Sooner or later, everyone gets their ticket punched—even celebrities. Though some of them may become immortal through the legacy they leave behind in their works of art and literature, at times their untimely demise can prompt the public to look back on their well-documented lives in the hopes of finding something that might have foreshadowed their end. And, in the past, some of that searching has led to the discovery of material that would indicate there were indeed a few famous people who actually made eerily accurate predictions about their death. The following list chronicles 10 such celebrity seers.
10. The Ultimate Warrior
James Hellwig, better know as the sports entertainment superstar The Ultimate Warrior, was one of the most recognized, formidable and feared figures in the world of professional wrestling. In what became his last public appearance, The Ultimate Warrior delivered a haunting speech saying:
“No WWE talent becomes a legend on their own. Every man’s heart one day beats its final beat. His lungs breathe their final breath. And if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the body of others and makes them believe deeper in something larger than life, then his essence, his spirit, will be immortalized.”
The Ultimate Warrior then thanked his mystified fans and walked out of the ring for the very last time. The next day, on April 8, 2014, while walking to his car with his wife outside of their hotel in Arizona, Warrior clutched his chest and collapsed. He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead at age 54.
At least after 18 years of feuding with the heads of the WWE, he was finally able to put the past behind him as he not only made amends with Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon, but also got inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame just three days before his passing.
9. The Notorious B.I.G.
Christopher Wallace, better known as The Notorious B.I.G., was one of the biggest rap icons of all time, known for his flawless delivery and seemingly effortless flow. But apart from being a musician, Biggie was also one of the most prominent figures in the violent East Coast/West Coast gang war; representing the former and never missing an opportunity to disrespect adversary Tupac Shakur in his music.
In the song “Suicidal Thoughts,” the lyrics say:
“I wonder if I died, would tears come to her eyes?/
I want to leave, I swear to God I feel like death is calling me”
Although Biggie has alluded to dying in a few of his songs, these lyrics are especially poignant because they’re from the very last song on his very last album titled Ready to Die.
In 1997, just one and a half years after the album’s release, Biggie was killed by an unknown assailant in a Los Angeles drive-by shooting.
8. Bob Marley
According to some of his most trusted friends, Bob Marley always knew he was going to die at the age of 36. Allan ‘Skill’ Cole, one of Marley’s closest friends, believes that the reggae icon possessed psychic abilities. He watched Marley read palms and foretell people’s future while growing up in St. Ann, Jamaica.
Because Marley was considered a prophet by those close to him due to prediction of future events, when he made the revelation that he couldn’t see himself making it past the age of 40, his friends were pretty unnerved. Even more so when his prediction actually came to pass.
When a friend asked Marley why he believed he would die at that age, he simply stated that Jesus also lived until his 36th year.
Frequent collaborator and childhood friend of Eminem, DeShaun Holton, better known as Proof, was one of the founding members of the rap group D12. It was said that Proof always knew he would die considerably young, but no one knew just how accurately he had imagined it. Two years earlier, in the D12 song “40 oz.,” he rapped the following lyrics which seemed to foreshadow the circumstances of his death:
“I’m in the club to beef,/
You gotta murder me there”
Which is exactly what happened on April 11, 2006, when Proof was shot four times while in a frenzied confrontation with a bouncer at a nightclub.
6. John Denver
In addition to being a singer and songwriter, John Denver was an actor, entertainer, activist and humanitarian. He was also an amateur pilot, and it was this thrilling yet dangerous hobby of his that would ultimately be responsible for his death at the age of 53.
In 1969, just as Denver’s career was taking flight, he wrote the song “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” and in it were the famous lyrics:
“Cause I’m leavin’ on a jet plane,/
Don’t know when I’ll be back again”
On October 12, 1997, 28 years after the song was released, Denver climbed into his Long-EZ homebuilt aircraft and took off on his last flight. Technician reports would indicate low fuel and plane modifications could have been what led to the fatal crash that claimed his life.
5. Mark Twain
Long considered the father of American literature, Mark Twain will always live on forever in the minds of children and adults who read his timeless classics like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. But many readers might be surprised to learn that the writer accurately predicted the exact day of his death.
Twain was born in 1835 shortly after a celestial visit from Halley’s Comet. He would later joke that the next time it came, he would “go with it.” Moreover, the author believed that God must have said, “Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.”
When the comet returned in 1910, Twain made true on his prediction and died of a heart attack the day after its passing.
4. “Pistol Pete” Maravich
“Pistol Pete” Maravich has been cited as the best ball-handler to ever play in the NBA. His great showmanship coupled with his extraordinary athleticism helped him rise to fame as one of the youngest basketball players to ever be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
After playing in the NBA for four years, Maravich gave an interview with Beaver County Times in which he said, “I don’t want to play 10 years [in the NBA] and then die of a heart attack at the age of 40.”
Six years later, Maravich retired from the league as a result of an injury; completing his 10 years. What’s more, during a game of pickup basketball he suddenly collapsed without warning and died of a heart attack. He was 40 years old. Medical reports would later reveal that due to a missing heart valve, Maravich should have died when he was only 20.
3. John Lennon
John Lennon is one of the most legendary musical figures out there. His contributions to the art during his time with The Beatles, and then later in his solo career, will likely live on for as long as people continue to listen to music.
Although Lennon never explicitly predicted his death through his music, there are fans who think his song “Borrowed Time” made reference to the fact that he never thought that he would live very long. There are also records of numerous interviews where he hinted at his death.
Freda Kelly, who famously worked as The Beatles’ secretary during the peak of their careers, was stunned to hear John say that he would die young. “The first thing that came into my mind [when he died] was that he used to say: ‘I won’t be here when I’m 40. I won’t make 40.’” And after The Beatles’ manager was shot, Lennon was quoted saying, “I’m next, I know it.”
On December 8, 1980, 40-year-old Lennon was shot five times by a deranged individual named Mark Chapman. When questioned in a previous interview about how he thought he might die, Lennon casually replied, “I’ll probably be popped off by some loony.”
2. Tupac Shakur
Tupac was the embodiment of gangster rap culture. Growing up in California, he was involved in various assaults and calamity along with his hip-hop group Outlawz. Having lived his whole life surrounded by gangs and violence, perhaps it’s not so strange that Tupac saw his end coming.
In the song “N–ggas Done Changed,” which was released two months after his death, Tupac raps:
“I been shot and murdered, can tell you how it happened word for word/
But best believe n–ggas gon’ get what they deserve”
Having recorded the song shortly before the tragic incident, Tupac not only showed insight into his own death, but also the death of Notorious B.I.G., his East Coast rival whom he blamed for attempting to kill him in a previous shooting.
1. Jimi Hendrix
Even though he died more than four decades ago, Jimi Hendrix remains arguably the most technically skilled guitarist who ever lived. But he was also a very talented lyricist.
In September 1965, before achieving his legendary status, Hendrix recorded a song with R&B artist Curtis Knight titled “The Ballad of Jimi” and in were the following words:
“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/
Five years, this he said/
He’s not gone, he’s just dead”
Tragically, Hendrix passed away on September 18, 1970, due to accidental asphyxiation while on barbiturates. It was almost exactly five years to the day after he recorded the song.