11 Of The Weirdest Celebrity Funerals And Burial Requests

Published November 7, 2023
Updated November 8, 2023

From Aretha Franklin's posthumous outfits to Janis Joplin's all-night wake party, these weird celebrity funeral requests all have interesting stories behind them.

Death is a sad but inevitable part of life, and throughout history, people have come up with meaningful ways of honoring the dead. Whether it’s through special burial and disposition customs or personalized funeral services, there are so many ways people can customize a loved one’s sendoff to reflect who they were in life.

Often, families will attempt to honor the funeral requests of the dead — even if those requests are admittedly rather strange. The deceased might have wanted their ashes sprinkled in a place that was meaningful to them, or to be buried next to a loved one. But they also might want their remains fired up into space, or mixed with concrete and shaped into a memorial reef to be placed at the bottom of the ocean.

Of course, it helps to be famous. Wealthy celebrities certainly have more means to afford extravagant funerals than the average person, and that means their odd requests have a better chance of being fulfilled.

These are 11 celebrity funerals that stand out among the others as some of the strangest of all time.

Tupac Shakur’s Friends Smoked His Ashes

Celebrity Funerals

Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesTupac Shakur, pictured with fellow rappers Notorious B.I.G. (left) and Redman (right) at Club Amazon in New York in 1993.

When hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur died just six days after being shot by an unknown gunman, the world was in shock.

While fans worldwide mourned the loss of a great artist, those closest to Shakur suffered worst of all. Devastated by the death of their friend, the other members of Shakur’s group Outlawz chose to commemorate the late rapper’s memory in a unique way.

In a 2011 interview with DJ Vlad, the Outlawz confirmed a long-running rumor that they had rolled some of Tupac Shakur’s ashes into a joint after he died and smoked them.

“I came up with that,” said Outlawz member E.D.I. Mean. “If you listen to [Tupac Shakur’s song] ‘Black Jesus,’ he says, ‘last wishes n****, smoke my ashes.’ You know what I mean? So, that was a request that he had. Now, how serious he was about it? We took that s*** serious.”

According to the Outlawz members, on the night of Shakur’s memorial, they went together to the beach and threw a number of things Shakur liked into the ocean, including weed and chicken wings. They said it was their own way of giving him a farewell.

They then mixed Shakur’s ashes with “some of that great granddaddy California kush” so that he would be “flowing through [their] system.”

Austin Harvey
A staff writer for All That's Interesting, Austin Harvey has also had work published with Discover Magazine, Giddy, and Lucid covering topics on mental health, sexual health, history, and sociology. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Point Park University.
Maggie Donahue
Maggie Donahue is an assistant editor at All That's Interesting. She has a Master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and a Bachelor's degree in creative writing and film studies from Johns Hopkins University. Before landing at ATI, she covered arts and culture at The A.V. Club and Colorado Public Radio and also wrote for Longreads. She is interested in stories about scientific discoveries, pop culture, the weird corners of history, unexplained phenomena, nature, and the outdoors.
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Harvey, Austin. "11 Of The Weirdest Celebrity Funerals And Burial Requests." AllThatsInteresting.com, November 7, 2023, https://allthatsinteresting.com/weird-celebrity-funerals. Accessed May 28, 2024.