Black Celebs We Lost in 2023

Photo:  Larry Busacca (Getty Images)
Photo: Larry Busacca (Getty Images)

Updated 03/17/2023 at 3:02 p.m. ET:

We’re less than a quarter of the way through 2023, and the list of Black celebs is already longer than it should be. From talented athletes to beloved entertainers, here are the Black celebrities we’ve lost in 2023.

Read more

Lance Reddick

Photo:  Tommaso Boddi/WireImage (Getty Images)
Photo: Tommaso Boddi/WireImage (Getty Images)

Veteran actor Lance Reddick shockingly died on March 17 at the age of 60. The cause of death is unknown. Reddick has appeared in a plethora of TV shows and movies including, Fringe, Oz, Bosch and Lost. His most celebrated role is as Officer Cedrick Daniels on the greatest TV show ever, The Wire.

Stanley Wilson Jr.

Screenshot:  Sports Illustrated/YouTube
Screenshot: Sports Illustrated/YouTube

Former NFL Stanley Wilson Jr. died at the age of 40 on Feb. 16. The entirety of his three-year professional career was spent with the Detroit Lions. According to TMZ, Wilson died while being transferred to a mental health hospital, where he collapsed

Trugoy the Dove

Photo:  Simone Joyner/WireImage (Getty Images)
Photo: Simone Joyner/WireImage (Getty Images)

Born David Jude Jolicoeur, Trugoy helped form the legendary hip-hop group, De La Soul. He, unfortunately, died on Feb. 12 at the age of 54. He founded the group while in high school in Long Island N.Y. along with fellow group members Posdnuos and Maseo. The cause of his death has not been revealed.

Barrett Strong

Photo:  L. Busacca/WireImage (Getty Images)
Photo: L. Busacca/WireImage (Getty Images)

Barret Strong was a successful singer and songwriter known for his work with Motown records. In 1959, he wrote, “Money (That’s What I Want),” and it became the first hit single for the iconic music company. His passing was confirmed on Jan. 29. He was 81.

Brandon Smiley

Screenshot:  Instagram/@comedianbrandonsmiley
Screenshot: Instagram/@comedianbrandonsmiley

The son of veteran radio personality Rickey Smiley, Brandon, died on Jan. 29. At the young age of 32. Rickey shared the news of his son’s death on his Instagram.

Jesse Lemonier

Photo:  Getty Images (Getty Images)
Photo: Getty Images (Getty Images)

Former NFL player Jesse Lemonier died at the age of 25 on Jan. 26. After going undrafted in 2020, he played in the NFL for three years, one of which was on the practice squad. He also played for the Los Angeles Chargers, Detroit Lions and Arizona Cardinals.

CJ Harris

Photo:  Chelsea Lauren/WireImage (Getty Images)
Photo: Chelsea Lauren/WireImage (Getty Images)

Former American Idol contestant CJ Harris suddenly died of a heart attack on Jan. 20 at the age of 31.

Arthur Duncan

Photo:  Disney General Entertainment Content (Getty Images)
Photo: Disney General Entertainment Content (Getty Images)

Longtime tap dancer Arthur Duncan was known as an “Entertainer’s Entertainer,” and performed on The Lawrence Welk Show from 1964 to 1982. Sadly, Duncan died on Jan. 3 at the age of 97 from a stroke and pneumonia.

Charles White

Photo:  Heinz Kluetmeier /Sports Illustrated (Getty Images)
Photo: Heinz Kluetmeier /Sports Illustrated (Getty Images)

Charles White was a former NFL player during the 1980s and one of the best college running backs in the storied history of the University of Southern California. While in college, he won the 1979 Heisman Trophy. He played in the NFL for nine seasons, five with the Cleveland Browns and four with the Los Angeles Rams. He died of liver cancer on Jan. 11 at the age of 64.

Kevin Lemons

Screenshot:  11 Alive News
Screenshot: 11 Alive News

Atlanta-based gospel singer Kevin Lemons died at the age of 44 after dying in his home.

Gordy Harmon

Photo:  Michael Ochs Archives (Getty Images)
Photo: Michael Ochs Archives (Getty Images)

One of the founding members of the beloved R&B group, The Whispers, Gordy Harmon died on Jan. 5 at the age of 79. He died of natural causes. He founded the group in 1964 in Los Angeles along with his twin brothers, Wallace and Walter Scott, Marcus Huston and Nicholas Caldwell.

Uche Nwaneri

Photo:  Wesley Hitt (Getty Images)
Photo: Wesley Hitt (Getty Images)

Former NFL player Uche Nwaneri died at the tail end of 2022 on Dec. 30 at the age of 38. The cause of death was a heart attack. He played seven years with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Gangsta Boo

Photo:  Prince Williams/Wireimage (Getty Images)
Photo: Prince Williams/Wireimage (Getty Images)

Hip-hop pioneer Gangsta Boo died on Jan. 1 in Memphis, Tenn. at the age of 43. She was one of the key members of the southern hip-hop group, Three 6 Mafia.”

Fred White

Photo:  Rob Verhorst/Redferns (Getty Images)
Photo: Rob Verhorst/Redferns (Getty Images)

Fred White was one of the early members of Earth, Wind & Fire and was a long-time drummer for the iconic group. He died on Jan. 1 at the age of 67.

More from The Root

Sign up for The Root's Newsletter. For the latest news, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.