It’s always tragic when a celebrity passes away, and it’s even sadder when that celebrity dies at a very young age. These stars work hard trying to have a successful career, and even though they might be popular while they’re alive, their popularity usually explodes after their death, as people buy their music and watch their movies.
Because of this, there have been times when these celebrities that have passed away have been nominated for awards for music or movies and other work they released when they were alive. In many cases these celebrities have even won these awards posthumously, honoring both their work and their legacy. Not many celebrities have won posthumous awards, as there’s a small group of them.
10 Ray Charles
Ray Charles was a legend in so many ways, and when he tragically passed away, many were saddened that they lost a music legend. At the 47th annual Grammy Awards, Ray Charles managed to walk away with eight of the awards, including Album of the Year. He won all of the awards posthumously, of course, as his last album, Genius Loves Company was released after his death. Being nominated for several Grammys was the music industry’s way of honoring a legend, and appreciating his last release before his death.
9 Heath Ledger
The world was shocked when they found out that Heath Ledger tragically died in 2008 after an accidental overdose. After his death, he was posthumously nominated for best supporting actor for 2008 for his role as the Joker in The Dark Knight. At the ceremony, it was announced that he had won, and his Oscar was accepted by his father, mother, and his sister. They accepted the award on the behalf of his daughter Matilda, who was too young at the time. His posthumous win was a great honor to the actor and person that he was.
8 Chris Cornell
Rocker Chris Cornell died by suicide back in 2017. After his death, he was nominated for a posthumous award at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards for Best Recording Package. Chris had done a lot over the years as a solo artist and in a band, and he was rewarded after his death with one last award.
The men who helped Chris create the winning boxed set that spanned over his entire career were at the awards to accept the award on Chris’s behalf, along with his widow. His death was extremely unexpected and heartbreaking, however, the Grammy awards paid homage to all that he’s done.
7 David Bowie
A little over a year after his tragic death, David Bowie was posthumously nominated for several Grammy Awards. His last album, Blackstar was nominated for five Grammy Awards, and the album managed to win all five awards. It was a huge feat for David Bowie, as he had only won one Grammy back in 1985, and had been nominated for 12 and lost them all. Despite not winning many Grammy Awards until after his death, David Bowie still made a huge impact on the music industry, and will forever leave his mark.
6 Peter Finch
Peter Finch tragically passed away in 1977 at the age of 60 from a heart attack. The actor was posthumously nominated for Network, in which he finally won an Academy Award, even though he didn’t get to see it. Peter tragically died just two months after the movie premiered, therefore he didn’t really get to see all the success and recognition that he received from it. Peter managed to posthumously win the award and became the first person to win an acting Oscar posthumously.
5 Joan Rivers
When the world found out about comedian Joan Rivers’ death, it was unexpected and very sad when it was announced that she died from complications due to routine surgery. Over the years, Joan had a huge impact on the comedy world, especially because she was a woman in a male-dominated industry. She was posthumously nominated for a Grammy Awards for best-spoken word album, in which she narrated her 12th book. She took home the Grammy Award and was honored for everything that she did throughout her career.
4 Amy Winehouse
In the short time that Amy Winehouse was active in the music industry, she made a rather huge impact. However, she tragically passed away at the age of 27 due to alcohol poisoning. After her death, however, she was posthumously nominated for a Grammy Award for her duet with Tony Bennett, “Body and Soul.”
Amy and Tony actually won the award, and Tony was gracious enough to have her parents go on stage and accept the award on behalf of their daughter instead of accepting it himself, knowing how it was a big deal for Amy to win a Grammy, even after her death.
3 Chadwick Boseman
It’s safe to say that the world was shocked when we found out about the passing of Chadwick Boseman from colon cancer. In recent years, Chadwick has starred in some iconic movies and has taken on some beloved roles. Most recently, he was nominated for a posthumous award at the 27th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards for best actor in a lead role as Levee Green in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. His wife sadly accepted the award on his behalf. Chadwick left behind a legacy that will never be forgotten as his roles will live on in fans’ hearts.
2 Audrey Hepburn
Over the years, Audrey Hepburn had a very successful career and has taken on some iconic roles that she’ll always be remembered for, even after her death. In 1993, she passed away from abdominal cancer when she was just 63 years old. The following year she was posthumously nominated for an Emmy for outstanding individual achievement in informational programming as she released a documentary series in 1993. Audrey would go on to win the award and take home the Emmy posthumously.
1 Walt Disney
Walt Disney was arguably one of the most important on the planet, as he was the mastermind behind the Walt Disney Studios and everything that encompasses it. He has the record for the most Oscar nominations at 59, and one of them was a posthumous nomination. After his death, he was nominated for Best Short Subject (Cartoon) for Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day. It was the last thing that he produced before his death, and he went on to win the award for the production posthumously.
10 Up-And-Coming Stars Who Passed Away Too Soon
About The Author
(256 Articles Published)
Danielle Gittleman is a writer and editor from Freehold, New Jersey.
Passionate about music, entertainment, and writing, Danielle has put her love for them together, and specializes in music and entertainment journalism.
Danielle is a freelance writer, where she has written for websites such as TheTravel, contributing travel and vacation articles, as well as TheRichest, where she wrote celebrity and entertainment content until it stopped publishing in the Fall of 2018.
Danielle currently writes pop culture stories for TheThings, where she contributes several articles a week to the website.
Additionally, Danielle was also a co-founder of her own online music magazine, White Noise Zine, where she conducted interviews with musicians, wrote music news and features, and helped produce bi-monthly online issues of the magazine. Danielle also did press for the Vans Warped tour for three years in a row, and worked with ReverbNation on campaigns to find artists to feature in White Noise Zine.
Danielle is a dedicated person and puts her heart and soul into everything she does. She is a hard worker, and is extremely passionate about her writing, and couldn’t dream of doing anything else.
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