These days, many types of people get famous in ways that didn’t used to be possible. Online stardom has become a very popular trend, and one of the biggest sites that allow this to occur is the one and only, YouTube. Individuals are given the opportunity to create their very own unique channels and broadcast themselves and their content of choice. These videos can discuss anything from fashion to computer gaming, and beyond. If a YouTube channel is popular enough, the individual behind it gathers hits and followers in the millions. Fame like that becomes so large it even seeps into pop culture magazines, TV and movies.
Unfortunately, tragedy can strike anyone at any time, no matter who they are, and this list proves just that. Many of these YouTubers had millions of views and millions of followers, yet their careers were cut tragically short. Take a look and see the saddest and most shocking cases to have ever rocked the YouTube community.
15. Justin Carmical (JewWario-Channel Awesome)
Justin Carmical was 42-years-old when he passed away in January 2014. Carmichael was known by the YouTube identity JewWario. Carmical worked for the famous channel titled Channel Awesome alongside the likes of Angry Gamer and Nostalgia Critic. Carmical hosted the show You Can Play This, in which he gave a guide to untranslated Japanese Games. The YouTuber was praised for his light-hearted and fun approach to describing how to play the games, and where to access them. In January 2013, a year prior to his passing, Carmical decided to leave Channel Awesome to concentrate on his own projects. However, off-screen it was not known that the YouTuber had been suffering from depression for many years. On January 23rd, 2014, the much-loved gamer suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Shortly after his passing, Carmical’s partner posted a message to Facebook which contained the following: “[I] have to confirm, he shot himself, but he was not alone, he locked himself in the bathroom and I was on the other side of the door talking with him. He knew I loved him, HE KNEW ALL OF YOU LOVED HIM.”
14. Tameesha Ridge (DIYMeesha)
Tameesha Ridge, who was a mother of three and fashion YouTuber, was shot dead while she slept in her Sacramento home in May 2014. Ridge was an active user of YouTube, regularly uploading videos to her 142,000 subscribers. The videos specialized in sewing techniques, DIY designs, and fashion hauls. In fact, Ridge had uploaded a video only two days before she was murdered. Shortly after the shooting occurred, a man (who was later revealed to be Ridge’s ex-boyfriend and father to her youngest child) turned himself in to authorities. The man was named as Dameshlo Green, and it was later revealed that Ridge had a restraining order against him. Although Ridge’s three children were also asleep in the house, they fortunately remained unharmed.
13. Scott ‘Stoked’ Yakiwchuk (Element Animation)
On January 30th 2015, YouTuber Scott Yakiwchuk, better known as Scott Stoked passed away after suffering a fatal heart attack. Scott had been a voice actor for the Element Animation channel from the very beginning. The YouTuber was best known for voicing the character of Steve in An Egg’s Guide to Minecraft. This series followed an egg as it tried to navigate its way around Minecraft. Element Animation was founded in 2010 and has since gone on to gain over one million followers. On the day of Scott’s passing the channel posted a video in honor of Scott’s memory titled Remembering Scott. The video contained clips of Scott’s best moments and clips on the channel. Element Animation has continued with the making of videos and is still active in the YouTube community today.
12. Monty Ohm (RoosterTeeth)
Monty Ohm was a much credited, self-thought animator who scripted and produced numerous crossover fighting video series. These videos contained characters from various animated franchises coming together in the same video to fight. Ohm soon caught the attention of production company RoosterTeeth and his videos were soon appearing on YouTube. Tragically, in January 2015, after undergoing a routine medical procedure, Ohm suffered a severe allergic reaction that initially left the animator in a coma. When he was released to the public, a fundraiser took place online to raise money for his medical expenses. The goal of $50,000 was raised in only three hours. The site went on to raise almost a quarter of a million dollars in the following days. Unfortunately, Ohm never recovered and he passed away on February 1st. The YouTuber’s legacy still lives on.
11. Daniel Kyre (Cyndago)
Daniel Kyre (center), known for being a member of the YouTube group Cyndgao, passed away in September 2015, after a suicide attempt left him in a serious condition. Kyre was found unconscious in his room, in an apartment he shared with the other two members of Cyndago, Ryan Magee and Matt Watson. In the days following, the star’s condition only got worse, and eventually he passed away on September 28th. Kyre’s death is said to have not just come as a huge shock to his fans, but to those closest to him. Leading up to his death, Kyre had been experiencing great success. One of YouTube’s biggest stars, Mark Fischbach, better known as his YouTube identity Markiplier, had been working alongside Cyndgo collaborating on videos. In fact, all the YouTubers were great friends and Fischbach also lived alongside the three guys. After the tragedy, Cyndago posted an online message announcing the news and informed their fans that they would not be continuing with the channel. However, they promised to complete one final upload to explain things to fans.
