Barbara Walters arrives for the premiere of the film "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" in New York


  • The Pointer Sisters member Anita Pointer died after a long battle with cancer
  • Former Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI passed away after a battle with health issues due to his advanced age
  • Gangsta Boo's cause of death appears to be drug-related

Several prominent figures in media, entertainment and religion passed away as people around the globe rang in 2023.

Here's a list of five celebrities who died over the New Year's weekend.

1. Anita Pointer

Anita Pointer, who formed the iconic Pointer Sisters with her siblings Bonnie, Ruth and June, peacefully passed away Saturday after a "lengthy and heroic battle with cancer," the late singer's representative told TMZ. She was 74.

The group became popular during the '70s, releasing several hit singles including "Fire," "Jump," "Slow Hand" and "Neutron Dance." They also earned three Grammy awards throughout their music career and became the first African American group to perform at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.

2. Gangsta Boo

Gangsta Boo, whose real name is Lola Mitchell, rose to fame after debuting with the Memphis-based rap group Three 6 Mafia in 1991. She was one of the only female rappers in the crew and remained there for 11 years before leaving in 2002.

The hip-hop star was found dead Sunday afternoon with the cause of death yet to be determined. She was 43.

Unnamed sources connected to Gangsta Boo told TMZ that the death appeared to be drug-related as narcotics were allegedly found on her person. Authorities are believed to be launching an official investigation into the incident.

3. Jeremiah Green

Modest Mouse co-founder and drummer Jeremiah Green passed away Saturday following his battle with stage 4 cancer. He was 45.

According to a statement released by the now-Portland-based rock band, Green never woke up from his sleep.

"I don't know a way to ease into this: Today we lost our dear friend Jeremiah. He laid down to rest and simply faded out. I'd like to say a bunch of pretty words right now, but it just isn't the time. These will come later and from many people," the band wrote in an Instagram post along with a photo of the late drummer.

They continued, "Please appreciate all the love you give, get, have given, and will get. Above all, Jeremiah was about love. We love you."

In late December, Green's mom, Carol Namatame, revealed via a Facebook post that the musician was diagnosed with an unidentified type of cancer and continuously received treatment.

She had asked his fans and her followers for "healing vibes" for her son, whom she described as "strong and brave."

4. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI died at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery in the Vatican Saturday, according to BBC News. He was 95.

His death came after a battle with health issues due to his advanced age, TMZ reported.

The former pope was the first pontiff in almost 600 years to resign his position since Gregory XII in 1415.

His successor, Pope Francis, will lead Benedict's funeral mass, which will be held at St. Peter's Square in the Vatican Thursday.

5. Barbara Walters

Veteran news anchor Barbara Walters peacefully passed away at her New York home Friday after having been in declining health for several years. She was 93.

"Barbara Walters passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones. She lived her life with no regrets. She was a trailblazer, not only for female journalists but for all women," Cindi Berger, Walter's spokesperson, told CNN.

Walters was one of the most prominent figures in broadcasting. She began her career in 1961 as a reporter, writer and panel member of NBC's "Today" show and was later promoted to co-host in 1971. Five years later, she became the first female anchor on an evening news program with ABC News.

Former pope Benedict XVI, who has died at the age of 95, pictured on May 15, 2009, in front of the Stone of Anointing at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City