We’ve heard it all before. Death is a part of life. Everybody dies. There’s no escaping death. We’ve also heard that none of us know when we’re going to die. We’re told that we should make the most out of every day, and not take life for granted, because we don’t know what day we’re going to die on. We know we’re going to die—after all, we’re mortal creatures—but we just don’t know when, and more importantly, and how.
A lot of us shirk from talking about it. Death can be a scary thing to think about. We hate to think of the fact that one day we’ll leave this earth forever. We’ve read many books and watched countless movies that feature characters who will do anything they can to cheat death by achieving immortality. Some of them are successful, others are not. The bottom line is that we don’t know when our hearts will stop beating forever.
Or do we? While many believe that none of us have the ability to predict our deaths, there have been multiple cases of celebrities who prophesied their deaths—and then they actually happened the way they foretold. Which makes some of us wonder—is it possible to predict how we’re going to die?
If you’re in the mood for chilling recounts of how celebrities uncannily predicted their deaths, then check out this list of 15 celebrities who talked about their deaths before it happened.
15 Jimi Hendrix
Even though Hendrix’s mainstream career only lasted four years, it was enough to make him arguably the greatest guitarist of all time and one of the greatest musicians ever. He was the recipient of multiple music awards during his lifetime and after his death. But before he achieved enormous success with his critically acclaimed debut album Are You Experienced?, he recorded “The Ballad of Jimi”, a haunting tune that fans regard as Jimi portending his own death. He sings, “Many things he would try/For he knew soon he’d die”, “Now Jimi’s gone, he’s not alone/His memory still lives on”, and “Five years, this he said/He’s not gone, he’s just dead.” On September 18, 1970, five years after the recording of the song, Hendrix died accidentally from barbiturate-related asphyxia.
14 Lynyrd Skynyrd
Lynyrd Skynyrd may not have just predicted how members of the band were going to die; they may have foreshadowed it on the cover of their last album. The cover of their 1977 CD, Street Survivors, showed the members of the rock band standing together while surrounded by flames. One of the songs off said album called “That Smell”, one of the CD's most popular songs, contained lyrics that read, “The smell of death surrounds you/Angel of darkness upon you,” and “Say you’ll be alright come tomorrow, but tomorrow might not be here for you.” Just three days after the album’s release, Lkynyrd Skynrd was involved in a plane crash that killed frontman Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines, along with others. The deceased members met a fiery death, just how they predicted.
13 John Lennon
John Lennon achieved phenomenal fame when he was a member of the extremely popular English rock band The Beatles, but he walked away from the music scene in 1975 to take care of his newborn son. One might have thought Lennon wouldn’t return, but five years later he was back and writing music. He was producing songs like he was in a hurry, songs which would be included in his album titled Double Fantasy. It looked like Lennon was writing songs like crazy because he was running out of time. And running out of time he was. One of the songs Lennon recorded was titled “Borrowed Time”, and the lyrics read, “Living on borrowed time, without a thought for tomorrow." A few months later, before the song was released to the public, Lennon was shot and killed by a demented man. Interviews released around the same time the song was quoted Lennon saying he was fearful he would be “popped off by some loony.” Now it made sense why Lennon was so eager to get back into the recording booth before he died.
Rappers are no strangers to fights in clubs that quickly escalate and become out of control, but it’s rare that a rapper can predict that he’s going to die in a club. Proof, born DeShaun Holton, was one of the featured rappers on hip-hop group D12’s song “40 oz”, where he rapped, “I'm in the club to beef, you gotta murder me there.” Two years after the track’s release, Proof got himself involved in an altercation with Kevin Bender Jr, a 35-year-old Desert Storm veteran, supposedly during a game of pool. Proof was most likely drunk at the time, as an autopsy showed that his blood alcohol level was .32, three times the legal limit. Bouncer Mario Etheridge, a cousin of Bender’s, shot a warning shot into the air, and Proof fired back, killing Bender. Proof was killed by another man who shot him twice in the back and once in the back of his head. Proof’s death was executed just like he predicted. What’s even more startling is that two years prior, Proof appeared in the music video for Enimen’s “Toy Soldiers” where he played a rapper gunned down in a club.