10. Brian Rickard (Yoteslaya)
Brian Rickard (right) made quite the name for himself in the YouTube gaming world. At the time of his passing, Rickard had 2,207 videos uploaded to YouTube as well as 650,000 subscribers. Rickard’s channel was known for humorously walking fellow gamers through games like Borderlands 2 and Call of Duty Zombies. Unfortunately, Rickard’s channel Yoteslaya came to a sudden end after he was involved in a tragic car accident. Rickard was driving in a car with two other passengers. It is not quite known what happened, but it is believed that Rickard tried to outrun a train, which resulted in the car getting rammed in the side by the train. All three passengers were pronounced dead at the scene and it was later revealed that alcohol was involved. Rickard’s followers were devastated by the YouTuber’s death and many rushed online to pay their respects. Rickard left behind two sons aged just 8 and 10 at the time of his passing in 2013.
9. Edd Gould (Eddsworld)
Edd Gould created the British flash animation series known as Eddsworld, in 2004. There currently exists 54 episodes of Eddsworld with each episode being known as an ‘Eddisode’. Apart from episodes of the show on YouTube, there also exists 200 comics, flash games and artwork found on the home website. Eddsworld is an animation that features a fictionalized version of Gould along with his collaborators, Thomas Ridgewell and Matthew Hargreaves. Unfortunately, in April 2011, Gould publicly announced that he had been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Gould also announced how this was not the first time he had been struck by the disease and that in 2006 he received the same diagnosis. In March 2012, Gould sadly passed away. Following Gould’s passing, Ridgewell and Hargreaves posed a video on YouTube titled R.I.P Edd Gould (1988–2012). The final credits read “Edd may be gone, but his world will keep on spinning.”
8. Jam Sebastian (JamichTV)
Jam Sebastian (left) was known in the YouTube community alongside his partner Paolinne Michelle Liggayu, better known as Mich. The couple made up the YouTube channel JamichTV. Jamich, instantly became one of YouTube’s most popular couples after their first ever upload, in 2011, received over seven million hits and gained the duo over half a million subscribers. Soon enough the couple reached over one million subscribers and eventually the pair became engaged, much to the delight of their followers. Unfortunately, in January 2014, Sebastian was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. After battling with the deadly disease for over a year, Sebastian passed away on March 4th 2015. The YouTuber was just 28 years old at the time. Since the death of her partner, Mich has taken a long break from YouTube and it is not yet known if she will ever return.
7. Freddy E (JerkTV)
Frederick Eugene Buhl, better known as Freddie E, was an online personality and hip-hop artist, made famous by his YouTube channel, Jerk TV. Buhl was known for his skits and spoken word pieces that gave his channel an overall comical tone. This made it all the more shocking when it was announced in 2013 that Buhl had taken his own life via shotgun. He was only 22 years old at the time. Buhl made a series of Tweets prior to the shooting, which left many of his followers concerned for his well-being. Some of these Tweets read, “If there’s a God then He’s calling me back home. This barrel never felt so good next to my dome. It’s cold & I’d rather die than live alone.” Fans were quick to accuse rapper Honey Cocaine, who is signed to Tyga’s label, as having played a hand in Buhl’s suicide. These individuals accused Honey Cocaine as having left Buhl distraught and heartbroken. However, HC adamantly denies these accusations and has spoken publicly on the matter.
6. Caleb Logan LeBlanc (Bratayley)
Caleb Logan LeBlanc was the leader of a YouTube channel that had a very simple concept, yet managed to draw the attention of millions of people. Bratayley focused on the life of Caleb and his two younger siblings. Shockingly, it was announced in October 2015 that Caleb had passed away with what was described at the time as an undetected medical condition. Caleb was just 13 years old when he died. Unsurprisingly, the sudden death of the teenager left people all over the globe questioning just what exactly had happened. In the weeks that followed it was revealed that he suffered from a rare heart condition. Caleb’s family took to Instagram to share the news by saying: “The doctor confirmed today that Caleb passed away from a heart condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, that went undetected in his yearly check-ups. Caleb didn’t have any symptoms, so the doctor said there was nothing we could have done differently.”
