Black Celebrities Who Have Died from COVID-19

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Photo:  Win McNamee (Getty Images)
Photo: Win McNamee (Getty Images)

Earlier this month, we crossed the grim milestone of over one million people lost to COVID-19 in the United States. Whether we want to believe it or not, this fatal virus is still affecting hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis and has taken many lives in the last two years.

People in the Black community have been severely affected just as much as any other group and as a result, a lot of Black lives.

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Here are some of the Black celebrities that have died from COVID-19.

DJ Kay Slay

Photo:  Johnny Nunez/WireImage (Getty Images)
Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage (Getty Images)

DJ Kay Slay, born Keith Grayson, was a graffiti artist-turned-DJ whose work transcended multiple generations of hip-hop fans. Last month in April, he died from COVID-19 at the age of 55.

John Davis

Photo:  Nico Schimmelpfennig/picture-alliance/dpa (AP)
Photo: Nico Schimmelpfennig/picture-alliance/dpa (AP)

John Davis, one of the voices behind the once-popular R&B duo Milli Vanilli, died at the age of 66 due to complications from coronavirus in May 2021.

Charley Pride

Photo:  Charles Sykes/Invision (AP)
Photo: Charles Sykes/Invision (AP)

The iconic country singer died from COVID-19 in December 2020 at the age of 86. He’s the singer behind classic songs such as “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin” and “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone.”

Carol Sutton

Photo:  Willy Sanjuan/Invision (AP)
Photo: Willy Sanjuan/Invision (AP)

New Orleans-based actress Carol Sutton died at the age of 76 in December 2020 due to complications from coronavirus. The long-time actress appeared in the 1989 movie Steel Magnolias and the popular TV show Queen Sugar.

Arnie Robinson Jr.


The Olympian who won a gold medal in the long jump at the 1976 Olympics died of COVID-19 in December 2020 at the age of 72, according to USA Track and Field. He also won a bronze medal in the long jump at the 1972 Olympics.

Tommy Lister

Photo:  John Salangsang/Invision (AP)
Photo: John Salangsang/Invision (AP)

Tommy “Tiny” Lister, the actor best known for playing “Deebo” in the classic 1995 comedy films Friday, died after showing COVID symptoms the week prior to his death in December 2020. He was 62.

Bruce Williamson

Photo:  MANDEL NGAN/AFP (Getty Images)
Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP (Getty Images)

Bruce Williamson, who was a member of The Temptations from 2007 until 2015, died from COVID-19 complications at the age of 49 in September 2020. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 in late August just weeks after having his gallbladder surgically removed.

Herman Cain

Photo:  Richard Shiro (AP)
Photo: Richard Shiro (AP)

Georgia politician Herman Cain died from COVID-19 at the age of 74 in July 2020. The Republican politician was hospitalized for over a month after attending a Trump rally without a mask.

Fred the Godson

Photo:  Walik Goshorn / Media Punch /IPX (AP)
Photo: Walik Goshorn / Media Punch /IPX (AP)

The New York-based rapper died in April 2020 after fighting the COVID-19 virus for weeks. He shared on Instagram that he had been diagnosed with the fatal virus and asked fans to keep him in their prayers. He died at the age of 35.

Ellis Marsalis Jr.

Photo:  Charles Sykes (AP)
Photo: Charles Sykes (AP)

Legendary jazz musician, educator and patriarch Ellis Marsalis Jr. died at the age of 85 due to complications associated with the coronavirus. The New Orleans-based pianist played alongside accomplished musicians Cannonball Adderley and Ed Blackwell.

Wallace Roney

Photo:  Sipa (AP)
Photo: Sipa (AP)

Long-time jazz trumpeter Wallace Roney died from coronavirus complications around the time the United States went on a national lockdown in March 2020. He was 59. Roney was a protégé of musical legend Miles Davis.

Orlando McDaniel

Photo:  Denver Post (Getty Images)
Photo: Denver Post (Getty Images)

Former NFL player Orlando McDaniel died in March 2020 due to complications from the coronavirus at the age of 59. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the second round of the 1982 NFL Draft. He only appeared in three NFL games.