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Researchers Suggest Solo Famous Artists Die Yonger

Update Date: Dec 27, 2012 03:32 AM EST

A new study suggests that solo artists who are famous are twice as likely to die young compared to artists in a band.

The study by researchers from the University of Liverpool, published by online journal BMJ Open, suggests that while the chances of dying a premature death of a European solo performer is one in 10, for American soloists, the chance is one in five.

Researchers believe that the chance of dying of an artist who is in a band is much lesser perhaps because of the support offered by fellow band mates.

The study revealed that solo rock and pop artists from North America have a 22.8 percent increased risk of dying prematurely compared with a 10.2 percent increased risk for band members, according to a report in Mail Online.

The researchers said that European solo performers had a 9.8 percent higher risk of dying an early death when compared to 5.4 percent increased risk for band members.

"Rock and pop star survival seems to relate to whether they have pursued successful solo careers," the researchers 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. Thus, further research should address whether bands provide a mutual support mechanism that offers protective health effects."

Honey Langcaster-James, a psychologist who specializes in celebrity behavior, also supports the belief that the support of band members may be significant.

"Solo artists in general approach life in a solitary manner - deliberately choosing to go it alone. They can find themselves in a situation where everyone around them are paid employees - the PR guru, their manger - all interested in them from a financial point of view and not in their personal needs - it's hard for the artist to know who to trust. They travel a lot, are away from friends and family for long periods of time and only seen for their public image, not their real self - which can make them feel inferior, isolated and invalidated," she told BBC.

She also said that research has shown in the general public too, that people with support have a longer life span.

The music industry has recently witnessed premature deaths of artists such as Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson.

For the study, the researchers examined data concerning 1,489 rock and pop stars who became popular between the years 1956 and 2006.

The researchers found through their study that about half of those who died as a result of drugs, alcohol or violence had at least one adverse childhood experience.

"Adverse experiences in early life may leave some predisposed to health-damaging behaviours, with fame and extreme wealth providing greater opportunities to engage in risk-taking," the authors were quoted as saying by Mail Online.

"Millions of youths wish to emulate their icons. It is important they recognise that substance use and risk-taking may be rooted in childhood adversity rather than seeing them as symbols of success."

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