Published Sep 04, 2007Doctors at Liverpool John Moores University have discovered that musicians have a lower rate of survival on this planet than Average Joes. (And yes, they take into consideration Keith Richards, and rule him out as a freak exception...)
Comparing the deaths and lifestyles of rock stars to the rest of the population, the study discovered that the mortality rate of these rockers is three times as high in the first five years of reaching success in the charts. Of 100 performers used in the study, the average age for the dying rock star in North America was 42, while Europe faired much worse with an average age of 35. Approximately one quarter of the deaths were the result of a drug or alcohol problem.
According to Professor Mark Bellis, who led the study, "Nine out of 10 of these people don't die young. You have to do this sort of analysis to quantify what the additional mortality is." The study is also a hopeful too that will help prevent the pattern these rock stars sometimes fall victim to because they do in fact influence the public. "These people hold a special position to potentially influence the behaviour of millions of young people who look up to them," said Bellis
Bellis and his colleagues researched the lives of 1,064 musicians who found fame between 1956 and 1999 and were included in the All Time Top 1000 best albums ever, which were selected by 200,000 people through a poll in 2000 covering the genres of rock, punk, rap, R&B, electronica and new age. How long the pop stars survived once they had achieved chart success and became famous was compared with the expected longevity of the general population, matched for age, sex, ethnicity and nationality, up to the end of 2005.
According to the report, some of the statistics discovered include:
- 100 had died by 2005 (9.6% of them men, 7.3% of them women)
- The top causes of death were:
Drug or alcohol overdose - 19
Accidents - 16
Violence - 6
Drug/alcohol related accident - 4
Suicide - 3
Click here to read the entire report.