A new study published in the journal BMJ Open reveals that rock stars and pop singers who go out on their own were more likely to die prematurely compared to those who join a band.
The study was conducted by researchers at Liverpool John Moores University who analyzed the lives of more than 1,400 rock and pop singers in Europe and North America between 1956 and 2006. The researchers found that the average age of death for European singers was 39 and that of North American singers was 45. However singers who were on their own were twice as likely to die prematurely compared to singers who were part of a band.
The researchers also discovered a large number of singers died due to substance abuse, be it alcohol or drugs, and half of them were abused either physically, emotionally or sexually as a child. The researchers wrote in their report that children who look up to pop stars should keep in mind that substance abuse was a result of adverse childhood experience and not a symbol of success.
"Pop/rock stars are among the most common role models for children, and surveys suggest that growing numbers aspire to pop stardom. A proliferation of TV talent shows and new opportunities created by the internet can make this dream appear more achievable than ever. It is important they [children] recognise that substance use and risk taking may be rooted in childhood adversity rather than seeing them as symbols of success", the researchers wrote.