Why Do Celebrity Deaths Make Us So Sad?

The year 2016 was the worst year in modern history for celebrity deaths – at least if you believe the hyperbole of commentators and social media posters. (In fact, two analyses of how many famous people died last year didn't find 2016 to have an especially high celebrity mortality rate.)

The outpourings of emotion after the losses of Prince, David Bowie, Carrie Fisher and many more demonstrate both the important role that famous people play in mass media and the deeply personal connection that many feel to popular culture.

Joining us to discuss our connection to celebrities and how we react to their deaths is Kate Kane, Ph.D., an instructor in media studies at Northeastern Illinois University.


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