|1||DMX (rapper)||6,191,810||How sad that the rapper responsible for high-energy tracks such as "X Gon' Give It to Ya" had a life that was far from uplifting. Dark Man X, born Earl Simmons, was repeatedly arrested, had to pay for 15 (!) child supports, filed three times for bankruptcy, and struggled with drug addiction, ultimately leading to an overdose that led to hospitalization, and one week in a vegetative state before dying of multiple organ failure at the age of 50. |
Due to the amount of news coverage his death received compared to #2, it's perhaps slightly surprising that he topped the list, though the margin between the top two finishers this week is under 10%, substantially smaller than usual.
|2||Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh||5,683,996||The British Royal Family appearing on this list and it's nothing to do with The Crown or Meghan? The Grand Old Duke of Edinburgh passed away on April 9, two months before his hundredth birthday. Born in Greece, in line to a few non-British royal families, Philip was the definition of duty for over 70 years; he put aside his naval career to become what one could unkindly term the world's most professional house-husband. He worked to make his wife's job as fruitful as possible while standing, literally, in her shadow for longer than most people are alive. Besides standing loyal to the crown, he was a keen pilot, equestrian, and patron of around 800 charities. He founded an award to encourage young people's personal development, completed by millions world-round, and perhaps represented one of the last truly British institutions. After stepping back in his old age, Philip spent his retirement at the family's Sandringham country estate but, to cut down on travel during pandemic lockdowns, returned to Windsor last year to keep the Queen company: consummate in his role to the end, this is where he died on Friday morning. We'd usually make some joke about gaining sympathy for the royals after that interview, but feel we should extend sympathy to all the people of the Commonwealth, all two-and-a-half billion of them touched (whether they like it or not...) by Philip's endeavours to prevent the monarchy from becoming a practice in obsolescence by, among other things, embarking on countless (no, wait, over 22 thousand) official visits over the years.|
|4||Godzilla vs. Kong||1,510,445||In North America, movie theaters reopened on April 2. But this most recent installation of titans fighting was released digitally several days earlier and still attracted in-person, socially-distanced, crowds, showing the film industry to be alive and healthy after its little pandemic coma.|
|5||Charles Sobhraj||1,475,005||And back to the royals! Charles... wait, this is a different Charles? OK. Sobhraj is a French serial killer recently profiled in a Netflix series (#20), in which he is portrayed by Tahar Rahim (pictured).|
|6||Charles, Prince of Wales||1,152,916||So this is him? Eldest son Charlie decided to forgo "stay local" pandemic orders to drive from ... somewhere in England ... to his parents' castle on the day his father (#2) died. He's now inherited the title Duke of Edinburgh, while brother Edward (#18) takes over the recently-deceased Duke's appointments.|
|7||Deaths in 2021||1,025,689||Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;|
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
|8||Ernest Hemingway||1,018,728||Ken Burns made a PBS mini-series about the writer's life that aired across three nights this week, Hemingway.|
|9||Paul Ritter (actor)||941,048||The British have beloved character actors, too, and this one recently died. Possibly best-known for TV roles in Friday Night Dinner, Cold Feet and Chernobyl (which thankfully hasn't come back for a 1000th week or something on this list), he was also a Tony- and Olivier- nominated stage actor.|
|10||WrestleMania 37||810,868||I always wonder why wrestling articles get so many views...|
|11||Phillip Adams (American football)||785,044||This Phillip death is a former NFL player (pictured, left) who went on a spree shooting before killing himself. Which is about as opposite to the other Philip as you can get.|
|12||The Falcon and the Winter Soldier||757,714||Well I'm not caught up, but this is the new Marvel Disney+ show about not-Captain America 1 and not-Captain America 2 fighting fake-Captain America 3, I think. It's like a TV show of the Captain America movies, which is about what we all expected.|
|13||George VI||749,846||The father of #3, to whom #2 was aide-de-camp until his death in 1952, seeing #2 ascend to consort for the next... many, many, years.|
|14||Princess Alice of Battenberg||684,481||The mother of #2 had an equally interesting life. Think Nazis and nuns but not Sound of Music.|
|15||Matt Gaetz||641,446||This congressman from Florida continues to be under investigation by the Justice Department as to whether or not he misused campaign funds and engaged in sex trafficking, with reports that Gaetz asked for a presidential pardon in the final days of Trump's tenure.|
|16||Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark||614,745||Which Prince Andrew is this one? Father of #2. Who knows why 70,000 people cared more about his mother than father (maybe it was the asylum), but here we are. Suddenly the Americans learn that the grand patriarch of the royal family isn't British at all, but German ("Battenberg"), Greek ("of Greece"), and Danish ("and Denmark"). Also, two of those are delicious desserts and now I'm hungry.|
|17||Anne, Princess Royal||539,648||Other children, and once-daughter-in-law, of #2 and #3. Looking at Top 25 history, approximately everyone in the world has read these articles now.|
|18||Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex||536,262|
|19||Diana, Princess of Wales||522,696|
|20||The Serpent (TV series)||515,587||Netflix released worldwide this BBC One show about a serial killer (#5, played by Tahar Rahim) hailing from current day Vietnam - the title is one of his sobriquets, alongside the Bikini Killer and the Splitting Killer - who preyed on Hippie trail tourists, and sold their stuff alongside his girlfriend (played by Jenna Coleman, who fitting to all those royals, once was #2 and #3's great-grandmother).|
|21||Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother||504,308||Relatives more exclusively of #3, now (though, well, see above). Elizabeth, Queen Mother had the most recent royal ceremonial funeral, back at the start of the century, after she lived to over 100 (spending half of it as a widow). Margaret, sister of #3, died shortly before her mother in 2002.|
|22||Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon||479,423|
|23||Gonzaga Bulldogs men's basketball||470,260||In the American college sport people around the world actually care about, basketball - whose playoffs have the fun nickname "March Madness" - Gonzaga actually lost the final to Baylor, but since they would have otherwise had a perfect season, they clearly generated more interest.|
|24||Death and funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh||469,471||Well, #2 wound up having reason to not ask for anything big in his centennial. The military funeral is scheduled for the 17th, and subject to COVID-19 restrictions.|
|25||Prince Andrew, Duke of York||414,830||Finishing off, the one son of #2 and #3 that earned the most controversy in his lifetime. He kept off the list at #26... Prince Philip Movement, a cargo cult in Vanuatu that believed in the Duke of Edinburgh's divinity!|
|2||Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh|
|3||The Falcon and the Winter Soldier|
|4||Deaths in 2021|
|5||Godzilla vs. Kong|
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