The year has been notable for the sad passing of many well-known names from the worlds of sport, entertainment and beyond. Here are some of those whose deaths have made the world a poorer place.
America's Queen of Soul was 76 when she died on August 16. Best known as a singer and songwriter, she was also a civil rights activist, actress, and pianist.
Barry Elliott, to give him his proper name, was one half of the children's comedy duo The Chuckle Brothers, best known for their catchphrase 'to me, to you'. He died on August 5, aged 73.
The Hollywood star was in blockbusters like Smokey And The Bandit and The Cannonball Run before becoming a director and producer. He died on September 6, aged 82.
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The 74-year-old, who died on September 22, was the lead vocalist of Cockney musical duo Chase & Dave, who had big hits like The Sideboard Song, Rabbit and Snooker Loopy.
The ex-footballer, who died aged 59 on January 14, was just the third black player to be capped by England. He played over 600 league games, mainly for West Brom and Coventry, in a 19-year career.
The presenter died on April 18, aged 62. He was best known for Pick Of The Pops on radio and Supermarket Sweep, the National Lottery game show In It to Win It and Pets Win Prizes on TV.
The Swedish musician, DJ, remixer, and record producer was just 28 when he was found dead in Muscat, Oman, on April 20. Avicii - real name Tim Bergling - was credited as one of the DJs who ushered electronic music into Top 40 radio.
The lead singer of Irish rock band The Cranberries was just 46 when she was found dead in a hotel on January 15. She was best known for huge '90s anthems like Linger, Dreams and Zombie.
The actor was best-known as Alice Tinker in BBC comedy The Vicar of Dibley and Honey Thacker in the film Notting Hill. She died from natural causes at her home on February 21. She was 53.
The Crafty Cockney dominated darts throughout the 1980s, winning 70 titles, with his skill and personality turning the game into a worldwide spectator sport. He died on April 5, aged 60.
The TV presenter and actor was the human face of Thames Television's children's show Rainbow from 1974 to 1992, alongside puppets Bungle, Zippy and George. He died on September 30, aged 76.
The stand-up comedian was the host of ITV's darts-based game show Bullseye from 1981-1995. Known for his catchphrase 'super, smashing, great', he died on March 14, aged 80.
The ex-Blackpool and England footballer, who also managed Bolton and Leeds, died on January 22, aged 82. In later years he worked as a journalist, then match summariser for BBC Radio 5 Live.
The actor was best-known for his portrayal of 'Dirty' Den Watts, the landlord of the Queen Vic pub in BBC soap opera EastEnders, though he was later a popular panto villain. He died on June 15, aged 71.
The ex-footballer, who won 21 Republic of Ireland international caps, died of pancreatic cancer on February 9, aged just 36. His clubs included Sunderland, Celtic, Leeds and Manchester United.
The leader of post-punk legends The Fall died on January 24, aged 60. During their 42-year existence, they released 32 studio albums, with their best-known songs including Totally Wired and Hit the North.
The ex-footballer and manager was 54 when he was found collapsed on May 28. One of the stars of Alex Ferguson's Aberdeen side of the early '80s, he later went on to manage clubs including Hartlepool United.
The ex-footballer died on July 23, aged 73. In a 17-year career at Leeds United he won a host of trophies, as well as 24 England caps, playing in every position except goalkeeper.
As a founding member of Buzzcocks, Shelley - real name Peter McNeish - was one of the leaders of the '70s punk movement. He died on December 6, aged 63, but will live on through songs like Everybody's Happy Nowadays.
The former England captain died on April 4, aged 61, after a career which saw him play for Chelsea, Manchester United and Rangers, among others, before moving into management and TV punditry.
The last of the great music hall entertainers was 90 when he died on March 11. In a stage career lasting for over 60 years, he became known for his epic performances and trademark tickling stick.
As sportsmen go you don't get much more groundbreaking than the man who, in 1954, became the first man to run a sub-four-minute mile. He died on March 3, aged 88.
Generations of comic book and movie fans went into mourning when the writer, editor and publisher of such creations as Spider-Man, X-Men and Hulk died on November 12, aged 95.
The theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author was the man behind several works of popular science, including A Brief History of Time. He died on March 14, aged 76.
The actor, comedian, and stunt performer was best known for playing Mini-Me in the Austin Powers films . At just 2ft 8in tall, he was one of the shortest men in the world. He died on April 21, aged 49.
The 'king of clubs' opened the first of his string of nightspots in Sheffield in 1962 and went on to become as famous as the celebrities frequented them. He died on June 7, aged 77.
The veteran actress died on December 27, aged 93, after a career spanning eight decades. She tackled bawdy comedy in the Carry On films, and starred in long-running sitcom Terry And June, as well as Absolutely Fabulous.