Rock stars ‘live fast, die young’

  • 4 September 2007

The ‘live fast, die young’ maxim is true in the case of rock stars, according to a study of British and North American musicians.

Research by the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University has found that rock stars are two to three times more likely to suffer a premature death than the general population.

The study covered the era between 1956 and 2005, which included the deaths of Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley and Kurt Cobain.

More than a quarter of the premature deaths were related to drugs or alcohol.

The study has been published in the Journal of Epidemial Community Health. Lead author Mark Bellis questions whether it is then suitable to use rock stars for public health messages.

“In the music industry, factors such as stress, changes, from popularity to obscurity, and exposure to environments where alcohol and drugs are easily available, can all contribute to substance use as well as other self-destructive behaviours,” the report states.

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