The Hot 100 2016: Farewell to...

Dearly departed

No doubt 2017 will give it a right good go, but 2016 may well go down in history as being the mother of all years for celebrity deaths

Call it simple bad luck on the planet's behalf, but the idea that 2016 featured more famous people dying than ever before (it probably didn't) was reinforced by the fact we undoubtedly lost more bona fide icons in a shorter space of time than in recent memory. David Bowie went first, leaving behind an instant classic which explored the knowledge of his imminent death in Blackstar; otherworldly funk icon Prince's passing was equally sudden and unexpected; Alan Rickman was beloved by fans of both Die Hard and Harry Potter; Harper Lee, the reclusive author of To Kill a Mockingbird, and Muhammad Ali, the 20th century's top sportsman, had both been ill for some time, but their deaths still caused much grief.

Italian playwright Dario Fo died just as a celebration of his work which he had been due to attend was taking place in Edinburgh. English film director Robert Hardy had brought cult notoriety to the Dumfries and Galloway countryside with his 1973 film The Wicker Man, while the passing of Parliament / Funkadelic keyboard player Bernie Worrell was recognised in the Scottish Parliament at the request of his collaborator Jesse Rae. Glasgow International was saddened by news of artist Kevin Hutcheson's death prior to his show's opening, a passing every bit as tragic and too-young as that of the admired architect Gareth Hoskins. Also taken from various generations of Scots creativity were Shooglenifty fiddle player Angus Grant, bassist in rock groups Rainbow and Dio Jimmy Bain, jazz saxophonist Joe Temperley, comedy star Ronnie Corbett, and Gaelic folk singer Maggie Macdonald.

In other finalities, Scots rap contingent Hector Bizerk called it a day, Rally & Broad closed up shop, and Edinburgh's Inverleith House got the chop as an art gallery, although a campaign to save it is in force.