Having fame had always been appealing to me, since I was a young girl I’d be dreaming of the way that I’d become famous. Is it because there is such a high level of covetousness amongst people or is it just the pure desire of being known to everyone, because of a talent or story. Thinking of what it would be like to be famous sounds pretty good, right? Constant attention, a high income, big houses and nice clothes. However, there is another side to fame, a much more sinister one in which it destroys a previously sane person to the point where they use drugs or even take their life.An example of someone who saw the ugly side to fame was the lead frontman of the grunge rock band Nirvana, Kurt Cobain. Kurt Cobain began his rock’n’roll career in 1987 and it sadly ended 7 years later when the fame was too much to handle. Cobain suffered from a heroin addiction which led him to being vulnerable from media parasites who degraded and demoted him because of this. By the time it reached 1994 Kurt began attending a drug rehabilitation center, he had previously struggled with the idea of rehab because of how much attention from the press he would get. This is another aspect of fame which is difficult to deal with, the constant attention.
Any regular person could take themselves off and privately attend rehab but in Cobain’s case everyone in the world would find out and this could have made him feel bad about himself. After being at the rehab center for a short amount of time, Kurt jumped over the wall and took a plane back to his home in Olympia, Washington. Kurt then injected a life destroying amount of heroin and then shot himself, leaving behind a note which explained his hatred for fame and how it caused him to not enjoy his passion for creating music anymore.
Another example of someone who found the fame too intense is Amy Winehouse. Amy also suffered from drug addictions and she went to rehab, she also quit the rehabilitation programme because she didn’t want the press to slate her. Amy really suffered from being hated on by the media, this caused her to use more drugs and drink more. In her European tour in 2011 her first performance resulted in her being booed off the stage due to forgetting her song lyrics because she was intoxicated at the time. The tour was cancelled and she was given some more time to recover, a few weeks later she was found dead in her London home.
When a person becomes famous I believe that they need to have the mentality to be able to deal with the darker sides of being famous. Fame is a very glamorized thing in society when in most cases it is full with pain, drugs and lack of privacy. I give credence to the fact that being famous is a commitment to yourself that you can overlook and overcome any hate and destruction that people may try to inflict on you during your career. I think that people such as Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse, although containing much talent were not stable enough to deal with the bad parts of fame.
Throughout the history of music a typical stereotype of rock musician has been created in which drugs and alcohol are highly consumed, an attitude and a certain style has stuck with musicians for decades. Additionally, a club has been created were famous singers/performers have died at the age of 27. The cause of death have usually been from lack of personal care, suicide or occasionally murder. The ‘27’ Club has members such as Jimi Hendrix who died from excessive alcohol consumption, Kurt Cobain from suicide and Janis Joplin who also died from excessive drug and alcohol consumption. Ironically, the 27 club has become a very famous thing and quite a stereotypical club for an unstable/stereotypical musician to join.
However, the 27 club has lead to suicide and drugs to be romanticized and glamorized because of how famous the victims were. The media have always had a way in which they make it look ‘cool’ or ‘normal’ to do drugs and how ‘suicide’ is beautiful because some famous people have sadly died because of it. This is not true, suicide has a serious negative impact on the family and fans of the victim. I still believe that all people who are on track to being famous need to ensure that they are stable enough and have a sufficient amount of support from their friends and family, especially in the typical Rock’N’Roll career.
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