Legendary Artist Prince Dead At Age 57


(PCM) We are deeply saddened with the breaking news that legendary artist Prince has tragically passed away at the age of 57 at his home in the Paisley Park compound in Minnesota. While earlier reports claimed that a male victim had died at the estate, there was no official confirmation that it was Prince, however multiple sources are now confirming that the victim was indeed the iconic singer. His death has now been official confirmed by his publicist Yvette Noel-Schure to the Associated Press.

Prince recently made headlines when his private jet had to make an emergency landing in Illinois due to a medical emergency. Prince later performed at concert the next day assuring fans that he was just fine and was only battling a case of the flu. He later ended up cancelling two additional live performances due health concerns. TMZ obtained audio of the call made to police this morning from Prince’s estate and what can be heard is “man down, not breathing”.

Prince skyrocketed to superstardom back in 1982 with his hit album “1999” and continued to churn out hits for decades. He earned seven Grammy awards and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song Score for Purple Rain in 1985. He has sold over 100 million records and was inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall Of Fame in 2004.

There is still an on going investigation into Prince’s immediate cause of death and this story is still developing. Our sincere condolences go out to Prince’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult time. It is terribly tragic that another musical icon has been taken from us so soon.


This post came fromLegendary Artist Prince Dead At Age 57 - unSkinny Pop

WWE Legend Chyna Dead At Age 46


(PCM) We are deeply saddened to report that WWE Legend Chyna (real name: Joanie Laurer) was discovered dead in her California home at the age of 46. While, Chyna’s official cause of death is being reported as unknown at this time, several sources are speculating that she may have died from a suspected drug overdose.

Chyna’s body was discovered in the bedroom of her Redondo Beach apartment after she was not seen or heard from in a few days and a friend became worried. When the friend entered the house to check on her, she was found unresponsive in the bedroom and the friend then immediately contacted the authorities.

According to TMZ.com, several prescription pill bottles were discovered in the home, however sources claim no illegal drugs were found. Chyna has had a storied history with drug abuse in the past which led to the initial suspicion that drugs were in some way involved in her tragic passing. The local authorities claim there are no signs of foul play.

A statement posted to Chyna’s official Twitter account reads “It is with deep sadness to inform you today that we lost a true icon, a real life superhero.”

Chyna made history during her time working with the WWE, as she teamed up with Triple H to become on of the first members of D-Generation X and she also happened to be the very first woman wrestler to enter the Royal Rumble.

Once she had left the WWE, Chyna went onto to famously pose for Playboy and also appeared on the VH1 celeb-reality series “The Surreal Life”. Chyna also released several adult pornography films over the past few years as well. More recently she had been living in Japan teaching English before returning to the States. Below is one of the last videos posted to her YouTube page on 4/17, where she certainly appears to be a bit out of sorts.

Our sincere condolences go out to Chyna’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult time.

Actress Doris Roberts Dead At Age 90


(PCM) Emmy award-winning actress Doris Roberts has sadly passed away at the age of 90. Roberts is best known for her role as the beloved, yet over-bearing mother, Marie Barone, on the sitcom “Everybody Love Raymond” which earned her four of her five Emmy wins.

Roberts was also seen in countless additional TV and film roles including “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”, “Grandma’s Boy”, “Remington Steele” and “Mrs. Miracle”.  Sources close to Roberts reveal that she dies peacefully in her home in California and she is survived by her son Michael Cannata, Jr.

In a statement, Robert’s “Everybody Loves Raymond” co-star actress Patricia Heaton says “Truly the end of an era. My wonderful TV mother-in-law and (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) nemesis Doris Roberts was a consummate professional from whom I learned so much. She was funny and tough and loved life, living it to the fullest.”

Actor Ray Romano who played her son on the show says “Doris Roberts had an energy and a spirit that amazed me. She never stopped — whether working professionally of with her many charities or just nurturing and mentoring a green young comic trying to make it as an actor.”

Our sincere condolences go out to the friends and family of Doris Roberts during this incredibly difficult time.

