Only the Good Die Young

Musicians who make it big twice as likely to bow out early
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2007 9:59 AM CDT
Jim Morrison   (Archive Photos)
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(Newser) – The cliché "live fast, die young" now has backing from science. More than 1,000 American and European musicians active from 1956 through 1999 came under British researchers' scrutiny, and the stats are grim: The performers were twice as likely as civilians to die young, with drug and alcohol problems accounting for a quarter of those deaths, the BBC reports.

Americans died at 42 on average, Europeans at 35. "The problem is that rocks stars often spend the first years of their careers struggling to get by and then get everything really quickly," says a music magazine editor. From rock icons to high-profile rappers, a lead researcher says, "Stars could do more to actively promote positive health messages."