2009 in review: A year of lost stars

THE death of a celebrity is a strange thing. Despite having never been in direct contact with a person, we have an emotional reaction to their passing which resembles that of losing an extended relative.

Like a distant friend who we've known most of our lives, the passing of a celebrity leaves us with an abstract feeling of loss which resonates throughout our collective conscience.

In recent years, few celebrity deaths have been as powerfully felt as that of Michael Jackson. Just hours after the announcement of his death, the echo was being heard in almost every corner of the globe, and with such magnitude and intensity it almost crippled the internet.

In the days, weeks and months after, tributes to the King of Pop were prolifically created by fans worldwide in what was perhaps the only true reflection of just how influential he was.

And yet, Michael Jackson was just one of many celebrities to pass away this year. From Hollywood starlets like Farah Fawcett to political heroes like Ted Kennedy, 2009 will be marked as a year in which some of our most beloved and brightest stars called it a day.

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