(The Guardian) -- It’s been the talk of Twitter – the #RIP[insert name of famous person] and #Enough2016 hashtags that have been so popular of late. In 2016, it certainly seems to be the case that “you turn on the telly and every other story is tellin’ you somebody died”, as was observed presciently by the recently departed Prince. In just four months we’ve already witnessed the demise of many well-loved musicians, comedians, entertainers, presenters, sporting heroes and writers, with our newsfeeds teeming with timeline graphics, archive video clips and fan tributes of all kinds.
Several explanations for the marked rise in the death rate of celebrities have surfaced, with the BBC having shown that there has indeed been an upward trend in the number of famous people dying, so much so that there are already plans to extend the obituary compilation for the BBC News end-of-year round-up show.
First and foremost among explanations is that there are now simply more celebrities to die in the first place. The growth of celebrity culture since the 1950s has been thanks to the influence of cinema and television, pop music and the impact of globalisation that gives us round-the-clock access to sporting heroes, royalty, and reality stars. The idea of celebrity has itself grown beyond its own bounds, so there are now many more people whose deaths must be taken into account.
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