Pop Culture

Sgt. Pepper-style collage powerfully shows all the stars we've lost in 2016

It seemed like barely a week could go by this year without bringing news of another celebrity passing away.

British graphic designer Chris Barker, 44, found a way to poignantly encapsulate all those luminaries we have lost in 2016 by integrating them in a design based on the iconic album cover of the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

Barker created his initial artwork on the night of the U.S. presidential election in November and has been regularly updating it ever since with more celebrities upon news of their death.

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"What a year, I was thinking, David Bowie, Brexit and now this,'' Barker wrote on his blog about the project. "A lot of people speculate that Bowie was actually the glue that was holding the universe together. It’s certainly been a bit different since he tragically passed away. So I thought that...I might do a montage that summed up how weird a year it’s been."

David Bowie, Prince, George Michael, Muhammad Ali, Alan Rickman, Gene Wilder, and Leonard Cohen are among the dozens of faces in the Sgt. Pepper-style crowd. Barker also updated it with actress Debbie Reynolds, who died on Wednesday a day after the death of her daughter, actress Carrie Fisher, who also is in the collage.

He also included a nod to world-shaking events like the United Kingdom's Brexit vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump's election as president.

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"It's kind of the big picture, as well as the details,'' Barker told BBC radio on Thursday. "People are just so overwhelmed by the monumental scale of (those who have died)."

Barker has not profited in any way from his creation, instead urging a donation to charity for using the image. He suggests the Jo Cox Memorial Fund in memory of the British politician who was murdered in June.

When he started, he initially needed to search for some names of stars who died this year in order to fill a few blanks in the crowd.

Now he has run out of room as the depressing news of one celebrity death after another rolls in to end the year.

"I just do my best to be respectful,'' he told the BBC.

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.

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