5. Greg Plitt (Gregg Plitt)
Greg Plitt was known on YouTube due to his fitness lifestyle that inspired many people around the globe. The Army ranger turned fitness model, would regularly post videos to the site detailing and explaining his personal workouts, diets and methods of maintaining his body. Apart from his YouTube career, Plitt would regularly pose on the cover of fitness magazines and even had a reality TV show, Friends to Lovers, alongside his partner Melanie Marden. Plitt began posting to YouTube in 2011 but his career was cut short in 2015 after a tragic accident took his life. Plitt had been filming an ad campaign in which he attempted to outrun a moving train. Tragically, the YouTuber stumbled when crossing the tracks and was struck by the train. Following Plitt’s death, a huge police investigation took place to examine what exactly had happened. Security footage soon revealed that there was no foul play involved, and Plitt’s death was ruled to be a tragic accident.
4. Amanda Todd (TheSomebodytoknow)
On September 17th 2012, Amanda Todd posted a video to YouTube just four hours before the tragic teen took her own life. In the video, Todd explained the terrible harassment she had been facing in recent years and why she had come to a point where she felt she had no other choice than to commit suicide. Todd told her followers how a man on the internet had been blackmailing her with private pictures that he circulated to her friends and teachers at every new school she attended. Todd felt she could never escape this man, and due to the bullying that followed as a result of the pictures, the teen became increasingly filled with despair. Following Todd’s passing, the YouTube video went viral and a huge police investigation took place, which even attracted the attention of vigilante group Anonymous, who were also eager to find the culprit. Eventually a Dutch man named Aydin Coban was arrested, and may have been connected to various other similar cases.
3. Esther Earl (HELLO THERE)
YouTuber Esther Earl passed away from cancer in 2010 when she was just 16 years old. Earl became a big online personality in the YouTube community prior to her passing due to her uploads revolving around being a Nerdfighter and activist in the Harry Potter Alliance. What many don’t know, however, is that Esther is the girl who inspired author John Green to pen The Fault in Our Stars. Green and Earl became fast friends after meeting at a Harry Potter conference; the author was said to have been heartbroken by the teen’s passing. Actress Shailene Woodley went on to play the leading role in the movie adaption of Green’s novel. Although Earl was a huge inspiration behind the character of Hazel Grace Lancaster in Green’s novel, it has been made clear that the character is not solely based on Earl.
Green once released a statement on his blog which said: “I don’t want people conflating Esther with Hazel (they’re very different), and it’s extremely important to me that I not claim to be telling Esther’s story.” In 2014, Earl’s parent combined her own writings into a book titled This Star Won’t Go Out; the publication made it onto the New York Times bestseller list for young adults.
2. Talia Castellano (TaliaJoy18)
Talia Castellano was known in the YouTube community due to her channel TaliaJoy18. When Talia was just seven years old she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. She underwent various types of treatment and was eventually declared cancer free. However, Talia relapsed three times in the next six years. Nonetheless, the brave star found comfort in making YouTube videos, and before long Talia had a huge online following. Talia’s channel focused mainly on makeup and fashion but also contained cancer vlogs where the courageous star discussed her experiences with neuroblastoma and leukemia. Tragically when she was just 13 years old Talia passed away. At the time of her passing Talia had over 45 million hits on her channel and even after her death she continues to gain followers on YouTube. Talia’s channel currently has 1,400,000 followers.
1. Christina Grimmie (zeldaxlove64)
Most people became familiar with Christina Grimmie in 2014 after she auditioned for the sixth season of The Voice. Grimmie placed third on the show and went on to have a successful singing career. Tragically, Grimmie was shot down after playing a concert in June 2016. The star passed away shorty after at the young age of 22. Grimmie had been signing autographs when a man, later identified as Kevin James Loibli, started shooing at the singer. Loibli was tackled by Grimmie’s brother, before breaking free and turning the gun on himself. Years before auditioning for The Voice, Grimmie uploaded her first video to YouTube when she was just 15 years old. Before long Grimmie’s videos gained huge recognition. A cover uploaded in 2010, that saw Grimmie collaborate with fellow YouTuber Sam Tsui, on a cover of Nelly’s Just a Dream, reached incredible views of 135 million. In 2011, Grimmie came second in the ‘My YouTube’ competition losing out to Disney star Selena Gomez. Interestingly, as her channel grew in popularity, Selena Gomez’s mother, Mandy Teefey and her partner Brian Teefey, became Grimmie’s managers. Everything was on track for the star until her life was cut tragically short.