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9 deceased icons of history imagined if they were alive today, with the help of AI

Hidreley Diao, who has amassed over 250,000 followers for his incredible digital art, has created even more stunning creations of what deceased celebrities would look like today. A regular contributor to Bored Panda, Diao took the internet by storm with his first series of this ilk. Now, the modern-day impressions of the icons of the past have only grown and his latest results are mind-blowing!

Michael Jackson

25 June 2022 just gone was the thirteenth anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death. The affectionately named ‘King of Pop’ passed away at the age of 50 at his Los Angeles home. The cause of death was cardiac arrest following a fatal cocktail of drugs administered to him by his on-hand doctor. In the aftermath of a death that rocked the world, several members of Jackson’s family have claimed that it was not an accidental tragedy but murder.

“He would drop hints about people being out to get him. And at some point he was like, ‘They’re gonna kill me one day’,” Jackson’s daughter told Rolling Stone in 2017, adding that it was “obvious” this was the case. “All arrows point to that. It sounds like a total conspiracy theory and it sounds like bullshit, but all real fans and everybody in the family knows it. It was a setup. It was bullshit.“

Now, with the help of AI, Diao has created a mock-up of what the pop icon would look like today and the results are uncanny…

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Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher, the starlet of the original Star Wars trilogy passed away in December 2016 following a heart she suffered on a flight just days earlier. What made it even more tragic for the family was Fisher’s mother, cinematic icon Debbie Reynolds dying the following day after her daughter. With a lengthy career, Fisher was best known for her roles as Princess Leia in the sci-fi series as well as her boisterous and humorous character—even admitting to having an affair with a married Harrison Ford on the set of the films.

Losing her life at the age of 60, Fisher would be around 68 if she were alive today.

9 deceased icons of history imagined if they were alive today, with the help of AI

Prince

Another music icon makes Diao’s reimagined list. Prince—born Prince Rogers Nelson—died from what was ruled an accidental overdose at the age of 57. Passing away in April 2016, the rock legend was believed to have died as a result of opioid fentanyl. In a similar reaction to Jackson’s death, Prince’s family have laid blame on the Grammy-winning singer’s doctor with a bid to sue him in 2018.

“He failed to appropriately evaluate, diagnose, treat and counsel Prince for his recognisable opioid addiction, and further failed to take appropriate and reasonable steps to prevent the foreseeably fatal result of that addiction,” the lawsuit read. “These departures from the standard of acceptable medical practice had a substantial part in bringing about Prince’s death.”

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Princess Diana

In what is perhaps the most shocking celebrity death in history, Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed as a result of the infamous car crash in Paris, France. Dying at the incredibly young age of 36, the humanitarian (beloved by millions) passed away in August 1997. She was so loved that her funeral was watched by an estimated 2.5 billion people. Following her death, people have since put blame on both the Royal Family as well as the British press for her untimely end. But Diao gives a heartbreaking rendition of what she may have looked like today…

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Anne Frank

In what is definitely the most heart-breaking recreation on this list, Diao shows us what Anne Frank may have looked like today had she survived the Holocaust. Dying of typhus fever at just 15 in 1945, Frank gained fame posthumously following the 1947 publication of The Diary of a Young Girl, otherwise known as The Diary of Anne Frank. What the digital artist reminds us is that the horrors of our history are not as far back as you’d assume, Frank would be in her 90s if she were alive today. In fact, ​​Martin Luther King Jr., Barbara Walters, and Frank were all born in the same year.

9 deceased icons of history imagined if they were alive today, with the help of AI

Amy Winehouse

Beloved musician Amy Winehouse passed away as the result of alcohol poisoning in her London home in July 2011. She was 27 years old at the time. Winehouse had an unfortunate history of addiction, regularly using heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis. After stopping the drugs, her alcohol use increased problematically.

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Elvis Presley part two

In the midst of the Elvis discourse online—the heavily anticipated (and heavily mocked) biopic on the musician, starring Austin Butler—it’s only fitting that Diao would give us another opportunity to see what Elvis Presley would have looked like had he survived. The ‘Jailhouse Rock’ singer would have been 85 years old today. Though the rockstar died of cardiac arrest, the exact cause and situation in which he was found (the infamous story he died on the toilet) has garnered great speculation.

Some believed there was a strong possibility of it being a result of drugs in his system while others suggested it may have been an allergic reaction to codeine being used for a dental issue. Further details about his terrible diet and lifestyle were later added as possible contributing factors to his death.

Elvis, the film, was released in the UK 24 June 2022.

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Tupac Shakur part two

Already done previously, Diao has taken another crack at reimagining Tupac Shakur if he were alive today. The iconic rapper died in September 1996 after he suffered gunshot wounds in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. Shakur died six-days after an unknown shooter in a Cadillac discharged four shots into his chest at a traffic light. The Hip Hop legend was just 25 years old when he was murdered. He would have been 50 today. 

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Cory Monteith part two

Another second attempt for Diao, Cory Monteith died in 2013 due to a toxic cocktail of both heroin and alcohol. The actor, most known for his role as Finn Hudson in Glee—as well as his engagement to co-star Lea Michelle—was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room following the overdose. Monteith passed away at the age of 31 and would have turned 40 just this year. 

9 deceased icons of history imagined if they were alive today, with the help of AI