From soul diva Aretha Franklin to astrophysicist Stephen Hawking and former UN chief Kofi Annan, here are some of the notable figures who passed away in 2018:
Dolores O’Riordan, singer-songwriter of Irish band The Cranberries, drowned accidentally in a hotel bath aged 46.
Ingvar Kamprad, Swedish founder of affordable flat-pack furnishing empire IKEA, passed away at home aged 91.
US preacher Billy Graham, spearhead of a worldwide evangelical Christian movement and spiritual counsel to several US presidents, passed away aged 99.
Bollywood megastar Sridevi Kapoor drowned in a hotel bathtub at the age of 54. She had appeared in around 300 films, including blockbusters such as Mawali (Scoundrel).
French fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy, famous for the “little black dress”, died in his sleep aged 91.
Physicist Stephen Hawking, Britain’s most famous modern-day scientist and known for popularising the secrets of the universe, died at home aged 76. Suffering from a form of motor-neurone disease, he spent most of his life in a wheelchair and communicated via a computer speech synthesiser.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, former wife of Nelson Mandela and an anti-apartheid icon in her own right, died in hospital aged 81 and after a long illness.
Oscar-winning Czech-born film director Milos Forman, behind One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus, died aged 86 after a short illness.
Barbara Bush, the wife of US president George H.W. Bush (in office between 1989 and 1993) and mother of president George W. Bush (2001-2009), passed away aged 92.
Swedish superstar DJ Avicii, real name Tim Bergling, was found dead in Muscat aged 28.
Author Tom Wolfe, acerbic chronicler of American society known for novels such as The Bonfire of the Vanities, died aged 88 in hospital where he was being treated for an infection.
US literary giant Philip Roth, a towering figure among 20th-century novelists and 1998 Pulitzer Prize winner, died of heart failure aged 85.
American handbag designer Kate Spade committed suicide at the age of 55.
US chef and television food show host Anthony Bourdain, 61, committed suicide in Alsace, eastern France, where he was filming for his Emmy-winning CNN food and travel programme Parts Unknown.
XXXTentacion, a 20-year-old rapper whose grim rhymes propelled him to the top of the US chart, was shot in Florida.
French filmmaker Claude Lanzmann, director of the landmark nine-and-a-half hour Holocaust documentary Shoah, died aged 92.
French “chef of the century” Joel Robuchon, who at one point held a record 32 Michelin stars at the same time, died aged 73 from pancreatic cancer.
British writer V.S. Naipaul, a famously outspoken 2001 Nobel laureate who wrote on the traumas of post-colonial change, passed away aged 85.
Aretha Franklin, American “Queen of Soul” behind hits such as Respect and Natural Woman, died of cancer aged 76. Her nearly eight-hour funeral was attended by former presidents, stars and musical royalty.
Kofi Annan, secretary general of the United Nations between 1997 and 2006, died after a short illness at age 80. He was given a state funeral in his native Ghana.
John McCain – US Republican senator, Vietnam War hero and two-time presidential candidate – died aged 81 following a year-long battle with brain cancer.
Hollywood star Burt Reynolds, best known for alpha-male roles in the 1970s and 1980s, died aged 82 after a heart attack.
Charles Aznavour, legendary French-Armenian crooner, passed away at the age of 94.
Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft with Bill Gates and later a billionaire and philanthropist, died from cancer aged 65.
Gilberto Benetton, one of the founders of the eponymous Italian clothes brand, died aged 77 after an illness.
American comics legend Stan Lee – co-creator of global action hero favourites including Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, X-Men and Black Panther – passed away aged 95.
Italian film director Bernardo Bertolucci, whose work includes Last Tango in Paris and Oscar-winning The Last Emperor, died aged 77 at his home in Rome.
Former US president George H.W. Bush died aged 94, just months after his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush. They were the parents of president George W. Bush.
Belgium’s richest man, multi-billionaire entrepreneur Albert Frere, passed away aged 92.
Lyudmila Alexeyeva, a Soviet-era dissident who became a symbol of resistance in modern-day Russia as a leading rights activist, died after a long illness at the age of 91.
Amos Oz, celebrated Israeli novelist and passionate advocate of peace between Israelis and Palestinians, died of cancer aged 79.–AFP