The Centre for Public Health at John Moores University and Professor Mark Bellis recently released results of studies from data compiled over the past 50 years to demonstrate that musicians are more likely to die young than the rest of the population. The results were published in the online journal BMJ Open.
This result is confirmed even more strongly among US musicians, where universal healthcare is not yet in place and access to guns is unlimited, according to the study’s researchers.
The Independent News reported that Professor Bellis decided to look at the details of the tragic and premature deaths of such popular artists as Tupac and Sid Vicious to evaluate the role that fame played in their deaths, if any. With the more recent deaths of iconic figures such as Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston, the question continues to linger.
Some surprising findings were noted when the research was completed. For example, premature death was found to be more common among solo performers than band members, and approximately 1 in 3 suffered a difficult childhood, either being subjected to some type of abuse or living in a household with a mentally ill person, substance abuser or single parent.
Although Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, James Morrison and Amy Winehouse all died at age 27, the researchers were unable to identify a heightened risk at that age specifically.
About 1500 celebrity musicians in North America and Europe were studied who became famous during the past 50 years, and the study concluded that music stars did indeed have reduced survival when compared to the general population.
The professor said: “This culture exposes people to a certain lifestyle, and on the other hand certain people are more drawn towards it.”
Virginia Buchanan is a shareholder at Levin, Papantonio. She has served on the Board of Directions of the Florida Bar Foundation and has been Treasurer of ABOTA, Chairperson of the Civil Process Server Grievance Committee and has been a member of the Chief Judge’s Council on Children. She currently is a member of the Women’s Caucus of the Florida Justice Association.