Just a few days after Aretha Franklin’s family and publicist confirmed the soul-breaking news that she was getting ready to travel to the heavens to fill the ears of the angels with her legendary voice and legendary charisma (and legendary shade skills), her publicist says she died at her home from advanced pancreatic cancer in Detroit last night.
“In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds.”
Aretha was surrounded by her friends and family at the time. She was 76.
We knew this awful news was coming, but I was still hoping that Queen Aretha would miraculously pop up out of bed, and say, “Get me a pen, some paper, and a carrier pigeon, because I need to let Dionne Warwick how I really feel this time,” before booking a world tour. So my heart free fell and is living in my foot now.
When I woke up to the shitty awful news that Queen Aretha Franklin is quite possibly lying on her death bed and is about to make earth a much worse place (and heaven a much better place), I nearly pulled the sheets over my head and put in an Instacart order to deliver the biggest bottle of vodka available at Costco directly to my bed. Because there’s not a day when I can deal with the news that Aretha Franklin is “gravely ill.” But it’s true and Queen Aretha’s family is asking for prayers, so jump out of bed, slap on the no-budget version of Aretha’s Obama inauguration hat you made with felt and old Barbie earrings, and grab your neighbor’s hand to form the largest prayer circle the planet can take. Don’t say a little prayer, say a lot of prayer.
Showbiz411 says that the Queen of Soul, Shade, Glamour and everything else is in a bad, bad, bad way in Detroit. Evrod Cassimy, an anchor for Detroit’s WDIV TV confirmed the awful news through her family and he says they’ve asked the people to pray for her.
United Is In Another Shit Storm After A Flight Attendant Told A Passenger To Put Her Dog In The Overhead Bin
You may have already read the tragic story about the puppy who died a slow, dark death in an overhead bin on a United Airlines flight, and if you have, I apologize for bringing it up again and causing your heart to break and trickle down your body and out of your ass. If you haven’t read this story, then I apologize for bringing it up and causing your heart to break and trickle down your body and out of your ass. This is the kind of awful story where what should be the palate cleanser (read: a picture of an adorable puppy) is actually what’s bringing on the sadness in major doses.
During my dog’s 15 years of life, I’ve traveled with him on a plane at least a dozen times. I’ve never really had any major issues, except for my nerves splitting while subliminally saying to him, “Please don’t diarrhea in your carrier, please don’t diarrhea in your carrier…” But Catalina Robledo and her family had the worst thing happened to them when a United flight attendant told her to put their dog in an overhead bin. That overhead bin ended up becoming the dog’s coffin. I told you this story was the worst.
UPDATE: CBS News reported that Tom Petty had died and his death had been confirmed to them by the LAPD. But CBS News has snatched that confirmation back. The LAPD is now telling everyone that they have no information about Tom’s condition. TMZ says that a chaplain was brought in to Tom’s hospital room this morning. Their sources say that he’s still clinging to life, but it’s not looking good and “is not expected to live throughout the day.” What a mess. I hope Tom finds out about the messiness of this reporting and gains enough strength to slap us all down. I’ll keep updating as more info comes in.
UPDATE II: After the back and forth sloppy reporting about Tom’s condition, his rep issued a statement saying that he died tonight. So today was the kind of extra horrible day where Tom Petty died twice.
“On behalf of the Tom Petty family we are devastated to announce the untimely death of our father, husband, brother, leader and friend Tom Petty. He suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu in the early hours of this morning and was taken to UCLA Medical Center but could not be revived. He died peacefully at 8:40p.m. PT surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends.”
My original post is after the cut.
TMZ reports that Linkin Park singer and melodic screamer Chester Bennington was found dead of an apparent suicide just before 9:00 this morning. Law enforcement sources say he hanged himself at a private residence in Los Angeles county. He was 41.
You and I are the same if you screamed out loud, “NOT LAFAYETTE!“, over this awful, soul-breaking news. Nelsan Ellis, who played Lafayette (aka the best character on True Blood) to perfection, died at the way-too-damn-young age of 39. Now who’s going to serve AIDS burgers to the piece of trash homophobes?
Nelsan’s manager, Emily Gerson Saines, confirmed the sad news to The Hollywood Reporter and said that he died after complications of heart failure.
“Nelsan has passed away after complications with heart failure. He was a great talent, and his words and presence will be forever missed.”
Nelsan was a true ac-tor, because he was a drama graduate from Juilliard. Rutina Wesley, who played Tara Thornton on True Blood, also graduated from Juilliard. Three years after he graduated, he got the role of Lafayette Reynolds, the honey-dipped short order cook/drug dealer who was never the one. The character of Lafayette gets killed off in the books, but Nelsan played the character so well that he stuck around. Nelsan played Lafayette from the beginning of True Blood to the very end, and even when that show got so damn terrible, Lafayette still made it good.
He also played Martin Luther King, Jr. in The Butler and was in Get On Up, The Help, Little Boxes and The Stanford Prison Experiment. His last role was as Shinwell on Elementary.
Nelsan leaves behind a son.
Rest in peace, Nelsan. Thank you for this:
Pic: HBO GIF: JJB