Social media has become such a big part of our life, we truly believe that some of the influencers we follow are our friends IRL. Or at least we know more about them than some co-workers or family members.
That's what makes the loss of a YouTuber so hard. Especially when their death was unexpected or tragic. And unfortunately, more than a few of our favorite YouTubers have died since the launch of the video streaming platform.
Take a look back at some of the YouTube stars we lost too soon — but won't ever forget.
Here are the YouTubers who died far too soon:
1. Etika (real name: Desmond Amofah)
The 29-year-old YouTuber, who was known for hosting live streams and creating videos covering video games, was found dead in June 2019 after being reported missing.
Before his disappearance, he posted a concerning video titled "I'm Sorry" that had fans very worried.
"I shouldn't have pushed so many people away — now I got nobody," Etika said before his death. "You know, I wasn't suicidal before, I really wasn't. But one thing I didn't realize is that the walls are closing in on me so fast... I really had no intention of killing myself but I would always push it too far. I guess I am mentally ill."
2. Grant Thompson
"The King of Random" Grant Thompson had over 11 million subscribers on his YouTube page when he was killed in a paragliding crash in southern Utah this past July.
"It is with great sadness to inform everyone that Grant Thompson passed away last night. Grant had great love and appreciation for his fans," a statement on his page read at the time of his death. "Please do a random act of love or kindness today in honor of The King of Random. Grant's legacy will live on in the channel and the global community he created."
3. Emily Hartridge
Popular YouTuber Emily Hartridge passed away in July 2019 following a tragic scooter accident. Her channel was known for videos on relationships, love, and her personal life — and her boyfriend, Jake Hazell, was known to make an appearance or two.
4. Bianca Devins
Not technically a YouTuber, Bianca Devins, who was very a popular influencer on Instagram, was murdered by a fellow online gamer in July 2019.
The murderer proceeded to post photos of her dead body on Instagram before he was arrested.
5. Stevie Ryan
In 2017, YouTuber Stevie Ryan, known for her channel Little Loca, was pronounced dead after an apparent suicide. She was 33 years old.
Her ex-boyfriend, actor Drake Bell, tweeted at the time of her death, "Please wake me from this nightmare... My heart is crushed."
6. Christina Grimmie
Before finding fame on The Voice, Christina was gaining popularity on YouTube where she had 4 million subscribers at the time of her death in 2016.
Christina was shot in a murder-suicide by an obsessed fan while signing autographs in Orlando. Her Voice coach, Adam Levine, spoke out following her death, writing, "Christina was a natural, a gifted talent that comes along so rarely. She was taken from us too soon. This is yet another senseless act of extreme violence. I am left stunned and confused how these things can conceivably continue to happen in our world."
Christina was 22 years old.
7. Greg Plitt
The fitness model, who had a very popular YouTube page, was killed in 2015 after being struck by a train while filming a video at the age of 37.
According to reports, Greg did not have a permit to film in the restricted area in Los Angeles.
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