"Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll" - this is a mantra that has been spoken by countless musicians over the years, who believe that there's nothing better than sticking to the fast lane, and living every moment as if it could be your last. Unfortunately (often due to that second thing), many talented people in the music industry die tragically young.
Just like many rising actors and actresses, young musicians often have fame and success thrust onto them after coming up from nothing, and with so many bad influences around them, and the constant need to perform and sell their product, they end up in dangerous lifestyles that quickly become too self-destructive to sustain.
On the other hand, there's actually many older musicians and singers who haven't really been relevant in decades, either because they've been retired or out of the limelight, who are surprisingly still around to this day. With the instant nature of the media, and how quickly news travels today, it can be hard to keep track of which musicians are still alive, and which actually kicked the bucket a long time ago.
Do you think you know which of these musicians are dead, and which are still alive? Take the quiz, and find out.
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Okay, if you don't know who Paul McCartney is, then you were either born yesterday, or you've been living under a rock for the past 50-odd years. Paul was the bassist, and one of the head song writers for The Beatles, a band that has still been unsurpassed in terms of musical impact and success to this day. During the '60s there was a popular rumor that he had died and was replaced with a lookalike. While that certainly wasn't true, is Paul still with us today?
Some people are just born to be larger than life, case in point, Lemmy Kilmister. The bassist and lead singer of the rock band Motörhead, Lemmy was one of the pioneers of the heavy metal genre, although he would only ever refer to his own music as "Rock and Roll". Known for his large mutton chops, raspy voice, and distinctive playing style, his band Motörhead was so awesome they even made the entrance theme for WWE professional wrestler Triple H.
While the '60s saw something of a British Invasion, with bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones hitting it huge in the United States, Bob Dylan was the all American musician who was there to prove to the world that the US could do music just as good as the UK. Although mostly known by his folk-style music, and considered by many to be the voice of a generation, he did face criticism when he first decided to switch over from acoustic to electric guitar.
When talking about rap legends, it's impossible to leave off the artist known as Tupac Shakur (or sometimes 2pac). Originally born in East-Harlem, New York, Tupac would eventually move to the West Coast, making his home in Oakland, California. Many of his songs focused on violence, racism, and the struggles of living in the inner cities. Being one of the biggest rap names in California, 2pac was heavily involved with the East Coast–West Coast hip hop rivalry, but did he survive it?
The British Invasion may have happened over 50 years ago, but when English artists like Amy Winehouse come into the picture, it can be hard to remember that. She has made some incredible achievements, including being the first British woman to win five Grammys, and also breaking the Guinness World Record for the most songs by a woman to simultaneously appear on the UK singles chart. She's publicly struggled with drug addiction, as well as bulimia, but is she still alive?
It's amazing how some humans can not only overcome shortcomings that they're given, but also that they're able to do things that more privileged people could only dream of doing. Stevie Wonder was born blind, partly due to a very premature birth, but he was considered a child prodigy, becoming proficient at playing the piano at a very young age. He was signed to a music contract at the age of 11, and into his adult years only became more and more successful.
Born and raised in the Seattle, Washington area, Kurt Cobain was a large part, if not the head of the Grunge movement during the late '80s and early '90s, with his band Nirvana. Nirvana became insanely popular during the early '90s, with hits like "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "In Bloom", causing Kurt to be labelled as the voice of Generation X. Kurt however was uncomfortable with this title, fearing that people were misinterpreting his music, and struggled with a heroin addiction.
The '60s were a magical time, and as the decade drew on, psychedelia had taken over the youth of America, and the Hippy movement was in full swing. With it, came a change in the sound of music heard on the radio, with songs being centered more around peace, love, and Rock and Roll. Janis Joplin was one of the most recognized female artists of this time, known for her covers of "Cry Baby" and "Ball n' Chain", along with her original song "Mercedes Benz".
The the wonders of the modern internet, people have an easier time than ever to get their work seen by people all around the world. Though this isn't always a guarantee of success, Post Malone proved that it was very possible, when his song White Iverson got over one million hits the first month it was uploaded to Soundcloud. An even more immensely successful Youtube music video later, and the young Post would find himself touring the country, as one of the hottest things in the music world today.
From The Doors, to The Eagles, LA is known for birthing some of the biggest acts in rock history, but it's hard to top the explosive power of Guns n Roses, who hit the hard rock music scene in the city in the mid-nineties. While much of their success was thanks to the incredible vocals of frontman Axl Rose, just as much credit should be given to their amazing guitarist, Slash. Even to this day, he's considered one of the greatest to ever wield the musical axe.
Tom Petty first became active on the music scene in the '70s, and would reach success, with his distinct vocals, and guitar sound, both as a solo artist, and with his band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Petty would go on to be a part of many different projects, including the supergroup The Traveling Wilburys, which also included Bob Dylan and George Harrison, among others. If that wasn't impressive enough, he also voiced a recurring character on King of the Hill, while it was still on air.
