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A List Of Celebs Who Experienced Tragedy

Beyond the glitz and glam of Hollywood, these entertainers are just as human as we are.  Money and fame can lead fans to believe they have the perfect lives, but they too face hardships and struggle the same way we do.  If these celebs can overcome these hardships and tragedies so can you. Flip on over for some morning motivation.

Tyler Perry

Years ago in an interview with Oprah, movie mogul Tyler Perry spoke out about being physically and sexually abused as a child at the hands of several family friends.  In adulthood Perry overcame abuse and was named one of the highest earning men in Hollywood.

Jennifer Hudson

In 2008, William Balfour- the ex-husband of Jennifer’s sister Julia, shot and murdered her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew in a jealous rage.  Months after the tragedy Jennifer opened up on Oprah about how she began coping.  She won two Grammy Awards that same month and would later release her comeback album, ‘I Remember Me‘ which debuted at number two on the Billboard charts.


In 2000, after pleading for an hour Monica witnessed the devastating suicide of her ex-boyfriend Jarvis Weems who shot himself in the head as the singer looked on.  After the tragedy Monica took time off and focused on her healing process.  Years later she made a comeback with the release of new music, a new image and a reality show titled, Monica: Still standing – which aired on BET.


In 2007, singer and actress Brandy was responsible for a tragic accident while driving on the freeway.  The accident resulted in the death of 38-year-old wife and mother, Awatef Aboudihaj.  Following the accident, Brandy took a long hiatus from entertainment.  She slowly began making a comeback and landed leading roles on the TV series ‘The Game’ as well as her praised role in the hit Broadway musical, Chicago.


Charlize Theron

South African beauty Charlize Theron was witness to a life changing family tragedy as a teenager.  At the tender age of 15, the actress witnessed her mother shoot and kill her alcoholic father in self defense.  It took over a decade for Charlize to open up about the tragedy but she did not let it deter her career, in 2004 she won both an Oscar and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress Motion Picture for her role in the movie ‘Monster‘.

Corrine Bailey Rae

The ‘Just Like A Star’ singer headed down the difficult road of grief after her husband’s body was found lifeless in an apartment in 2008.  Reportedly devastated, Corrine dodged the limelight for years until she released an emotionally touching album called ‘The Sea’ in 2010 which was a hit in the U.K.  Word on the street is she’s working on her next album which was named one of the 50 most anticipated albums of 2015 by Complex.

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Tameka Raymond

Usher’s ex-wife, stylist Tameka Foster Raymond dealt with real life tragedy after the accidental death of her 11-year-old son.  A family friend accidentally ran over the child while riding a jetski on Lake Lanier. Kile Glover was rushed to the hospital but later died. Tameka went on as one of the stars of the VH1 hit series “Atlanta Exes,” where she shared the pain of losing a child on national TV. She’s also launched a non-profit, Kile’s World, in her son’s name, offering arts education to kids and she’s worked to pass water safety bills in Georgia. Tameka also experienced a resurgence in her career thanks to her Style Theory tour, where she teaches styling tips to audiences across the country.

Travis Barker

In 2008, tatted up drummer Travis Barker experienced a terrifying plane crash in Columbia, South Carolina.  Four people died and Travis was one of two people who survived with injuries.  After the crash Travis vowed to change his life by leading a more healthy lifestyle and being a better father.  He is currently touring throughout the U.S.


In 2008, 17-year-old Tyrone Terrell shot and murdered Juvenille’s baby mother, 4-year-old daughter and half sister.  Juvenille took some much needed time to grieve and admitted that after the tragedy he just needed time alone.  Since then the rapper has signed back with Cash Money, released new music, featured with Future and has appeared on the popular radio show The Breakfast Club.

Kelsey Grammer

This hollywood star has endured a lot of death during throughout his career.  Kelsey’s grandfather whom with he was very close passed away of cancer, followed by tragic death of his father who was shot.  Adding more grief, Kelsey’s sister was abducted, raped and murdered at the young age of 18.  He also lost two of his half-brothers in a scuba diving accident.  As if healing from one death isn’t difficult enough, Kelsey found the power to keep pushing. His list of awards included Tony’s, 5 Emmy’s and more.

Serena Williams

Venus and Serena’s older sister Yetunde Price was shot dead in September 2003. Serena addressed the court in 2006 when Robert Edward Maxfield, the man who was convicted in the killing, was sentenced to 15 years behind bars. A co-defendant had charges against him dismissed after a jury was deadlocked following his trial. While Venus is a champion in her own right, Serena has gone on to shatter records in tennis and, in addition to recently covering both VOGUE and NY Magazine, she’s well on her way to shattering Steffi Graf’s Grand Slam record (Serena currently has 21).

Gabrielle Union

Besides being an accomplished actress, Gabrielle Union is known for her efforts in speaking out about sexual violence against women and has even shared her own experience, having been raped at gunpoint at only 19.  After the tragic incident, Gabrielle vowed to overcome her attacker by not falling into victimhood.  Accidentally falling into an acting career, she has pushed her way through Hollywood landing role after role.  She’s received various awards and recently married her long time boo and NBA star Dwayne Wade.

Liam Neeson

Actor Liam Neeson lost his wife Natasha Richardson in a very tragic skiing accident years ago.  She had what seemed to be a minor fall during a skiing trip with her son, little did they know time was of the essence. Not long after refusing treatment Natasha was rushed to the hospital  for blunt head trauma and massive internal bleeding. As if losing a loved one isn’t hard enough, Liam lost his wife in an unlikely way. After taking time away from entertainment, Neeson opened up about his brief and how surreal her death was. In an interview with CBS’s Anderson Cooper, he explained that he finds comfort that her organs saved the lives of 3 others. Since then Liam has been in a number of box office hits from Taken, Non-Stop, Taken 2 and more.


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