- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Celebrities who died unexpectedly during 2018 claimed half of the spots on Google’s annual list of the top 10 trending search terms released Wednesday.

Avicii, Mac Miller, Anthony Bourdain, XXXTentacion and Kate Spade all appear on Google’s tally of the top 10 trending searches of 2018 — a list of search terms that saw the largest increase in interest over the previous year.

The 2018 World Cup soccer tournament in Russia ranked first internationally in terms of the year’s top trending searches, followed by Avicii, the stage name of a Swedish musician who died in April at the age of 28. Multiple media reports have described his cause of death as an apparent suicide.

Malcolm McCormick, the late rapper known professional as Mac Miller, ranked third on this year’s list. He died of a drug overdose at the age of 26 in September 2018.

Bourdain, a 61-year-old author and media personality, was ranked seventh on this year’s list of the top trending Google searches. He committed suicide in June.

XXXTentacion, a 20-year-old rapper born Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy, was ranked eighth. He was shot and killed June 18 outside of a motorcycle dealership in Deerfield Beach, Florida.

Spade, a fashion designer, committed suicide June 4 at the age of 55. She was ranked 10 on this year’s list of top trending Google searches.

Other people who appeared on the year’s list of top trending Google searches include comic book creator Stan Lee in fourth place; Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle in sixth place; and scientist Stephen Hawking in ninth place. The “Black Panther” superhero movie ranked fifth.

Lee, 95, died last month, and Hawking, 76, died in March. Ms. Markle, 37, married into the British royal family in May.

Lists of trending searches are based on terms that “had the highest spike this year as compared to the previous year,” according to Google.

“Twenty years after its launch, Google Search continues to evolve as people look for information in new and different ways, but our focus remains the same — to make the world’s information accessible and useful to everyone,” said Kirstin Wright of Google’s Search Trends.

Only one of the individuals mentioned on this year’s top 10 trending searches list appeared on last year’s tally. Ms. Markle ranked fifth in 2017.

The top trending search of 2017 was “Hurricane Irma,” Google said previously.

Only two deceased celebrities appeared on last year’s list: Rock singers Tom Petty and Chester Bennington. Both died unexpectedly during 2017.

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