It's not uncommon for rappers to start their careers as early as their teens, but Bow Wow took things to the next level, first becoming interested in rap at the age of 3, and already performing in front of live crowds by the age of 6. At one particular LA concert, Snoop Dogg saw his performance and decided to give him the rap name "Lil' Bow Wow", a title that he would continue to use until he decided the had outgrown it.
It's one thing to be a great guitarist and musician, both technically and stylistically, but it's another to have the humility to not take yourself at all seriously at the same time. Frank Zappa was an eccentric oddity as soon as he made his debut with his band The Mothers of Invention in the late '60s, and would continue dazzling (and confusing) audiences for decades after with his solo work. In the '90s he began to exclusively do orchestral music.
Known affectionately by fans as "The Quiet Beatle", George Harrison was indeed often overlooked in favor of his bandmates John and Paul, when it came to the songwriting done between them all. This didn't mean that George didn't have talent however, eventually proving himself with hugely successful tracks such as "Something" and "Here Comes the Sun". When the Beatles disbanded, George had arguably the most successful solo debut between all of the ex-members, with his Triple album "All Things Must Pass".
When a new genre or breakthrough makes its way into the music scene, it's very common for bands and artists of the time to adapt to this new style, in order to keep up with the times. People like Jimi however wasn't one of these people, he was someone who made the breakthroughs. Before Jimi, people had no idea that "shredding' was actually something that you could do on a guitar, and his performance at the famous Woodstock festival would never be forgotten.
People usually listen to music either to relax, or just to have fun, but Bob Marley was someone who really kept an idea of spirituality with every single piece of music he wrote. Kids in the modern era often simplify his music as anthems for pot smokers everywhere, and Marley was a supporter in the benefits of it, but his music ascended the simple act of smoking. He was diagnosed with a type of skin cancer, but did he survive it?
It's all too often that talented young musicians have fame thrust upon them much too quickly, and much too extremely then they could have ever been prepared for, which eventually leads them down a dangerous path. Such was the case for John Frusciante, who hit it big as the lead guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and then unfortunately suffered through years and years of heroin addiction. Was Frusciante able to overcome this deadly vice, or did he succumb to it?
Who said that one hit wonders were always destined to be forgotten? Rick Astley for tasted fame at the release of his 1987 hit single "Never Gonna Give You Up". It seems like this extremely '80s track would be stuck in the decade it was born in forever, but somehow in 2007 it would end up becoming part of a huge internet phenomenon, in the form of a meme called "Rickrolling". Now, it's not likely anyone is going to give up this song ever again.
While George Harrison was considered the "Quiet Beatle" and was often overlooked, it's arguable that Ringo Starr is actually the most underappreciated of the Beatles. Sure he isn't the flashiest drummer, and has only performed a drum solo on one single Beatles track, but there's no denying that he had chops- if you needed a song done, he could play to it. You also can't take away from the fact that he sung on many Beatles tunes, something that most other drummers wouldn't dare attempt.
Dave Grohl has proven to be one of the most talented musicians in Rock and Roll. He originally started as the drummer for Nirvana, which broke up after only a few albums, but whose immense fame and success would've been enough to placate most musicians. Not Dave however. After Nirvana ended, Grohl started his own band called "The Foo Fighters", and instead of sitting behind the drum set, took it upon himself to be the frontman, proving that he was just as proficient on guitar and vocals.
Who could forget the one and only King of Pop? Michael Jackson seemed destined to be a star when he and his brothers first hit it big with their group The Jackson Five, with such singles as "ABC" and "I'll Be There". Michael was naturally the most popular member of the group, and would move on to a solo career that would overshadow not only his brothers, but most music acts of the time as well. Is the King still alive?
22Frank Sinatra Jr.
It can be hard enough to make your way out of the shadows of a famous parent, but it's even more difficult to do so when you share the same name as them. Frank Sinatra Jr.'s father was already well known as one of the biggest and most successful singers in America at the time by the time he was born. Luckily, he was just as talented as his father, and even appeared on popular shows like Family Guy and The Sopranos.
It would be a shame to have mention every other Beatle and leave out the great John Lennon. While his songwriting partnership with Paul McCartney is considered one of the greatest in history, John more than did enough after the break up of the Beatles to justify himself as a solo artist as well. When he wasn't putting out hit records like "Imagine" and "Double Fantasy", John was often part of the public eye, due to his heavy interest in political activism during the 70's.
It's rare enough that a band has a lucky break and finds one of their songs becoming a hit single, but it's even more rare for a band's debut album to feature four different ones. This is exactly what Chester Bennington was able to accomplish with his band Linkin Park, during their 2000 album Hybrid Theory. Many thought that Linkin Park would be a passing fade, but even to this day, the band is just as popular with troubled teens and adults alike.
If you know anything about what Ozzy's personal life has been like over the years, both through touring with his band Black Sabbath, and his longstanding solo career, then it should be no surprise to see him on this list. Name off as many drugs as you can, and chances are Ozzy has been hooked on them. Many artists, including his own bandmates, had no idea how much longer he could last in the 70's alone. His powerful vocals are unforgettable, but is he still around today?