December 31, 2012 12:00 PM


Whitney Houston

Singer, 48

“Whitney Houston is the gold standard that every female singer strives to be. Still, we all know there will only be one Whitney. No voice will ever compare to hers. Angelic. Anointed. THE Voice. God made only one. Whitney not only inspired me as a performer, she was more than kind toward me in my first feature film. She became my Mama Whitney. I will always be thankful for the grace she exuded and for being the shining example of getting back up even when people wanted her to stay down. I’ll always cherish the moments I had with her. I will love her forever.”

Jordin Sparks, her Sparkle costar


Neil Armstrong

Astronaut, 82

“The first time I met him, he was roller-skating in the driveway. He was the best test pilot I ever ran across; I wouldn’t have traded him for any other commander.”

-Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon


Sally Ride

Astronaut, 61

“She never sought attention but focused on doing her normally outstanding job. Sally knew how important it is to motivate our young girls to achieve their true dreams.”

-Eileen Collins, the first female shuttle commander


Dick Clark

TV Host/Producer, 82

“He was such an amazing broadcaster. He had tremendous ease in front of the camera and made audiences feel so comfortable. He wasn’t just a host; he was people’s friend instantly. Early in my career, I actually cold-called Dick Clark! Amazingly, he not only returned my phone call but invited me to his office. From that point forward, Dick extended genuine interest in me and my progress, which I treasure.”

Ryan Seacrest, Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve cohost


Davy Jones

Singer, 66

“He was the brother I never had; I knew him for 45 years. When we started rehearsing for this latest Monkees tour, I kept looking over my shoulder for him.”

-Micky Dolenz, Jones’s former bandmate


Phyllis Diller

Comedian, 95

“She was loving, funny and an inspiration. There wouldn’t be a Whitney Cummings or a Chelsea Handler or a Kathy Griffin or a Sarah Silverman or a Joan Rivers if it weren’t for her.”

-Kathy Griffin

Chad Everett

Actor, 76

Sherman Hemsley

Actor, 74

Larry Hagman

Actor, 81

Andy Williams

Singer, 84

Nora Ephron

Writer and Director, 71

Deborah Raffin

Actress, 59

Jenni Rivera

Singer, 43

Adam Yauch

Rapper, 47

Michael Clarke Duncan

Actor, 54

Celeste Holm

Actress, 95

Maurice Sendak

Writer, 83

Ernest Borgnine

Actor, 95


Donna Summer

Singer, 63

“She was so vital the last time I saw her, a few months before her passing. I loved doing the duet with her. She had an amazing voice and was so talented. I shared thoughts about her with the audience every night on my recent concert tour when I sang ‘No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)’ and she’ll always live on in her music.”

-Barbra Streisand


Mike Wallace

Journalist, 93

“He was relentless. He had to go out and prove himself every day. And the effect was some of the best journalism ever seen in broadcasting.”

-Morley Safer, Wallace’s 60 Minutes cohost

Etta James

Singer, 73

Don Cornelius

TV Host, 75

Andy Griffith

Actor, 86

Robin Gibb

Musician, 62

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