11 Jim Morrison
If you haven't heard of the infamous 27 Club, it’s not a club that you would want to be a member of. Members of the 27 Club are celebrities that are “inducted” after dying at the age of 27. Legendary artists Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, were the first two members of the club. Jim Morrison, lead singer of the rock band The Doors, would be the next member to be inducted. In October of 1970, the group was out drinking at a pub in L.A, mourning the deaths of fellow musician and good friend Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix which both happened recently. While at the pub, Morrison’s friends quoted him as saying, “You’re drinking with number three. That’s right, number three.” Morrison died the following year in July at the age of 27, likely from an accidental heroin overdose.
Information concerning Morrison’s death is still murky as no autopsy was ever performed on his body. How Morrison was able to know he would be the third person to join the 27 Club is also a mystery.
10 Michael Jackson
Unlike others on this list, pop legend Michael Jackson never released any songs alluding to his death. But he had a feeling it was coming soon. As the opening night of his comeback tour This Is It, approached, Jackson was reported as appearing extremely nervous and attempted to reschedule concert dates. The singer reportedly told a confidante, “It’s not working out” and “I’m better off dead. I don’t have anywhere left to turn. I’m done.” The same confidante said that two hours before Jackson died, he said he was “tired of living.” His sister La Toya Jackson, revealed that in the months leading up to his death, Jackson constantly talked about how he felt someone was trying to do him in. He would later be proved right as his personal physician, Conrad Murray, was eventually charged with involuntary manslaughter for causing Jackson’s death.
9 Marc Bolan
Irony has a strange, sometimes morbid, way of showing itself. Take for example Marc Bolan. Marc Bolan was the lead singer of the glam rock band T. Rex and one of the forerunners of the glam rock movement of the 1970s. In 1972, he wrote a little song titled “Solid Gold Easy Action”, with lyrics that read, “Life is the same and it always will be/Easy as picking foxes from a tree.” Bolan had a crippling fear of cars and driving, and never sought after a driver’s license. Unluckily, he would meet his untimely demise in a car accident five years after the song’s release. The car’s license plate read FOX 661L—just like the song said. Friends of Bolan said for a long time he believed he would die before the age of 30; the car accident happened just two weeks shy of his 30th birthday.
8 Pete Maravich
Pete Maravich is generally considered to be one of the best basketball players in history. Nicknamed “Pistol Pete”, he played shooting guard for LSU during college and picked up numerous College Player of the Year awards. He was also the all-time leading NCAA Division 1 scorer, a record that is still intact to this day. He spent his professional career playing for the Atlanta Hawks and the Utah Jazz during the 1970s, where he was a 5-time NBA All-Star and led the league in scoring in 1977. But something else happened during his professional career. In 1974, he made a comment in an interview with the Beaver County Times newspaper in which he stated, “I don’t want to play 10 years in the NBA and die of a heart attack at 40.” In what appeared to be a cruel twist of fate, Maravich did die of a heart attack at the age of 40. Despite being in seemingly good health, Maravich had a rare heart condition that he developed after being born without a left coronary artery.
7 Mikey Welsh
It’s no secret that multiple rock stars over the years have died prematurely for one reason or another. Mikey Welsh, the bassist for the rock band Weezer, was no different. In 2011 there was a lot of buzz surrounding a Tweet he made on Twitter in which he allegedly predicted his death. Welsh Tweeted that he had “dreamt I died in Chicago next weekend (heart attack in my sleep). Need to write my will today.” Shortly later, he corrected his tweet to read “the weekend after the next.” Welsh also made a Facebook post advertising a piece of art he created himself that cost $250. The post read, "if I am still alive at time of purchase, price to increase exponentially if I expire prematurely.” At the time, it seemed strange to think that Welsh would die of a heart attack so young. Even though he struggled with drug abuse and personality disorders, Welsh was overall in pretty good health. But his prediction came true when he was discovered dead in a hotel in Chicago at the exact time he foretold. The results of the toxicology report came back inconclusive, leaving the details surrounding Welsh’s death a mystery to this day.
