Celebs we lost in 2021

A huge number of famous faces have passed away this year

Paul Mooney (died May 19th, aged 79)

Celebs we lost in 2021 1
Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Timothy M. Moore

Comedian Paul Mooney died of a heart attack at his home in Oakland, California. Mooney, whose real name is Paul Gladney, was best known as a writer for comedian Richard Pryor. Mooney helped Pryor write his several stand-up performances and albums, including Live on the Sunset Strip and Is It Something I Said. Pryor also served as the head writer on The Richard Pryor Show, where Mooney helped break new comedic talents, including Robin Williams, John Witherspoon, Sandra Bernhard, and Tim Reid.

Mooney also took on a number of onscreen roles like Sam Cooke in 1978’s The Buddy Holly Story, Junebug in Spike Lee’s 2000 satirical film Bamboozled, and Negrodamus in Chappelle’s Show. While Mooney’s humor was generally made out of the African-American experience, it’s actually a satirical analysis of racial politics in the U.S., with many of his jokes and punchlines mirroring the deeper pain and injustice caused by racism.

Interesting facts about BTS
  • The group name, “BTS” stands for the Korean expression Bangtan Sonyeondan which translates to “Bulletproof Boy Scouts”. Band member J-Hope said that they chose this name because it represents BTS’s desire “to block out stereotypes, criticisms, and expectations that aim on adolescents like bullets.” But that isn’t the only meaning behind the name. In 2017, BTS said, as part of their new brand identity, that their name would also stand for Beyond the Scene” which extended their name to mean “growing youth BTS who is going beyond the realities they are facing, and going forward.”
  • BTS was originally intended to be a hip-hop group, similar to YG Entertainment’s 1TYM. This was because Big Hit Entertainment CEO Bang Si-hyuk met with RM and was very impressed by his rapping talents. However, Bang Si-hyuk changed his mind and decided that today’s youth needed “a hero who can lend them a shoulder to lean on, even without speaking a single word.”
  • BTS has said that all of the following musicians have inspired their music; Post Malone, Eminem, Seo Taiji and Boys, Nas, Kanye West, Drake, Charlie Puth, Danger, and Queen.
  • The band’s first English-language single, “Dynamite”, was released on August 21st. Its video broke the YouTube record for the most viewed music video premiere, grabbing the attention of three million viewers, and it set a new record for the most viewed video on the first day of release. “Dynamite” is also the first music video on YouTube to surpass 100 million views in less than one day.
  • BTS has been often labeled as “easily the biggest and most successful name in K-pop in the world” that can “do things no other name in their genre can.” Time magazine has gone as far as calling them the “Princes of Pop.”