Despite the ups and downs of 2020, it’s still important to recognize those who have said goodbye and gained their wings this year. Some of the most talented and influential souls that have shed light on millions of people have departed this earth in what has easily become one of the most devastating eras in the 21st century.

Here is a look at some celebrity passings that have jolted many to the core during such a whirlwind of a year: 

Kobe Bryant (1978-2020): Kobe Bean Bryant was an American former professional basketball player. He played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. 

Juice WRLD (1998-2020): Jarad Anthony Higgins, known professionally as Juice Wrld, was an American rapper, singer, and songwriter from Chicago, Illinois. He was often credited with bringing emo rap to the forefront of mainstream hip hop.

Pop Smoke (1999-2020): Bashar Barakah Jackson, known professionally as Pop Smoke, was an American rapper, singer, and songwriter. 

Bill Withers (1938-2020): William Harrison “Bill” Withers Jr. was an American singer-songwriter and musician. He recorded several major hits, including “Ain’t No Sunshine”, “Grandma’s Hands”, “Use Me”, “Lean on Me”, “Lovely Day”, and “Just the Two of Us”.

Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister  (1958-2020): Tommy “Tiny” Lister Jr. was an American character actor and occasional professional wrestler known for his roles as the neighborhood bully Deebo in the 1995 film Friday and its 2000 sequel.

Alex Trebek (1940-2020): George Alexander Trebek, OC was a Canadian-American game show host and television personality. He was the host of the syndicated game show Jeopardy! for 37 seasons from its revival in 1984 until his death in 2020. 

Natalie Desselle-Reid (1967-2020): Natalie Ann Desselle-Reid was an American actress who performed in several films, including B.A.P.S., Def Jam’s How to Be a Player, Set It Off and Cinderella. 

Eddy Van Halen (1955-2020): Edward Lodewijk Van Halen was an American musician and songwriter. He was the main songwriter and guitarist of the American rock band Van Halen. 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020): Ruth Bader Ginsburg, also known by her initials RBG, was an American jurist who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1993 until her death in 2020.

Chadwick Boseman (1976-2020): Chadwick Aaron Boseman was an American actor who portrayed numerous icons in his films. Boseman’s breakthrough performance came as baseball player Jackie Robinson in the biographical film 42. He also portrayed James Brown, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and, of course, Marvel hero King T’Challa in Black Panther. 

Regis Philbin (1931-2020): Regis Francis Xavier Philbin was an American television presenter, talk show host, game show host, actor and singer. Once called “the hardest working man in show business”, he holds the Guinness World Record for the most hours on U.S. television.

Naya Rivera (1987-2020): Naya Marie Rivera was an American actress, singer, and model. She began her career as a child actress and model, appearing in national television commercials. 

Andre Harrell (1960-2020): Andre O’Neal Harrell was an American music executive and multimedia producer. In 1986, a rapper, he formed Uptown Records, which became a leader in hip hop, R&B, and their fusion, “new jack swing.”

Little Richard (1932-2020): Richard Wayne Penniman, known as Little Richard, was an American musician, singer, and songwriter. He was an influential figure in popular music and culture for seven decades.

FILE – In this Jan. 29, 2018 file photo, Chadwick Boseman, a cast member in “Black Panther,” poses at the premiere of the film in Los Angeles. Actor Chadwick Boseman, who played Black icons Jackie Robinson and James Brown before finding fame as the regal Black Panther in the Marvel cinematic universe, has died of cancer. His representative says Boseman died Friday, Aug. 28, 2020 in Los Angeles after a four-year battle with colon cancer. He was 43. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

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