Atlanta rapper Dolla, born Roderick Anthony Burton II, never lived to see the release of his debut album. In one of the songs off his self-titled album named Georgia Nights, the up-and-coming star raps, “You see the rain on my window pane/Waking up in cold sweats having dreams of going out with a bang/My poppa died by the gun, I’ll die by the gun.” Months after the song was recorded, Dolla and some associates of his attacked Atlanta event promoter Aubrey Berry in an Atlanta nightclub. Just later that same month, they heckled Berry outside a restaurant in L.A. before tailing him to his car. Berry took out a gun and shot 21-year-old Dolla to death four times in self-defense. Dolla really did end up dying by the gun.
5 Tupac Shakur
There’s more than one celebrity death that gets shrouded in mystery due to inconclusive details that leave fans and police wondering what really happened. There’s also more than one conspiracy theory involving what really happened the night Lesane Parish Crooks (aka Tupac Shakur) was shot. In a collaboration song done with fellow rapper Richie Rich, Tupac raps, “I been shot and murdered, can tell you how it happened word for word.” The song was released earlier in the year he was shot. When he was questioned once where he saw himself in a few years, he responded by saying, “Best case, in a cemetery. Not in a cemetery, sprinkled in ashes smoked up by my homies. I mean, that’s the worst case.” Just two months later, Tupac was shot in a drive-by shooting at an intersection in Las Vegas and was rushed to a hospital where he died six days later. However, extremely loyal fans of Tupac believe he’s not really dead and that he faked his death and has gone into hiding.
4 Bob Marley
Bob Marley was many things. A singer. A guitarist. A symbol of Jamaican culture. He stands as one of the most successful recording artists of all time, and is largely credited with popularizing reggae music around the globe. According to his friends and some of his fans he was also a psychic. Supposedly, Marley divulged the details of his death to his close friends, which are only known to them. One of Marley’s said friends claimed that Marley told him he would die at the age of 36 because that was the age Jesus died. Marley was a devoted follower and advocate of Rastafarianism, a religious movement that was extremely popular in Jamaica during Marley’s time, and his songs were imbued with a sense of spirituality. In 1977 he was diagnosed with acral lentiginous melanoma, but refused amputation of the infected area because of religious reasons. His health continued to deteriorate over the next few years until the melanoma spread to his lungs and brain, resulting in his death in May of 1981 at the age of 36.
3 The Notorious B.I.G
The thought of death can unnerve lots of people. It’s not a subject many like to talk about. But rapper Notorious B.I.G didn’t shy away from the concept of death; he embraced it. After all, it was one of the major themes in his debut album Ready to Die. Christopher George Latore Wallace, who went by stage names Notorious B.I.G, Biggie, and Biggie Smalls, discussed his death in the song “Suicidal Thoughts”, where he raps, “I swear to God I feel like death is f—ing calling me.” Biggie didn’t commit suicide like the song suggested. Instead, he was gunned down in a drive-by in L.A. three years later in 1997. Two weeks later his posthumous album was released, eerily titled Life After Death.
2 The Ultimate Warrior
James Brian Hellwig went by various ring names during his 23-year wrestling career, but perhaps he was most known as The Ultimate Warrior during his tenure in the WWE, where he was a two-time WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion and a one-time WWF World Heavyweight Champion. Warrior is universally regarded as a legend in the company, so it came as no surprise when he was announced to be an inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2014. It came as a huge surprise however, when he died three days after the ceremony. While walking with his wife to his car outside of their hotel in Arizona, he suddenly clutched his chest and collapsed to the ground. He was rushed to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead. The cause of death was a heart attack brought about by atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. It was almost as if The Ultimate Warrior predicted his imminent death, because during his speech at the Hall of Fame ceremony, he said, “every man’s heart beats its final beat. The spirit of the Ultimate Warrior will run forever.”
1 Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain gets the special #1 spot on the list because he not only predicted his death, he predicted his life as well. At the age of 14, Kurt Cobain told a classmate that he would become a rich and famous musician and go out in a blaze of glory by committing suicide. His classmate most likely thought Cobain was crazy, but he never would have guessed Cobain would turn out to be right all along. Kurt Cobain achieved wealth and fame as the lead singer of the popular grunge band Nirvana, which the media dubbed the flagship band of Generation X with Kurt Cobain as the spokesman. He was found dead in his home on April 8, 1994 with a shotgun pointing at his chin, fulfilling the prophecy he laid out for himself.