Solo Pop and Rock Stars More Likely To Die Early

January 21, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. pop (adj.) 
[pop]– short for popular or popularized music
Example: Teens nowadays like pop songs, especially songs of famous singers or bands.
2. life expectancy (n.) [lahyf] [ik-spek-tuhn-see]– a person’s expected years of living
Example: A person’s life expectancy can be shortened by drug or alcohol addiction.

3. soloist (n.) [soh-loh-ist]– a musician who performs alone 
Example: Unlike band singers, soloists earn more from staging concerts.

4. trigger (v.) [trig-er]– to cause something to happen
Example: Smoke from cigarettes triggered the performer’s asthma.

5. prone (adj.) [prohn]– more likely to experience or do something
Example: Smokers are prone to the development of lung diseases.

Read the text below.

A study from a British Journal called BMJ Open has recently found out that solo pop and rock stars are more likely to have shorter life expectancy mostly because of drug abuse.

A group of researchers from Liverpool John Moores University surveyed 1,489 rock and pop stars who were popular between 1956 and 2006. The data on mortality rates and the artists’ childhood experiences were compared.

The researchers confirmed that soloists are twice more likely to die earlier than singers in a band. In North America, 23% of the solo artists died early while only 10% of singers who perform in a band died young. In Europe, the difference is almost the same for solo artists and band singers, with only slightly smaller figures.

The research also revealed that bad childhood experiences such as physical and sexual abuse could have triggered the artists’ early deaths. Results show that 47% of the solo stars had bad childhood experiences.

Also according to the study, fame and fortune did not help these singers deal with past bad experiences. Researchers added that money only makes artists prone to risky activities such as drug abuse.

Artists may look like role models to many people, especially to the young. But because of the study’s results, the researchers suggest that lives of artists should not be seen as ideal due to their troubled pasts.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         In your opinion, should people still admire artists with troubled pasts? Why do you think so?
·         Do you think there are any disadvantages of being famous? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         What can you do to help someone deal with his or her bad childhood experiences?
·         When you have problems, who do you often ask for help? Why?


January 21, 2013