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Dan Rather to tackle 2016’s wave of celebrity deaths

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2016 has been a rough year, in terms of celebrity mortality. Actors, reality stars, journalists, authors, political figures—they’ve been dropping at a worrying rate, eliciting a lot of nervous semi-jokes about “The Year Of Death.” Now, one of the last major public figures still standing is planning a TV special commemorating one segment of the fallen aristocracy: specifically, five of the biggest musicians who’ve died in the last 13 months.

The Associated Press is reporting that Dan Rather is set to host a special centered on the lives and deaths of Merle Haggard, David Bowie, and Prince, all of whom died in 2016. (He’ll also spend time on Natalie Cole and B.B. King, who died last year.) The centerpiece of the one-hour special will be an unaired interview Rather did with Haggard shortly before his death, accompanied by a musical performance from the late country star.

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The special is currently set for June 5, two weeks from now. If it were us, we’d think that was tempting fate, given how many more high-profile people might be dead by the time that date rolls around. Presumably, though, Rather knows his stuff (or is counting on the backlog of mourning to turn this thing into an ongoing series, which will run out of material roughly never, at the rate that things are going).

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