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Updated: May 31, 2020 @ 7:57 am
The following people in entertainment and news have died from complications related to coronavirus:
Country singer Joe Diffie, who had a string of hits in the 1990s with chart-topping ballads and honky-tonk singles like “Home” and “Pickup Man,” died March 29 after testing positive for COVID-19. He was 61. Diffie on March 27 announced he had contracted the coronavirus, becoming the first country star to go public with such a diagnosis. Diffie's publicist Scott Adkins said the singer died Sunday in Nashville, Tennessee, due to complications from the virus.
Terrence McNally, one of America’s great playwrights whose prolific career included winning Tony Awards for the plays "Love! Valour! Compassion!" and "Master Class" and the musicals "Ragtime" and "Kiss of the Spider Woman," died March 24 of complications from the coronavirus. He was 81. McNally died at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota, Florida, according to representative Matt Polk. McNally was a lung cancer survivor who lived with chronic inflammatory lung disease.
Chef Floyd Cardoz, who competed on “Top Chef,” won “Top Chef Masters” and operated successful restaurants in both India and New York, died March 25 of complications from the coronavirus, his company said in a statement. He was 59. Cardoz had traveled from Mumbai to New York through Frankfurt, Germany, on March 8. He was admitted a week before his death to Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, New Jersey, with a fever and subsequently tested positive for Covid-19, the statement said.
Mark Blum, a veteran stage actor also known for films including “Desperately Seeking Susan” and “Crocodile Dundee,” has died due to complications from Covid-19, according to a statement released by the Screen Actors Guild. Blum was 69. He died March 25. - CNN
Alan Merrill — who co-wrote the song “I Love Rock and Roll" that became a signature hit for fellow rocker Joan Jett — died March 29 in New York of complications from the coronavirus, his daughter said. He was 69.
CBS News producer and talent executive Maria Mercader died March 29 of Covid-19 in New York Sunday, CBS said. She was 54. Mercader worked at CBS for three decades, getting her start in the network's page program, CBS said in a release. She most recently worked as a director of talent strategy.
Manu Dibango, who fused African rhythms with funk to become one of the most influential musicians in world dance music, died March 24 with the coronavirus, according to his music publisher. He was 86.
Emmy and Grammy-winning musician and songwriter Adam Schlesinger, known for his work with his band Fountains of Wayne and on the TV show “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” died April 1 after contracting the coronavirus. Schlesinger died at a hospital in upstate New York, his longtime lawyer Josh Grier told The Associated Press. It is not clear where or how Schlesinger, a 52-year-old father of two daughters, contracted the virus. He had been sedated and on a ventilator for several days.
Ellis Marsalis Jr., the jazz pianist, teacher and patriarch of a New Orleans musical clan, has died after battling pneumonia brought on by the new coronavirus, one of his six sons said late April 1. He was 85. “Pneumonia was the actual thing that caused his demise. But it was pneumonia brought on by COVID-19,” Ellis Marsalis III confirmed in an Associated Press phone interview. He said he drove Sunday from Baltimore to be with his father as he was hospitalized in Louisiana, which has been hit hard by the outbreak. Others in the family spent time with him, too.
Jazz guitarist John “Bucky” Pizzarelli, who was inducted to the New Jersey Hall of Fame, has died at the age of 94. The virtuoso who had played for presidents at the White House during his long and esteemed career died April 1 at his home in Saddle River, New Jersey. His family tells The New York Times they believes the cause of death was the coronavirus. And the Bergen Record reports that Pizzarelli tested positive for the virus on Sunday.
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