Lifestyle & Belief

Solo musicians die earlier than those in groups, study says


A new study has shown that solo musicians tend to die earlier than those in groups.


Ian Gavan

Rock stars are notorious for living fast and dying young.

A new study has shown that the odds of the latter are increased for musicians that perform solo.

Researchers in the UK have looked at if it is indeed true that rock and pop stars tend to die younger and, if so, why.

Apparently they do die younger, especially those who work alone.

The study looked at 1,489 musicians from a variety of genres of whom 9.2 percent died during the 50-year period looked at by researchers.

The Wall Street Journal reported that 39 percent of those deaths were due to violence, alcohol or drugs.

The researchers compared the stars with the equivalent in the general population to measure relative longevity.

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USA Today said they found that North American pop stars were the most at risk of dying early with 87.6 percent of them living to the age of the normal population - meaning that about 12 percent died younger than they should have.

As for solo versus group performers, during the study 23 percent of those that died in North America were solo musicians whereas only 10 percent for those in bands, said MedPage Today.

The equivalent in Europe was 10 percent versus five percent - dramatically lower.

The studied covered the period between 1956 and 2006 and looked at rock, punk, pop and hip-hop musicians.

The date they appeared on top 40 charts was the date chosen in which they were considered to have achieved fame.

The study was published in the British Medical Journal.