Menu Close

10 Famous Musicians Who Died from Substance Abuse

Claim Your Recovery Today!

10 Famous Musicians Who Died from Substance Abuse

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” – Plato

It’s always sad hearing about someone’s passing, whether they were close to you or not. It’s also sad when we hear about celebrities passing, whether we know them personally or not. For example, if you grew up listening to Linkin Park your entire life, hearing the unfortunate news of Chester’s passing could have hit you hard. We don’t know him personally, but sometimes it feels like we do because we research them, look up their music, watch their interviews, and we actively be part of their lives. If you grew up listening to music, it might hit you harder than you think when you find out your favorite musicians, who inspired you and you looked upon, have passed away.  Here’s a list of famous musicians who have also lost their lives to drugs or alcohol.

Famous Musicians

Famous Musicians Who Died from Their Addiction

1. Michael Jackson

The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, passed away at age 50. He was an extraordinary musician and was in the process of setting a world record for the most successful concert run before he passed away. He died in 2009 from acute propofol and benzo intoxication.

2. Amy Winehouse

They tried to make me go to rehab 
I said, no, no, no 

Amy Winehouse had an alcohol addiction throughout her career and even made a song about. She lived a rewarding life, but her addiction got the worst of her and she ended up passing away in 2011 at a young age of 27 from alcohol poisoning

3. Janis Joplin

Janis was another famous rock singer but died in 1970 from a heroin overdose. She was only 27 years old, but she released a lot of great hits that are still being played today. She was one of the biggest female rock stars in her era.

4. Cory Monteith

If you watched Glee back in the day, you might recognize Cory Monteith, who played Finn Hudson. It was in the middle of season 6 where he was found dead in a hotel room in Canada from a combination of drugs. He was 31 at the time and in a long-time relationship with a co-star from Glee, Lea Michele. Cory struggled with drug and alcohol throughout his life, but went to rehab and worked his sobriety. He slipped up when he flew to Canada and was found unconscious by the hotel assistant after he was supposed to check out. Cory wasn’t known as a musician, but he did play a musical role in Glee.

5. Elvis Presley

Elvis was one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century. He was famous for his singing, acting, and his musical skills. Loved by many, he made a huge impact and he is still talked about and idolized to this day. He had an amazing life and was the true definition of rock n roll, but unfortunately, he was also struggling with a prescription drug addiction. When he died at 42 years old, his cause of death was Cardiac Arrhythmia, but he also had 14 different drugs in his system including codeine, methaqualone, morphine, and meperidine.

6. Whitney Houston

Whitney died at the age of 48 from coronary artery disease, but she was also struggling with substance abuse at the time. She was found face down in the bathtub, with a presence of drug paraphernalia nearby. She was a famous pop singer known for her songs I Will Always Love You, I Have Nothing, and I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

7. Jim Morrison

Jim Morrison passed away in 1971 when he was only 27 years old. He was the lead singer in the band The Doors. His cause of death was heart failure, but he was also dependant on drugs and alcohol throughout his career. There was no autopsy, so no one knows for sure the real cause of his death. His girlfriend at the time was taking heroin, but Morrison’s drug of choice was cocaine. He went to Pam’s house the night he died and saw white powder on the table. Pam said it was cocaine, and Jim snorted it and immediately had a heart attack. It’s unknown if Pam lied about what drug it was.

8. Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix is arguably the most influential electric guitarist in history. Unfortunately, at the age of 27, he overdosed on barbiturates and died. He has inspired many in his time and after he passed away, and people still look up to him. He was a magnificent musician.

9. Brent Mydland

Brent was a keyboardist and vocalist for the band Grateful Dead. He died at the age of 37 years old. It was announced that he died from cocaine and narcotic intoxication. He played for Grateful Dead for 11 years.

10. Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain was a singer, songwriter, and musician and formed the rock band, Nirvana. He was battling with heroin before and during his relationship with Courtney Love. He started using more while dating Courtney, and they both became fully addicted to heroin. His death was announced as a suicide, but he had large doses of heroin in his system at the time of his death.

The 27 Club

If you’ve seen any patterns in this list, you’re not crazy. Many celebrities and musicians from this list have passed away at the age of 27. It’s called the 27 Club, and it includes famous musicians Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Amy Winehouse, and others. They all passed away from drug or alcohol abuse in their system. Some even have that as their main cause of death. They will always be remembered as some of the most famous musicians in history.

These Famous Musicians Will Forever Live On

We will always remember these amazing musicians who have inspired us. I can say even to this day, I listen to the majority of these musicians. It’s great to see the inspiration they’ve left in this world today.

Is there a relation between musicians and drug abuse? It seems more common for famous people because everything they do is announced to the world. But in reality, they aren’t proven to become more addicted than non-musical people. However, drug use is big in the entertainment industry and there have been a lot of celebrities that had a substance abuse problem. But thankfully, recovery is possible.

New Start Can Help

If you or someone you know is struggling, give us a call at 855-737-7363. We treat substance abuse and mental health.

Posted in Addiction, Alcoholism, Culture, Drug Addiction