Lesser-known facts about international musical icons
The colossal world of music is replete with stories and myths of legends that influenced many a life and way of thinking. While it’s difficult to distinguish fact from fiction, stories about Jay Z being part of the Illuminati, Ozzy Osbourne snorting ants, the mysterious death of Kurt Cobain and rumours that Elvis Presley never really died have continued to plague the music arena. With jazz, country, electronic, Broadway, R & B, Pop and Rock among others continuing to stupify us, we pay homage to some greats from the world of music and re-live stories they didn’t tell us about in music class that can enamour laymen and music buffs alike.
Irrefutably the greatest singer from the 20th century, Sinatra owned the music industry and how! His soothing voice and use of magnificent orchestra music along with tough guy-soft inside persona and hits like New York, New York established him as a superstar to reckon with and a global sensation till date.
Did you know? Frank hit an all time low in the 1950s. He attempted suicide four times.
The English rock band, The Beatles, today has a legacy that is arguably the greatest in the world of music. With significant contributions towards art, literature and cinema, these young musicians dominated the music scene as their songs explored intricate elements of hope and love. Songs like Hey Jude, Let It Be and Love Me Do continue to be melodic masterpieces even in contemporary music.
Did you know? Another legend, Bob Dylan, introduced The Beatles to marijuana. Also, the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in the history of music officially broke up in the unlikely setting of Disney World.
The Rolling Stones
The longest living band in history, The Rolling Stones was consistently pitted against The Beatles, aka the boys next door versus the bad boys of rock. This band, however, with their creativity and invention has a legacy few could compete with. With their howling stage presence and backbeat of jazz drums, they were as larger than life, or death, as they get.
Did you know? Although lead vocalist, Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards were huge advocates of drugs, bass player Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts steered clear of them. Also, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were actually good friends, but for marketing purposes portrayed themselves as ‘anti-Beatles.’
He was unquestionably the greatest pop star of the late 20th century. Winning more awards than any other musician in history, the original King of Pop with his goosebump-inducing dance moves and loads of star aura, has an indomitable standing in the world music scene. Even as his rapid rise to stardom was going strong, the pop star bid adieu to this world in 2009; the loss continues to haunt the industry.
Did you know? Michael Jackson’s signature move, the Moonwalk, was borrowed from street dancers that he once saw outside his hotel.
Is this real life, is this just fantasy? When Bohemian Rhapsody released with it’s vague, fatalistic lyrics, it took the music world by storm. Many have debated upon whether it’s the greatest song ever made. With their estimated sales varying from 150 to 300 million, and classic hits like We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions and Another One Bites The Dust, this band’s place in the history of revolutionary bands is safe.
Did you know? Freddie Mercury died a day after announcing that he has Aids. He died of Aids-related pneumonia.
The band formed in 1981 and is one of the most popular and powerful heavy metal acts. Metallica single-handedly infused heaps of wildness and ferocity to the genre of heavy metal itself. They were mean, they were violent, they were loud and continue to be a devastating force in the world of heavy metal.
Did you know?
Co-founder and lead vocalist of the band, James Hetfield, got caught on fire during a live performance on stage.
They were the forerunners of progressive rock music. Their lyrics were metaphorical and deep, their sound distinctive and original, live shows larger than life and compositions deeply ethereal. With their commercial popularity and critical acclaim, the band has sold more than 250 million records worldwide.
Did you know: The Dark Side of the Moon is the third best-selling album of all time, and the longest-running on the Billboard charts, for over 800 weeks straight.
There’s always been an element of mystery behind that heady blur of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. We explore some of the most haunting conspiracy theories about our most loved or hated musicians.
Elvis Presley isn’t really dead: The King is the only solo artiste in history to break the 200 million mark, but did he also fake his own death? Fans and friends have come up with compelling theories and evidence as recent as last month to prove that Presley is alive and kicking.
Elvis isn’t the only musician theorists believe faked his own death. It is believed that greats like Michael Jackson and rapper Tupac also faked their deaths.
Sex Pistols: Sid Vicious was an English drummer and vocalist and a household name for being part of the punk band, Sex Pistols. He was also popular for his arrest for the murder of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. He apparently killed her under the influence of drugs and forgot about it the next day. The 21-year-old bassist, however, was found dead in his apartment ahead of his trail for the murder.
Kurt Cobain was killed: Nirvana front man and magnetic rock hero to a generation, Kurt Cobain was found dead in his home. Police reports said that Cobain was ‘lying on the floor, with a shotgun across his body, and a visible head wound.’ Since his death several eerie theories have surfaced, the most talked about one perhaps that his wife Courtney Love murdered him.
Paul McCartney is dead: It has been a popular rumour since 1967 that McCartney died in a car crash and was replaced by a lookalike. Theorists have even pointed to two records from The Beatles that point to his death. Only he’s been alive and kicking and making music too. You never know.
Jim Morrison and the government
Morrison may have died almost five decades ago, but the legend and mystery of his death live on. One of the most charismatic musicians of his time, Morrison had the uncanny ability to shift the mood and behavior of the crowd during his live performances. A rebel in himself, he sparked many an outrageous riot owing to his intense music. It is believed that it is for this very reason that Morrison was closely monitored and scrutinised by the government.