Celebs who died young

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

#38 Martin Luther King Jr.

Celebs who died young 1
Credit: Minnesota Historical Society / Wikimedia Commons

Born: January 15th, 1929

Died: April 4th, 1968

Age at death: 39

Cause of death: Assassination

African American Baptist minister and activist Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4th, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee while planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C. He was fatally shot by James Earl Ray as he stood on the second-floor balcony of his room at Lorraine Motel. The bullet entered through his right cheek, smashing his jaw, then traveled down his spinal cord before lodging in his shoulder. After an emergency chest surgery, King died at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

King was the most visible spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights Movement from 1955 until his assassination. Inspired by his Christian beliefs and the non-violent activism of Mahatma Gandhi, King advanced civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience.

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.”