The Country Music World Reacts To The Tragic Passing Of Legendary Artist Merle Haggard


(PCM) The music world lost it’s original outlaw! Legendary country artist Merle Haggard sadly passed away on what was his 79th birthday.  His passing was confirmed by his publicist John Della Croce. From 1966-1987, Haggard released 38 singles that landed at No. 1 on the Billboard Country chart. Throughout his career, he garnered 19 ACM Awards, 6 CMA Awards, and 2 Grammy Awards. His song “Mama Tried” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. In 1994, Haggard was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The country music world is mourning his loss with an outpouring of love, support and touching messages.

We’ve lost one of the greatest writers and singers of all time. His heart was as tender as his love ballads. I loved him like a brother. Rest easy, Merle. — Dolly Parton

We’ve lost another hero. Now he doesn’t have to be in pain anymore. I know he’s not suffering anymore. I just can’t imagine a world without Merle. It’s so hard to accept, but I’ll continue honoring him on stage just as I do during every show. We played a lot of gigs together through the years, but some of my fondest memories were hanging out in a natural setting, like the time we sat there by the river in his backyard and ate bologna sandwiches. Merle was a simple man with incredible talent like no other. And now he’s up there singing with George [Jones] and all the angels. Love you, Merle. — Tanya Tucker

Merle Haggard was an original. Not just a singer, not just a songwriter, not just another famous performer. He was your common everyday working man. I remember when I was 15 years old on tour with Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard. They both were wondering which one of the two was going to make it. Well, they both made it. Today, ole Merle joined Waylon, George, and daddy to sing in the Heavenly choir. — Hank Williams, Jr.

I am deeply saddened to hear of Merle’s passing. He was a dear friend, I remember touring with him at various points throughout the 90’s and those are memories that I will always cherish. I hate that he lived so far away from us these last few years, but definitely understand it. My hope is that he passed a happy and content man. I learned so much from this kind man about singing, when Merle Haggard sang you paid attention. He is about as close to perfection in country music as we will probably ever have. — Lorrie MorganI am devastated over the loss of Merle Haggard. He was my absolute favorite of ALL time. I have listened to him since I was a kid. His poetry, his voice and his pure country music style will live forever. I am listening to him sing Sweet Jesus with The Oak Ridge Boys as I write this. SO honored to have recorded this Dove Award winning song with my HERO! Rest Easy Hag… Until The Day…“Jesus… Sweet Jesus…You love me just as I am… Jesus… Sweet Jesus… I’ve been washed in the Blood of the Lamb!” — Joe Bonsall / Oak Ridge Boys

A few years ago Merle sent me a song he wanted The Oak Ridge Boys to record. He’d written it with Kenny Vernon. When I heard it, I felt there was no way we could do it unless we asked Merle to do it with us.
His response was, “Anything you ‘Boys’ want.”
So, we recorded “Sweet Jesus,” and it won a Gospel Music Association Dove Award for Best Country Song. It was a huge honor to sing with one of our biggest heroes, Merle Haggard.
May he rest in peace in the arms of Sweet Jesus. — Duane Allen / Oak Ridge Boys

Merle was a singer’s singer, a musician’s musician, and a songwriter’s songwriter. He set the feelings of the everyday common man to music, creating songs that will outlive us all. I feel privileged to have toured with him and known him as both a great artist and as a friend. His passing leaves a big hole in country music and in the hearts of the millions who loved him and his artistry. — Bill Anderson

Merle always treated me like a true friend treats his true friends. We had great fun every time we worked together. He was one of the good ones. Getting to see God’s face on your birthday, what a wonderful gift! — T. Graham Brown

George and I loved Merle so much. George would always say nobody could ever sing like Merle Haggard. Merle was one of our Country Heroes. Now, George and Merle are together again singing with the Angel Band. — Nancy Jones


This post came fromThe Country Music World Reacts To The Tragic Passing Of Legendary Artist Merle Haggard - unSkinny Pop

April 6th is Plan Your Own Epitaph Day

abcde-LooneyApril 6th is Plan Your Epitaph Day.  Spring is in the air, the birds are back and singing flowers are pushing their way out of the ground and new life is everywhere, now let’s take a moment and think about your death.

