With success as a musician comes many things: fame, pressure, money, and a lifestyle that allows access to all forms of chemical substances. The history of popular music is chock full of stories of musicians and singers making questionable decisions in pursuit of misadventure and addiction, and, in some cases, losing everything as a result.
Some musicians – rappers and singers alike – have always gotten a bad blow when it comes to alcohol and drug dependency. Of course, many musicians did (and do) indeed party incessantly and portray their booze and drugs as some sort of cool lifestyle they get to live out each day.
Hence, it isn’t totally cool, especially when they end up addicted and their lives start spinning out of control. It is like the message they might send to the young generation is that drinking and getting into drugs is an alternative to have fun and get away with their life’s struggles. The following names in the music industry have admitted that they have battled with drug abuse once in their lives:
Steven Tyler, from Aerosmith, battled drugs and alcohol abuse for decades until finally getting clean and sober. When asked about his addictions, he says, “I did it so much I couldn’t stop, and then I had to ask myself and face myself to see why I couldn’t stop. My sobriety cost me nothing less than everything. It’s serious when you lose your kids, your wife, your band, your job…and you’ll never understand why, because you’re an addict.”
Tyler was clean for 12 years before a relapse in 2006 with painkillers he became addicted to after a foot surgery. He entered the Betty Ford Clinic three years later and has been clean ever since. He now spends time sharing his hopeful message to those still caught in the grips and those in recovery.
Rock star Ozzy Osbourne has long struggled with addiction. In fact, his heavy alcohol and drug abuse led to him being fired from Black Sabbath in 1978.
Most of the time, though, Osbourne was ingesting things more addictive than fire ants. By his own admission, he was a practicing alcoholic and drug abuser for 40 years and is as surprised as anyone that he survived it all. When he was fired from Black Sabbath in 1979, he locked himself in a hotel room for three months to binge on drugs and alcohol (listening to Sabbath’s terrible albums of the late ’70s, it’s difficult to see why he was so upset).
He got it back together to start a successful solo career but continued to run off the rails of the “Crazy Train”; in the early ’80s he legendarily urinated on the Alamo and was arrested and banned from San Antonio, Texas, and in the late ’80s he almost murdered his wife Sharon while high.
By the time Osbourne began appearing on the reality show about his family, The Osbournes, in 2002, most of the madness seemed to be behind him but the effect of four decades of depravity was evident; on the show, Ozzy is depicted as largely unintelligible and nearly deaf.
Nirvana’s leader Kurt Cobain got to know his wife Courtney Love while they used drugs together. His 1994 heroin and alcohol overdose was reportedly the first attempt leading up to his suicide.
An electrician installing a security system in the house discovered Cobain dead. Though the police, a private-investigation firm, and friends were on the trail, his body had been lying there for two and a half days, according to a medical examiner’s report. A high concentration of heroin and traces of Valium were found in Cobain’s bloodstream. He was identifiable only by his fingerprints.
Rapper Snoop Dogg has been busted quite a few times for his marijuana possession and even just for reeking of it. He was banned from Norway in July 2012, after entering the country one month previously, while in possession of 8 grams of marijuana. The rapper was arrested for possession at Kristiansand Airport in Kjevik after drug dogs sniffed out the cannabis in his luggage.
He was also fined for carrying too much currency in his wallet (the Norway limit is $25,000 Euro!), bringing the total fine for both offenses to $8,600.
Snoop was arrested earlier in January of 2012, for possession of Marijuana charge after Border control agents discovered 2 ounces of marijuana on his tour bus at the U.S.-Mexico border checkpoint, in Sierra Blanca, Texas.
Arrests due to drug possession have peppered Snoop’s past, as well as bans from locations for his drug-use reputation. Starting back in 1990, shortly after graduating from high school, Snoop was arrested for possession of cocaine. As a result, he was later convicted of a felony possession of drugs and possession for sale.
The music and vibe of Bob Marley — reggae music’s first international superstar — are unmistakable. Died of cancer at the age of 36, Marley’s influence is still heard in the music industry, his style emulated by countless artists and his songs regularly covered by folk, jazz, rock and country artists.
Despite having been arrested only once for marijuana possession, reggae star Bob Marley is perhaps even better known for his support of Rastafarianism and for being the king of cannabis.
People have widely seen the scenes from the King of Reggae with his ever present ‘co-star’ in many of his interviews. In one of his famous moments, he calmly turns and says ”Herb is the healing of a nation, alcohol is the destruction.”