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Untimely Deaths of Musical Stars

posted 2/21/2012 10:02:56 AM |
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  Wordsofwit

After the death of Whitney Houston I was pondering the premature passing of major musical icons, whether their careers were still significant at the time of their demise or not.

Almost all of the ones that came to mind since 1970 (granted, I am probably missing some) died under alcohol/drug related circumstances including:
Jimi Hendrix
Janis Joplin
Jim Morrison
Elvis Presley
Michael Jackson
Whitney Houston (speculated)

One other icon came to mind whose death was not alcohol/drug related, John Lennon.

All of these early deaths bothered people to varying degrees. I think that loss of Elvis was more far reaching due to the length of his career that also included movies, and his cross over appeal. But that Lennon was number two due to the fact that he was murdered.

I feel that the impact of it is not only who departed, but what led to it.

Your thoughts…

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Comments:

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manwithoutahorse

Feb 21 @ 10:42AM  
I've thought of this topic a lot in the past. To me there are two gategories of loss:
1. The loss of an icon that causes fans to mourn
2. The loss of an artist whose art contributed to society

Some of the artists whose careers had slowed (Elvis, Whitney H.) passed after their body of work was mostly complete. Of course they would have continued to contribute, but their lifestyle seemed to be limiting their ability to create their art. Their fans mourned, remembering what was.

Other artists were taken at their peak (Janis Joplin, Jimmi Hendrix) and we all were left to mourn what could have been...wondering what creations society had been deprived.

To me, the latter are the sadder. Saddest are the ones whose lifestyle caused the premature end and could have been avoided.

As always, a good blog, WoW.
casuallylooking

Feb 21 @ 11:09AM  
Kurt Cobain

It's a tragedy when such talent and life is wasted.

I used to be a huge Whitney fan.... her incredible, beautiful voice and her movies.... until I watched the show about her and Bobby Brown on MTV or VH1, don't remember which one... I lost all respect then and she threw away her talent for drugs, so I quit being a fan also.
I feel bad for her daughter who has had to live with both parents doing drugs and alcohol pretty much all of her life. And now losing her mom at such a young age.
That's the real tragedy and who I feel sorry for.
I hope when the tests all come back that Whitney was clean, for her daughter and Moms sake.
And I do hope she can now rest in peace.
sugarnspice005

Feb 21 @ 11:23AM  
I can think of a few others:

Keith Moon
Steve Clark
John Bonham
Shannon Hoon
Layne Staley

All died because of drugs or alcohol, or both. I've got the book, The Dirt, written by Motley Crue, where each band member talks about their rise to fame, the drugs, the fights etc...and there is part in there where the founder/bassist, Nikki Sixx, talks about how he was "clinically dead" for a few minutes before they injected adrenaline in his heart to "kick start" it. Hence the song, Kick Start My Heart.

Kick Start My Heart

If it hadn't been for some quick thinking..Nikki Sixx would have been on that list. And I would have been bummed....I've always loved Motley Crue and Nikki.
Wordsofwit

Feb 21 @ 12:27PM  
Other artists were taken at their peak (Janis Joplin, Jimmi Hendrix) and we all were left to mourn what could have been...wondering what creations society had been deprived.

I agree. I may miss the music of some of those that were still viable but have much less empathy on a personal level when the passing is largely self inflicted.

I can think of a few others:

I can think of many others also but limited it to those who were super stars whose names were recognized by virtually everybody beyond the fan base of their musical genre.
rnj1013

Feb 21 @ 4:11PM  
You guys left out 1 of the best.....Bon Scott. Without his death, Back In Black never would have been written. Current count is 22 million plus sales
xquseme

Feb 21 @ 7:00PM  
I can think of a few others:

Keith Moon
You're forgetting another Who member--John Entwistle, who died of a cocaine overdose!
(Here's the link.)

It's funny how big of a deal Keith Moon's death was (as the band was still essentially
active and intact at the time of his death), compared with relatively little memory
of Entwistle's death (after the band had faded from the limelight). Kinda points to how
fast the mighty will fall, after an original member is gone!

longhorn386

Feb 22 @ 9:15AM  
Amy Winehouse is another one who died of alcohol and drug abuse.
Wordsofwit

Feb 22 @ 11:05AM  
There have been many that died early, often due to poor lifestyle choices. In mentioning some, I just focused on those whose names were known beyond their fan base and musical genre that were icons of sorts.

My main point and inquiry that most commentators seem to have missed was on how much the nature of the artist's death (self inflicted versus other cause) impacted people's sentiments concerning their premature passing.
sugarnspice005

Feb 22 @ 11:32AM  
My main point and inquiry that most commentators seem to have missed was on how much the nature of the artist's death (self inflicted versus other cause) impacted people's sentiments concerning their premature passing.

Drugs and alcohol are a deadly combination when one doesn't have the will power to control them selves when indulging.

People like Hendrix, Morrison, Joplin, and others listed...nothing can take away that they were talented individuals. They had a lot going for them and it was wasted on drugs and alcohol.

I find it sad that such potential was taken away at young ages. I have always wondered what these people would be doing today if they were still around. What would the music scene have been like if they were still around.

The very first artists whose death I felt an impact on was Elvis. I was 11 or 12 when he passed away, and I was shocked. A lot of the time, fans think of their favorites as "immortal", and when that star dies, they are stunned, and saddened. When cause of death is found to be from drugs, alcohol, or combination of both, it makes it harder to understand how someone who had so much going for them, could waste it away on that.

The artists who all have been listed, are people who I've heard songs by, who have had songs I've liked, have enjoyed listening to. Their premature deaths due to abuses, I feel sad for them, I miss their presence in the music world, but it doesn't change how I felt about their talents. How I feel about them as people........I feel sorry for them. Because they didn't have the strength to fight their addictions.
Snatchmaster108

Feb 22 @ 3:26PM  
IF THEY WANT TO THINK THAT BEING RICH AND FAMOUS ENTITLES THEM TO INDULGE IN DRUGS, THEN TO HELL WITH THEM. I have lost loved ones to booze and drugs, and I have saved some of my family through tough love. If you play with friggin fire, don't cry when you get burnt, or dead!

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Untimely Deaths of Musical Stars