Research into almost 13,000 musicians shows that bluesmen are less likely to die violently than their counterparts in other genres. For example in rap and hip-hop murder accounts for more than half the deaths.
Metal and punk musicians have a much higher suicide rate and along with rock musicians a very high incidence of accidental death.
For example metal musicians have a 36% risk of accidental death compared with just under 20% generally and three times the rate for suicides at 19%.
Professor Dianna Kenny, at the University of Sydney, said that metal attracts suicidal young people and that “frequent references to death in song lyrics were a significant part of the culture and not merely for show”.
She said that punk also attracted suicidal people but “of an angry, rather than depressed kind”
Her previous research debunked the myth that rock musicians died at age 27. She says that people entering the music industry were either pre-disposed to pursuing a reckless lifestyle or were encouraged to adopt one.
She referred to “the ubiquitous presence of alcohol and other addictive substances, irregular hours, touring, high levels of stress, performance anxiety, and the vulnerability that many young musicians bring with them into their profession from adverse childhood experiences”
The picture for musician mortality is complicated. 1 in 3 jazz musicians die from cancer. Is that because they worked in smoky environments or lived longer by avoiding violent deaths?
Folk musicians are also prone to death from cancer followed by accidental deaths. Country musicians on the other hand are the least likely to be murdered or die in accidents.
Overall popular musicians lives were up to 25 years shorter than the average American; accidental deaths are 5-10 times greater; suicide rates between 2-7 times greater, and homicide rate up to 8 times greater.
I got the blues ……
Source: The Times April 3 2015