(AP)—It was only a rehearsal, and he was twice the age of the dancers accompanying him. But the video doesn’t lie: Michael Jackson was looking ahead to a smash opening in London—and giving it his all.

And then he was gone.


With his thrilling music and dance, enigmatic personality and worldwide reach, Jackson led the list of notables in the worlds of art, entertainment and popular culture who died in 2009.

Here, a roll call of some of the notable people in art, entertainment and popular culture who died in 2009. (Cause of death cited for younger people if available.)


David “Fathead” Newman, 75. Jazz saxophonist; played with wide range of luminaries. January 20.


Estelle Bennett, 67. One of Ronnettes, ’60s girl group (“Be My Baby”). February 11.

Snooks Eaglin, 72. New Orleans R&B singer, guitarist; top rockers among his fans. February 18.


Anne Wiggins Brown, 96. Soprano; the original Bess in Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess.” March 13.

Eddie Bo, 79. New Orleans blues singer-pianist; worked with greats such as Irma Thomas. March 18.

Uriel Jones, 74. Drummer whose passionate beat fueled Motown hits. March 24.

John Hope Franklin, 94. Towering scholar of African-American studies. March 25.


David “Pop” Winans Sr., 76. Grammy-nominated patriarch of gospel music family. April 8.

Randy Cain, 63. Member of “Philadelphia sound” soul group the Delfonics (“Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time”). April 9.

Reverend Timothy Wright, 61. Grammy-nominated gospel singer, and composer (“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus”). April 23.


Wayman Tisdale, 44. Accomplished jazzman; earlier, a college, NBA basketball star. May 15. Cancer.


Koko Taylor, 80. Regal, powerful singer known as “Queen of the Blues.” June 3.

Michael Jackson, 50. The “King of Pop.” June 25.


E. Lynn Harris, 54. Best-selling author who pioneered gay Black fiction (“Love of My Own”). July 23. Heart disease.

George Russell, 86. Jazz composer; theories influenced greats like Miles Davis. July 27.


Naomi Sims, 61. Pioneering Black model of the 1960s. August 1.

Rashied Ali, 76. Jazz drummer; worked with John Coltrane. August 12.


Wycliffe Johnson, 47. Keyboardist and producer; major figure in Jamaica music. September 1.

Zakes Mokae, 75. Tony-winning South African actor (Athol Fugard’s “Master Harold…and the Boys”). September 11.

Trevor Rhone, 69. Jamaican playwright; co-wrote the reggae film “The Harder They Come.” September 15.


Ben Ali, 82. Founded Ben’s Chili Bowl diner, a Washington landmark. October 7.


Alaina Reed-Amini, 63. Played Olivia, Gordon’s sister, on “Sesame Street.” December 17.

Percy Sutton, 89, One of the greatest Black entrepreneurs and activists of our day. December 26.

Dennis Brutus, 85. Poet, professor, anti-apartheid activist. December 26.

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