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Suicide in pop music culture media essay

Do all popular musicians live hard and fast, take risks and die young? This article is the third in a series examining mortality in popular musicians.

To recap, the first article examined longevity, suicide, murder and accidental death rates in pop musicians compared with population data from the US. As expected, longevity was significantly reduced in pop musicians, who also had higher rates of suicide, homicide and accidental death. The chart below plots genres over time oldest to youngest genresshowing the average age of death of popular musicians by genre and gender against life expectancy LE for US males and females born in the same year.

Musicians from the older genres — blues, jazz including bebop and dixielandcountry including country and western, boogie woogie, honky tonk and bluegrassand gospel including spiritual and Christian rock — enjoyed, on average, similar lifespans as those from the US population with the same year of birth and gender.

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Thereafter, the gap between population lifespans and average age of death for the more recent genres — rock including rockabillyelectronic including experimental, techno, disco, and funkpunk, metal, rap and hip hop — widens. This pattern reflects, to some extent, a confound in the data: Consequently, they have not had the same opportunity to live a full lifespan.

However, this is not the whole answer. The main causes of death for musicians from different genres The table below shows that musicians from different genres have different rates of death from different causes of death.

But accidental death for rock musicians was higher than this 24. Tupac Shakur performing live in 1996, the same year he was fatally shot.

Wikimedia Commons Murder accounted for 6.

Social Media and Suicide: A Public Health Perspective

Heart—related fatalities accounted for 17. Similarly, the average percentage of deaths accounted for by cancer was 23. Older genres such as folk 32. Consequently, they had the lowest rates of death in these categories. So, what can we conclude about musicians and music genre membership? This study highlights the different mortality profiles of musicians belonging to different genres of popular music, and cautions against treating the population of popular musicians as homogeneous. Music genre was associated with distinct causes of mortality, more so than gender or age not presented here.

Importantly, because this was a quantitative study of dead musicians and our aim was to gather population data to identify occupational hazards in the pop music world, I can only speculate here about the underlying causes of these patterns in mortality. Sid Vicious from the Sex Pistols in 1978. He died the following year, at 21, having overdosed on the heroin his mother had procured. Add to this the subcultural values and philosophies in distinct music genres with which young musicians become imbued, and you have a complex, multi-faceted picture of musician mortality.

  1. For example, Google's Internet search engine has a feature that displays a link and message about the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at the top of the search page when keyword searches suggest suicidal ideation or intent e.
  2. We need more research. The stakes have never been higher for students—or schools.
  3. The important thing to keep in mind about seeking treatment, for any struggle a teen might be facing, is that the treatment should address the teen holistically, taking into consideration all aspects of life. Music genre was associated with distinct causes of mortality, more so than gender or age not presented here.
  4. Whether some of social media's influence on suicide behavior should be considered a public health problem and how public health approaches might be used to address this influence are relevant issues. Thereafter, the gap between population lifespans and average age of death for the more recent genres — rock including rockabilly , electronic including experimental, techno, disco, and funk , punk, metal, rap and hip hop — widens.

Other studies have reported similar significantly-reduced life expectancy in popular musicians from the newer genres compared with matched general populations. Mortality rates were between two and three times higher for popular musicians than matched population data.

The median ages of popular musician death in the two Bellis studies links above were 41. Many musicians from younger genres — rock, electronic, punk, metal, rap, and hip hop — appear unlikely to live long enough to acquire the illnesses of middle and old age.

  1. Accessed July 18, 2011 4. Until then, the story of family life that I heard from my contemporaries had.
  2. Bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide.
  3. Harris EC, Barraclough B. Ultimately, the control of Internet content involves First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and expression.
  4. Isolated in their grief. Reger, PhD, Julie T.
  5. We have also provided some examples of extant social media—based prevention applications and programs that follow from a public health—based approach.

Subsequent research decades hence, when the newer genres have matured sufficiently to potentially contain members with ages spanning population life expectancies, may confirm the findings and tentative conclusions drawn from this series of studies.