alcohol Musicians Who Died of Alcoholism  

Steve Shafer
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While we may be more accustomed to musicians dying to heroin and other drugs, plenty have died due to an addiction to alcohol. This is a list of alcoholic musicians who drank themselves to death. Alcoholism is more than simply a lack of self control; today, it is considered an all out addictive disorder. In other words, it's not a bad habit-- it's a disease. Fortunately, alcohol abuse is a treatable disease and many addictions have been broken.

While harder drugs may take more of the spotlight, alcohol dependence is a serious syndrome as alcohol has the potential to damage every organ in the body, including the brain, which can lead to other psychiatric disorders. Many of music's most famous and beloved singers and rock stars have suffered from alcohol addiction. For these musicians with alcohol addition, death is a very real and very scary possibility.

Which famous musicians died of alcoholism? Take a look at this list and you'll see the people who bit the big one because they couldn't put down the bottle.

Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Musicians Who Died of Alcoholism
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Billie Holiday suffered from alcoholism for most of her life.  She died of pulmonary edema and heart failure caused by alcohol induced cirrhosis of the liver on July 17, 1959. She was 44 years old.

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Genres (Music): Torch song, Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music, Vocal jazz, + more

Albums: Lady in Satin, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday at Newport, The Best of Billie Holiday, Billie Holiday Sings, Lady Sings the Blues, + more

Nationality: United States of America

Labels: Aladdin Records, Decca Records, Commodore Records, Verve Music Group, Brunswick Records, + more

Career Began: Harlem, New York City, New York, United States of America

Also Ranked

#22 on The Best Singers of All Time

#13 on The Best Female Vocalists Ever

#18 on The Best Blues Artists of All Time

#45 on The Female Singer You Most Wish You Could Sound Like

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Bon Scott is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Musicians Who Died of Alcoholism
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AC/DC singer Bon Scott died of alcohol poisoning combined with choking on his own vomit after night of heavy drinking on February 19, 1980.  He was 33 years old.

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Genres (Music): Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal, Rock and roll, Progressive rock, + more

Albums: The Early Years 1967-1972, With the Spektors and the Valentines, Round and Round: The Forgotten Years, Round and Round and Round, Seasons of Change Raven/RCA 1971-72 (disc 2)

Nationality: Scotland, Australia

Career Began: Fremantle, Australia

Also Ranked

#25 on The Best Rock Vocalists

#92 on The Best Singers of All Time

#12 on The Best Frontmen in Rock

#18 on Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely

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Brian Connolly is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Musicians Who Died of Alcoholism
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Sweet musician Brian Connolly died at age 51 after suffering renal failure, liver failure and repeated heart attacks on February 9, 1997. He was a severe alcoholic since the mid-1970s.

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Genres (Music): Pop music, Rock music, Glam rock, Hard rock

Albums: Performs the Greatest Hits of The Sweet

Labels: Carrere Records, Polydor Records, RCA Records

Career Began: Hamilton, United Kingdom

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Clyde McPhatter is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Musicians Who Died of Alcoholism
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On June 13, 1972, The Drifters singer Clyde McPhatter died at age 39 after years of alcohol abuse ravaged his kidney, liver and heart.

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Genres (Music): Popular music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

Albums: The Forgotten Angel, Deep Sea Ball: The Best of Clyde McPhatter, Welcome Home, Clyde McPhatter, A Lover's Question / I Can't Stand Up Alone, + more

Nationality: United States of America

Labels: Atlantic Records, Mercury

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