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Ray Collins, a musician who invited a guitarist named Frank Zappa to join the band that eventually became the Mothers of Invention, has died aged 76.

R. Collins

Collins was instrumental to Zappa's early career, asking him to join the Soul Giants in 1964. By 1966, the covers band were the Mothers of Invention.

Collins contributed vocals on three albums before he left, disenchanted with their comedic style. Collins passed away five days after a heart attack on Monday.

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Fontella Bass, the singer most famous for her huge 1965 hit "Rescue Me," has died. She passed away Wednesday in Missouri at the age of 72.

According to Bass' family, the singer passed away in a St. Louis hospital from complications Fontella suffered following a heart attack three weeks ago.

Bass also had several strokes since 2005.

The R&B star scored a ton of hits over her decades-long career, including "You'll Miss Me (When I'm Gone)" and "Don't Mess Up a Good Thing". R.I.P.

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Charles Durning, an 89-year-old decorated World War II veteran and award-winning actor whose career spanned the 20th Century, has passed away.

From the burlesque stage and theater to television and film, playing roles as diverse as society itself, Durning's career was marked by so many roles.

Durning

He won Tony and Golden Globe awards and was nominated for Academy Awards two times as a supporting actor. He also received nine Emmy nominations.

He was honored in 2007 with a lifetime achievement award from the Screen Actors Guild.

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Very sad news today out of Puerto Rico:

Dylan Smith, a 23-year old surfer named by People Magazine as a Hero of the Year for his actions following Hurricane Sandy, has passed away. He body turned up on a beach yesterday morning in Rincon.

Dylan Smith

Smith, a lifeguard, used his surfboard and a homemade bridge to save six people in Queens, New York during the aftermath of the tragic storm this fall.

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Richard Adams, an early figure in the push for gay marriage decades before it reached the center of the national consciousness, has died at the age of 65.

Richard Adams Picture

After a brief illness, Adams died in the Hollywood home he shared with Tony Sullivan, his partner of 43 years, attorney Lavi Soloway told The AP.

Adams and Sullivan met at an L.A. gay bar called The Closet in 1971, but their life and relationship would soon be on display for a global audience.

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Former Major League Baseball player Ryan Freel was found dead Saturday at the age of 36. He died of a self-inflicted shotgun blast in his Jacksonville home.

Ryan Freel Picture

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office was investigating the death as a suicide.

The scrappy, versatile Freel played eight seasons in the majors from 2001-09 with Toronto, Cincinnati, Baltimore, the Chicago Cubs and Kansas City.

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Spencer Cox, a well-known AIDS activist who worked with scientists to create the first drugs that combat this deadly diseased, passed away yesterday in Manhattan. He was 41.

Cox Pic

Cox had been a prominent voice for over 20 years, taking part in demonstrations as a member of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power.

His aim was to pressure both the government and the private sector to dedicate an abundance of resources to this cause.

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Robert Bork, whose long political career was most noteworthy for his controversial rejection from the Supreme Court in the 1980s, has died at the age of 85.

Son Robert H. Bork Jr. confirmed his father died at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Va. The son said Bork died from complications of heart ailments.

Bork

The brilliant, blunt Bork's confirmation hearings helped draw the modern boundaries of cultural fights over abortion, civil rights and other issues.

The Senate denied him confirmation and a spot on the court, 58-42.

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U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, the second-longest-serving senator in U.S. history and winner of the Medal of Honor for combat heroics in World War II, has died.

He was 88. "His last words were, 'Aloha,'" his office said.

Daniel Inouye Photo

Inouye died at Walter Reed Medical Center, with his wife, Irene, and his son, Ken, at his side. Last rites were performed by Senate Chaplain Dr. Barry Black.

A senator since 1963, Inouye in 2009 became chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, continuing a long record of funding projects in his home state.

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