herald

Saturday 19 August 2017

Solo rock stars twice as likely to die young

FAMOUS solo artists are twice as likely to die prematurely than stars in bands.

Rock and pop fame has already been associated with risk-taking, substance use and premature mortality, but now researchers have examined whether the effect was more profound in solo singers or band members.

In recent years there have been a number of high profile solo artist premature deaths, including Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson.

The researchers, from Liverpool, found that solo artists from North America have a 22.8pc increased risk of dying prematurely compared with a 10.2pc increased risk for band members.

They said that European solo performers had a 9.8pc increased risk compared with a 5.4pc risk for band members.

The researchers raised the question of whether support offered by bandmates may be protective.

"Rock and pop star survival also seems to relate to whether they have pursued successful solo careers," they wrote.

"While this may simply be a proxy for level of fame, with solo performers often attracting more attention than for instance a drummer or keyboard player in a band, it also raises the issue of peer support as a protective factor."

hnews@herald.ie

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