The skateboard champ known as the Birdman helped put the sport on the map after turning pro at age 14. In 1999, Hawk made history as the first to land a “900,” a trick involving a 2 1/2-revolution aerial spin. He has popped up in countless TV shows and movies, including the Jackass films. He has no retirement plans yet: “If I can stand up when I'm 80, I’ll be happy to cruise around on a skateboard,” he has said.
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May 12: Steve Winwood, 70
This soulful English musician has sold 50 million-plus records with hits such as “If You See a Chance” and “Higher Love.” He got his start at 15 as a lead singer and keyboardist for the Spencer Davis Group (“Gimme Some Lovin’”) and later joined Traffic, as well as Blind Faith alongside Eric Clapton. He’s scheduled to play at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland this summer.
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May 23: Mitch Albom, 60
This journalist struck literary gold with 1997’s Tuesdays With Morrie, about his weekly chats with his college prof who was battling terminal ALS. Thanks to a shout-out by Oprah Winfrey, the book sold over 14 million copies. Due in October: The Next Person You Meet in Heaven, a sequel to 2003’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Why focus on death? “I write about life,” he has said. “Death just gets your attention.”
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May 23: Drew Carey, 60
Cleveland rocks, as his TV theme proclaimed, and so did this bespectacled ex-Marine Everyman who ruled over ABC’s The Drew Carey Show for nine seasons. The comic soon found himself hosting the improv showcase Whose Line Is It Anyway? (1998-2007), before taking over as emcee of The Price Is Right in 2007.
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May 24: Tommy Chong, 80
If the phrase “Dave’s not here” gives you a contact high, chances are you were a fan of the comedy team of Chong and fellow pothead Cheech Marin. The pair had quite a run in the hippie era, including hit comedy albums (1972’s Big Bambu, named for rolling papers) and a streak of cannabis-themed films starting with 1978’s Up in Smoke. After a breakup in the ’80s, Chong and his pal have since reunited.
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May 26, Stevie Nicks, 70
Whether as part of Fleetwood Mac or as a solo artist, Nicks continues to be a true original with her smoky vocals, flowy fashions and bewitching moves in concert. With more than 140 million records sold and at least 40 top-50 hits, she’s the author of such classic rock staples as “Rhiannon,” “Landslide” and “Edge of Seventeen,” and countless musicians have cited her influence, including Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Sheryl Crow.
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May 28: Kylie Minogue, 50
This Aussie pop star may not be a household name on these shores, despite acting in such films as Moulin Rouge! and San Andreas, but she is adored worldwide. Queen Elizabeth even requested her presence at her 92nd birthday party last month. The singer, whose hypnotic voice propelled her 2001 dance hit “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” to No. 1 in over 40 countries, is a vocal breast cancer survivor.
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May 29: Annette Bening, 60
Professionally, this actress is among the most overdue to win an Oscar. It’s not for lack of trying after four nominations for The Grifters (1990), American Beauty (1999), Being Julia (2004) and The Kids Are All Right (2010). Personally, she has been happily wed to ex-playboy and Bugsy costar Warren Beatty — who has called the marriage the best thing that has ever happened to him — for 25 years and is a mom of four.
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May 31: Peter Yarrow, 80
The cowriter of the song “Puff, the Magic Dragon,” an enduring ode to childhood innocence lost, was part of the ’60s folk-singing trio Peter, Paul and Mary, which took such protest anthems as “If I Had a Hammer” and “Blowin’ in the Wind” to the top of the charts. Following a long struggle with leukemia, Mary Travers died in 2009. Since then, Yarrow and Paul Stookey have performed as a duo and as solo acts.
PHOTO BY: Shutterstock
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