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Olivia Newton-John and Jamal Edwards among most-Googled deaths of 2022

Olivia Newton-John (Ian West/PA)
Olivia Newton-John (Ian West/PA)

The deaths of Dame Olivia Newton-John, Anne Heche and Jamal Edwards were among the most searched-for in the UK this year as fans mourned their loss.

Google’s annual Year in Search report revealed the top trends of 2022, with celebrity deaths again proving a popular topic.

The death of the Queen in September topped the list as the public paid tribute to her historic reign.

The 20th Annual Sir Elton John Oscar Party – Los Angeles
Anne Heche (Tony Di Maio/PA)

Dame Olivia, best known for her starring role as Sandy in the 1978 film Grease alongside John Travolta, was also among the most searched-for deaths.

The British-born singer died “peacefully” at her ranch in southern California aged 73, surrounded by family and friends, in August.

Global stars including Dolly Parton, Sir Elton John and Mariah Carey paid tribute to the “beautiful and courageous” actress and singer.

The same month, the death of Heche became a trending topic after the actress was involved in a car accident in Los Angeles on August 5, in which her vehicle hit a building and burst into flames.

She was later declared brain dead but was kept alive on life support for three extra days so her organs could be donated.

Heche, 53, was among the biggest film stars of the late 1990s, starring opposite actors including Johnny Depp and Harrison Ford, and was also the former partner of US talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.

Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust
Jamal Edwards (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The unexpected death of music entrepreneur Edwards also generated a great deal of Google searches.

The DJ, who found fame after setting up the music platform SBTV in 2006 and helped launch a string of UK music careers including Dave and Jessie J, died on February 20 at the age of 31.

He has since been honoured with multiple gongs including at the Mobo and Rated grime awards for his pioneering work in the music industry.

The death of record-breaking Australian bowler Shane Warne in March saw an outpouring of tributes from fans and the sports world.

After his death at the age of 52, he was remembered by friends as a “true cricket legend”.

PA My VH1 Taylor Hawkins
Taylor Hawkins (Anthony Harvey/PA)

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins was also among the top trending celebrities who died this year.

Hawkins, who had played in the band fronted by former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl for more than two decades, died aged 50 in March.

Musical stars around the world paid tribute and a special concert featuring a star-studded line-up was held at Wembley Stadium and the Kia Forum in Los Angeles in his memory.

The death of Harry Potter star Robbie Coltrane trended in Google searches in October when he died at the age of 72.

The Scottish star, whose real name was Anthony Robert McMillan, was best known for playing beloved Hogwarts gamekeeper Rubeus Hagrid in the fantasy series, and he also starred as criminal psychologist Dr Eddie “Fitz” Fitzgerald in ITV’s crime drama Cracker.

Daniel Radcliffe was among Coltrane’s former co-stars to pay tribute, describing him as an “incredible actor and a lovely man”.

Glasgow School of Art’s new £30 million Reid building
Robbie Coltrane (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Aaron Carter, singer and brother of Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter, also became a trending search last month after his death at the age of 34.

The US musician, who first found fame as a child star in the 1990s, received tributes from his brother and stars including Hilary Duff.

The death of Betty White was one of the earliest trending searches of 2022 after it was announced late on December 31 2021 that she had died at the age of 99.

The award-winning actress, best known for starring as Rose in 1980s sitcom The Golden Girls, died less than a month before her 100th birthday.

Her death prompted an influx of online tributes from fans and global names including Ryan Reynolds, Joe Biden and Michelle Obama.