sensibility is a mystery.


As anyone who’d experienced him in concert would attest, Prince had super powers. I had that privilege during the 1992 Diamonds and Pearls tour. During one number his Royal Purpleness sat down at his grand piano, guitar strapped to his back and began banging out some magic. Then he leaped atop his piano and started up an intense guitar solo. He jumped again, guitar firmly in hand, did a somersault, landed in the splits and continued playing.

Prince med.jpg

There are certain things that only Prince could do – this look is one of them.

In my view that’s impressive. Only a handful of people of people possess that combination of musical genius and athleticism. Lenny Kravitz (the next artist I saw live) certainly didn’t – playing his entire gig obviously stoned as a crow.


That’s just gratuitous Mumabs.

Intensely private, it was difficult to gauge what the real Prince was like or whether he actually owned a pair of tracksuit pants. But its irrelevant really. Just as the girl in the raspberry beret knew how to give a kiss Prince knew how to write a song. I’d go as far as saying he was the best song writer of our generation.

I’m sure most people’s desert island playlist includes something from Prince’s expansive catalogue. My all time favorite is Little Red Corvette – ‘honey you’ve got to slow down. Honey I said the little red corvette, cause if you don’t you’re gonna run your body right to the ground.

If only he’d taken his own advice.

Little red corvetter

My fav Prince track!

Who do you miss the most? Any bets on who’s leaving the building next? My money’s on George Michael.







16 thoughts on “All the celebrity deaths

  1. Don’t you dare say the George Michael thing out loud! Ok, we’re all thinking it. Kind of ironic that Morrissey lives on in good health! But Alan Rickman was indeed a major loss to cinema and hawtness. I just love so many of his films I don’t know where to start. Welcome back 😊

  2. So sad about my favourite celebrities dying. Please don’t say that about George Michael. Why are you all thinking it? I just said to a fellow former Wham fan in the wake of Prince’s death, “at least we still have George”. I don’t know what I’ll do when he goes – he was the man I was supposed to marry!

  3. And I just worked something out… You know why I loved Bowie and Prince so much? THEY WERE FUCKING ENIGMAS. They didn’t have all their shit hanging out for the world to see. They were reclusive and private and for the most part let their music talk for them. Both will be sorely missed. (And PS. Love the comeback. The blogosphere needs Mumabs in it)

  4. All three of them were legends but Bowie was the loss that hit me hardest. I remember when Princess Diana, Michael Hutchence and JFK Junior all went within the same time period and they were all about the same age as me at the time. That was a tough year. You’re right, Mr Mumabs did use all his taste on selecting a wife. Coldplay???

  5. Welcome back you! It’s been a shocker of a year for celeb deaths, truly. I don’t know who is next- surely Keith Richards is immortal, so not him.

  6. Alan Rickman’s crumpet factor was sorely underrated, I have to agree. He would be the one I miss the most, followed by Bowie. Prince? I was never really a Prince fan, mostly because I was not allowed to listen to his music and Mum was very good at making him seem like the naughtiest thing around. I remember when I was at Australia’s Wonderland in about 92 and they were playing Cream over the speakers and I remember I wanted to cover my ears! Mum had said it was a dirty song and I shouldn’t listen to it and my 10 year old self still listened to Mum. I didn’t want to get in to trouble for listening to it, despite the fact she wasn’t even there! It was all so confusing because I thought he was singing about dessert!

  7. I’m with Zilla on this – they were enigmas. It was all about the music – they let their talent do the talking, crossed genres and decades – and there’s so much to respect about that. From the new crop of artists coming out today it will be interesting to see who we’ll be talking about in 30 years time (and for the right reasons too!).

  8. Wah! I miss them all! Don’t even be thinking that about George Michael, let alone saying careless whispers! (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself!)

  9. Even with the logical factors like, hey, old people die… it does feel like a lot close together!!

  10. I have to say I felt Alan Rickman’s death greater than that of Bowie and Prince. Heath Ledger is the last one that took me a while to get over. So sad to be gone so young. (So great to be reading your words again!) #teamIBOT

  11. I’m going to admit that none of them really affected me. Bowie terrified me in The Labrynth so I never liked him, and the only thing I knew Alan Rickman was in was Love Actually where he was a sleaze! As for Prince… I guess I’m kind of clueless.
    I’ll admit I’ve felt cold and mean the last few months because apart from being a little sad someone died, it didn’t touch me at all.

  12. I wasn’t a huge Bowie fan, but had huge respect for his contribution to the industry. An innovator, a creator, a storyteller, an influencer. And it was sad to lose someone with such talent as Alan Rickman (love him in Love Actually). But for me, it’s Prince’s death that has really shaken me up.
    I blogged about it last week. How usual yet affecting it is to grieve someone you didn’t actually know personally. I still can’t believe that he is no longer of this world. The word artist gets thrown around way too frequently these days (seen the voice lately?), but Prince. Prince was THE true definition of an artist. I don’t think there has been anyone like him, and I honestly don’t think there ever will be.

  13. I had a great in depth boozy conversation with both my brothers on this last weekend! Sooooo interesting! We too had bets on who would be next. Not that I like to speak of one’s death like this but the ol celebrity list is taking a hit of late. One said Lenny Kravitz, another said Keith Richards – apparently he has a wicked cough that guy and i was thinking Ozzie Osbourne. I can just see Sharon all over the tv shows. You’re right though, there’s a lot still to come of such an amazing few decades. Nothing like what it is today. Dj who? I miss Bowie the most – always a party/good vibe starter xx

  14. Hello Brenda, great to read your words again. Actually, its a bit ridiculous because even though I’ve never met you, I think of you all the time. Like when I was watching The Night Manager (staring Tom Hiddleston) and anything with Michael Fassbender in it. I sit on the couch and think ‘Mumabs would love this’.

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