1997: Famous people who died 20 years ago that shocked the world

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Fela was un-repentantly outspoken against the Nigerian corrupt government

The year 1997 took a lot of famous lives. Here are the ones that captivated the world.

The year 1997 was very strange as a lot of top famous people died.

These deaths were not ordinary. They shook the world and two decades after people still remember them for good or bad.

Below is a list of the top 7 famous deaths in the chilling year of 1997.

1) Fela Anikulapo-Kuti


The Afrobeat creator passed away on August 2, 1997, after complications from HIV/AIDS. When his death was announced by his brother, Nigerians and the global music community were shocked. Fela was enigma whose larger than life personality seemed to defy death. The news of his passing away led to a celebration of his music and life. 20 years after Fela is still vividly remembered by millions.

2) Princess Diana


The death of the Queen of Hearts was arguably the saddest news that year globally. Princess Diana was loved by many for her friendly demeanour even when she was a royal. The beautiful princess died on August 31, 1997, in Paris after her car crashed into a closed tunnel. For weeks there was global grief about her death. The Princess of Wales even after death is still loved.

3) Gianni Versace


The Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace passed away on July 15, 1997. Ironically, Princess Diana attended his burial. Versace was killed by American serial killer Andrew Phillip Cunanan. His legacy in fashion still lives on especially in Hip Hop.

4) Mother Theresa


Saint Teresa of Calcutta passed away on September 5, 1997, at the ripe old age of 87 in India. Known all across the globe for her charitable works especially in India, gave the world hope that kindness still exists. Her life has been the subject of many films and books.

5) Notorious B.I.G


The passing away of the great rapper was another sad moment in 1997 and one of the ugliest moments in Hip-Hop culture. After Tupac Shakur was killed the year before, Notorious B.I.G was killed in Los Angles on March 9, 1997. A documentary about his life and times came out in August 2017. His murder still remains unsolved.

6) Mobutu Sese Seko


The African dictator of former Zaire now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo was one of the personalities who held the world spellbound in 1997. After staying in power for 31 years, Mobutu Sese Seko was kicked out by Laurent Kabila in 1997. Four months after chased out of office, Kabila passed away on September 7, 1997, in Morocco. His death ended one of the most infamous dictatorships in Africa.

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