music / News

Solo Pop Stars More Likely To Die Young Than Those In Bands

December 20, 2012 | Posted by Joseph Lee

NME reports that a new study in the journal BMJ Journal reveals that pop stars that are solo acts are twice as likely to die young than those in bands.

Students at Liverpool University looked at 1,489 musicians who became famous between 1956 and 2006. Of those, 137 had died by 2012. A large number of the deaths were solo performers like Elvis Presley and Jimi Hendrix. The average age of death was 39 for European artists and 45 for North American artists. The study claims that members of groups turn to the other members of the band for help when in need, while solo acts don’t have that option. The study also found a link between artists who die young and problems in childhood.

Professor Mark Bellis wrote: “Pop/rock stars are among the most common role models for children, and surveys suggest that growing numbers aspire to pop stardom. A proliferation of TV talent shows and new opportunities created by the internet can make this dream appear more achievable than ever. It is important that children recognise that substance use and risk-taking may be rooted in childhood adversity rather than seeing them as symbols of success. We think this is not specific to the rock and pop culture, but these people are responding to exactly the same childhood pressures as you would find on a deprived estate and many musicians come from that kind of background… Their accumulated millions of pounds are not capable of addressing these issues but may actually facilitate these behaviours by giving them access to drugs and alcohol.

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Joseph Lee
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