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Ever since shock rocker David Bowie passed away nearly a year ago, followed closely by actor Alan Rickman and the Eagles' Glenn Frey, the whispers began: was 2016 really going to be the “year of dead celebrities”?

As the year comes to a close, Independent Journal Review has compiled a list of 50 big names that give credence to the whispers...

1. David Bowie, January 10. Musician.

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2. Alan Rickman, January 14. Actor.

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3. Glenn Frey, January 18. Musician.

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4. Edgar Mitchell, February 4. Apollo 14 Astronaut.

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5. Antonin Scalia, February 13. Supreme Court Justice.

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6. Vanity, February 15. Performer.

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7. Harper Lee, February 19. Author.

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8. Joey Feek, March 4. Musician.

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9. Nancy Reagan, March 6. Actress and Former First Lady.

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10. Sir George Martin, March 8. Music producer.

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11. Garry Shandling, March 24. Comedian and actor.

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12. Patty Duke, March 29. Actress.

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13. Merle Haggard, April 6. Musician.

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14. Doris Roberts, April 17. Actress.

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15. Chyna, April 20. Professional Wrestler.

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16. Prince, April 21. Musician.

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17. Alan Young, May 19. Actor.

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18. Morley Safer, May 19. News broadcaster.

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19. Harambe, May 28. Gorilla.

20. Muhammad Ali, June 3. Boxer.

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21. Gordie Howe, June 10. Hockey player.

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22. Christina Grimmie, June 10. Singer.

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23. Anton Yelchin, June 19. Actor.

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24. Pat Summitt, June 28. Basketball coach.

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25. Elie Wiesel, July 2. Author and Holocaust survivor.

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26. Garry Marshall, July 19. Director.

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26. Jerry Doyle, July 27. Actor and radio personality.

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28. Kenny Baker, August 13. Actor.

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29. Steven Hill, August 23. Actor.

30. Gene Wilder, August 28. Actor.

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31. Phyllis Schlafly, September 5. Political activist.

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32. Alexis Arquette, September 11. Actress.

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33. Bill Nunn, September 24. Actor.

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34. Jose Fernandez, September 25. Baseball player.

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35. Arnold Palmer, September 25. Professional golfer.

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36. Shimon Peres, September 28. Former President of Israel.

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37. Janet Reno, November 7. Former Attorney General.

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38. Leonard Cohen, November 7. Musician.

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39. Gwen Ifill, November 14. Journalist.

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40. Florence Henderson, November 24. Actress.

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41. Fidel Castro, November 25. Cuban dictator.

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42. Ron Glass, November 25. Actor.

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43. John Glenn, December 8. Astronaut.

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44. Alan Thicke, December 13. Actor.

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45. Craig Sager, December 15. Sports broadcaster.

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46. Henry Heimlich, December 17. Physician.

47. Zsa Zsa Gabor, December 18. Actress.

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48. George Michael, December 25. Musician.

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49. Carrie Fisher, December 27. Actress and author.

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50. Debbie Reynolds, December 28. Actress and Singer.

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It's quite an extensive list — and it doesn't cover even all of the famous people who died in 2016, much less the not-so-famous (such as the 14 American service members who died in combat in 2016).

But was 2016 really worse than previous years?

BBC Obituaries Editor Nick Serpell says yes: “In 2012, we had a total of 16 celebrity deaths. In 2013, it went to 24. In 2014, it rose again to 29. In 2015, it rose slightly again to 32. For 2016, as of 30 December, it stands at 49.”