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Last Updated: Monday, 3 September 2007, 23:00 GMT 00:00 UK
Why rock and roll stars die young
Elvis died in his early 40s in August 1977
They say rock and pop stars live life in the fast lane and now researchers have proved it.

A Liverpool John Moores University study of 1,050 US and European artists found they are twice as likely to die early than the rest of the population.

In all, 100 stars died between 1956 and 2005 with US stars dying at 42 on average and those from Europe at 35.

Drug and alcohol problems accounted for one in four deaths, the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health said.

Elvis Presley - 'The King' died aged 42 of a drug overdose
Jim Morrison - The Doors lead singer died in 1971 at the age of 27 from a heart attack
Kurt Cobain Struggled with drug addiction in his later years, the Nirvana frontman committed suicide at 27
Tupac Shakur - The rapper was killed in drive-by shooting in Las Vegas after being shot four times. He was 25

It comes after singer Amy Winehouse hit the headlines recently over what her family has called a drug addiction.

Researchers said the findings - in particular about substance abuse - should be looked at seriously by the music industry.

They said this was important as the artists had an influence on others with one in 10 children in the UK aspiring to be a pop star.

'Excessive behaviour'

Lead researcher Professor Mark Bellis said: "Public health consideration needs to be given to preventing music icons promoting health-damaging behaviour among their emulators and fans.

"Stars could do more to actively promote positive health messages, but these need to be backed up by example."

John Lee Hooker - The blues singer died in 2001 at the age of 83. He was performing right up until his death
Charles 'Chuck' Berry - Born in 1926, one of the pioneers of 'rock and roll'. Still going strong at 81
Richard Penniman - Better known by his stage name Little Richard, the singer started performing in the 1940s. He is now 75

Paul Stokes, news editor of the NME music magazine, added: "The problem is that rock stars often spend the first years of their careers struggling to get by and then get everything really quickly.

"There is no control mechanism and with a culture which often lauds excessive behaviour that spells problems."

Records industry group BPI said: "A very small minority do encounter problems, which due to their fame and success are played out in the media and given a greater prominence than those of young people in other walks of life.

"Record labels always seek to support the minority of artists who experience difficulties of this kind."

Pop stars who died young

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28 Aug 07 |  Entertainment
Ill Amy Winehouse shelves US tour
22 Aug 07 |  Entertainment
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17 Aug 07 |  Entertainment

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