Let’s get one thought out of the way, we are all going to die.  It may be decades away or seconds away, but it is inevitable there is no escape.  The question is how do you want to be remembered.

On a tomb stone there is your name and some dates, for instance Joe Clark April 1, 1928 – February 29, 2035.  Do you see that little dash between the dates?  That represents a person’s whole life.  All they did and didn’t do, all of their hopes and disappointments all their laughter and tears are represented by that little dash.

After the name and date can come a sentence or two used to remember that person.  There is a stone in England that reads “Here Lies Arthur The Once and Future King”.  The great comedian WC Fields stone reads, “On the whole I’d Rather be in Philadelphia.”  On another tombstone it reads “To Follow You I’m Not Content.  How Do I Know Which Way You Went?”

If you leave your epitaph to your relatives, you may get nothing but your name and date, or something like “Beloved Mother” or maybe “Always Single and Never Happy.”  Don’t leave your epitaph in the hands of some distant relation or a family member that is too bereaved to think of a thing to say about you.  Who you were on this earth could be remembered hundreds of years from now if you write your own.

Maybe our friend Joe Clark might say about himself. “ I was a husband and father and I did the best I could”. Or “I set out to accomplish something good in my life and I did it”.  It needs to be about you and who you were and how you want to be remembered.

I would go a step farther than this though and plan your own funeral.  Choose the church or other building you want it to be held.  Decide on the music and the flowers, specify who you want to give your eulogy.  What passage of the Bible or another book that you want to have read.  Be in the driver’s seat at your funeral.  Write it all down, including your epitaph, and give it to a trusted friend or your lawyer.  They can take it from there.

Plan Your Own Epitaph Day can be a great experience.  Death is nothing to be afraid of and to go with all the loose strings tied up can be a great experience.

The post April 6th is Plan Your Own Epitaph Day also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Patty Duke, A Tribute!

Patty-DukePatty Duke has passed away.  Most of you probably already know this.  She was born of December 14, 1946 as Anna Marie Duke.  This is all the factual information that will be reported here.  The rest is about what she meant.

The Patty Duke show is iconic in many ways.  It was a family comedy about two look alike cousins one English and very cultured and one American and very all American.  Patty Lane, the American cousin was a female version of Archie Andrews, always getting herself into trouble or getting into to trouble because she was trying to do something good. Kathy Lane the English cousin was the voice of reason in the show.  Patty Duke played both parts not an easy thing to do for a TV show that would last for three seasons.  But she did it splendidly and flawlessly.

Patty Lane was an inspiration to a much younger me.  Sure she got in to trouble, but she found a way out or learned a valuable lesson.  Her attempts to do good often ended in disaster, but that never stopped her from trying to do good.  She had insane crazy ideas which hardly ever worked out but she kept dreaming.  When the character dreamed, she dreamed big and then went after those dreams.

This is what I want to take away from the life of Patty Duke.  The art that she created for television can continue to inspire me to dream big and take a shot at the dream.  I can still do good even if I mess up, and life will always have its troubles, even after high school, but we deal with them and we learn from them and we move on.

Patty Duke herself did not always have a happy life. She struggled with identity issues and other serious problems, but she got through and became better for them.  We don’t look at a Van Gogh painting and think, “This is by the guy who cut his ear off.”  We look at a Van Gogh painting and we see the beauty of the work, we see the world in swirls of color as he saw it.  The same can be said about Patty Duke. We don’t remember her for her troubles, we remember her for the laughter and inspiration she gave us.

I wept when I read that Patty Duke passed away.  My sister likes to be called Trish, but growing up she was Patty, and because of Patty Duke, I just can’t call her Trish.  From time to time I call my dad Poppo as that is what Patty Lane called her father.  I sing The Patty Duke Show Theme Song out loud at least a couple of times a month.  And I own the entire series of The Patty Duke Show on DVD. For me Patty Duke will always be young living in Brooklyn Heights New York and telling me crazy dreams can come true. I think it is time to stop weeping bring out the DVDs open a bottle of wine and laugh.

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