Study estimates the success of musicians if they hadn’t passed away from drug use

Study estimates the success of musicians if they hadn't passed away from drug use

  • For singer Dinah Washington, the lone musician in our analysis that passed away in the 1960s, we theorize that she would have spent an additional three decades making music, a stretch that could have seen her produce nearly 20 albums of new material, including one that would have earned gold record status.
  • Some of the most famous musician deaths of all time occurred in the 70s, with Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison all passing away at the same age in this decade establishing the infamous “27 Club.,” which sadly expanded its membership in ensuing decades.
  • Of the seven musicians we evaluated from this decade, we estimate that all but one would have doubled their actual career output had they lived longer, with every musician’s additional career length consisting of at least 20 extra years.
  • The 1980s didn’t see as many musicians die of drug-related causes as the 70s, but it did include one of the most impactful deaths of this entire analysis, as John Bonham’s untimely passing directly lead to the break-up of Led Zeppelin, one of the most legendary bands of all time.
  • Interestingly, of the musicians that passed due to substance issues in the 2000s, two were over the age of 50 at the time of their passing, having already enjoyed lengthy careers.
  • An important note to mention for this graphic is that the theoretical production numbers we have given each artist are based on a comparable musician’s actual production since the age or year that the deceased artist passed away.
  • Of course, musicians are far from the only people that struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, and at River Oaks, we know that better than most.