The 27 club is a well-entrenched bit of lore in the world of music, with Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin being the most notable musicians to have died at that young age. Most musicians don’t actually die that young, of course, but they do die younger than the general population, a study suggests.
Dianna Kenny, a researcher in psychology and music at the University of Sydney plotted out the age of death for 12,665 musicians in varying genres, reaching back to the 1950s, as the Wall Street Journal reports.
After tracing music-world deaths since 1950 and plotting them against the wider U.S. population, Dianna Kenny found that the average male musician dies in his late 50s, compared with 75 for men outside the industry during the period.
Female musicians live a little longer—into their early 60s, but still well short of 80, the average age at death for American women over the relevant time period.
The reasons for that vary, but in part it likely has to do with the psychological demands the music industry places on people, not to mention the pervasive drug and alcohol use, and the all around unhealthy lifestyles involved.
Read more here.