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How Great Is It to Be a Musician?

There appears to be a heavy price to pay for musicians traveling the road to stardom. A 2014 academic study at Sydney University studied the lives and deaths of 12,665 musicians between 1950 and 2014 -- from rock, pop, and other musical genres -- and determined that high-profile stars die up to 25 years younger than the average person. Those rock stars who died young are legendary, from Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin to Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain. The study indicated that musicians, particular those in the rock and pop genres, are more susceptible to accidents, suicide, and homicide, amounting to as much as a 10 times greater chance than for the general population.

Live fast, die young:

  • Not all musicians die young, of course, but the average musician today lives into his or her late 50's or early 60's, equating to a life expectancy of about 20 years shorter than that of the general population.

  • In the study, the musicians who died at an early age were predominantly male. They performed music from a dozen genres, from honky-tonk to hip-hop.

  • The mythology of rock stars dying young has been popularized by the so-called "27 Club" -- famous musicians who all died at the age of 27, including Hendrix, Joplin, Cobain, Jim Morrison, and Brian Jones.

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More Info: The Telegraph

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