The Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University has determined that music stars are twice as likely to die an early death than the rest of the population. They are also more likely to die within a few years after they become famous. The main cause for this is alcohol and drug use. These findings are to be published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

           Led by Mark Bellis, research on 1,050 famous North American and European musicians and singers who were famous between 1956 and 1999 were the basis of the study. Each musician was featured in the All Time Top 1,000 albums that came out in 2000, covering rock, punk, rap, R&B, electronica, and new age artists. These musicians were matched up with the rest of the population in terms of age, sex, ethnicity, and nationality until 2005. They found that 100 stars died early between 1956 and 2005. The average age of death was 42 for the North American singers and 35 for European singers. The rock and pop stars especially were more likey to die within five years of becoming famous and one in four of these singers died of long term drug or alcohol use. For European stars, those who lived 25 years after becoming famous eventually returned to the same life expectancy as the rest of the population in their group, but North American stars had higher death rates. About 10 percent of these stars have died 20 years after becoming famous.

          The researchers believe this evidence can be helpful in stopping substance abuse and forcing these role models to set a better example for their admirers. This can be done not only through public service announcements but through example. Accidental suicide and mudrer were also determined to be causes of death for these stars, two more serious issues that need to be addressed to the public as preventable behavior.

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