Celebs who died young

These actors, musicians, and public figures passed away before their time

#31 Sam Cooke

Celebs who died young 1

Born: January 22nd, 1931

Died: December 11th, 1964

Age at death: 33

Cause of death: Gunshot wound

Singer Sam Cooke was shot and killed by Bertha Franklin, the manager of Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles. According to the official police record, Cooke had checked in to the motel on the evening of December 11th, 1964. Later that night, Cooke had banged on the door of Franklin’s office, shouting “Where’s the girl?!” The girl Cooke was referring to was Elisa Boyer, the woman he was with when he arrived at the motel.

Franklin shouted back that there was no one in her office except herself, but an enraged Cooke did not believe her and forced his way into the office, naked except for one shoe and a sport jacket. Cooke grabbed Franklin and the two began to scuffle. When a scared Franklin managed to get away, she retrieved a gun and fired at Cooke in self-defense. Cooke had sustained a gunshot wound to the chest, which was later determined to have pierced his heart. After an inquest and investigation, the courts ruled Cooke’s death to be a justifiable homicide.

Commonly referred to as the King of Soul, Cooke was praised for his distinctive vocals and notable contributions to the genre. He began singing as a child and joined the gospel music group Soul Stirrers as lead singer in the 1950s. As a solo artist, Cooke released a string of hit songs, including You Send Me, A Change Is Gonna Come, Cupid, and Wonderful World, among many others.

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.”