21 Extremely Peculiar Personal Quirks that Historic Musicians Had

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Just because someone is a musical genius, doesn't mean that they don't deal with their own interesting, um, quirks, right? Hey, who doesn't? This list of strange phobias, hobbies, and habits of the greatest quirky musicians of all time covers everything from mild bug-collecting to a terrible fear of grass. Musical greats throughout history, from Mozart to Duke Ellington to Tupac, have some pretty surprising interests and tendencies. Perhaps these famous quirks can provide some insight into the minds of these talented musicians. Maybe you too should pick up mixed martial arts or start counting your coffee beans if you want to be a successful musician. 

Check out this list of weird musicians and their habits and vote up the quirks that shocked you!

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    Freddie Mercury Hoarded Cats is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 21 Extremely Peculiar Personal Quirks that Historic Musicians Had
    Photo: user uploaded image

    Freddie Mercury had at least ten cats, and it says a lot that no one is sure of the exact number. He also enjoyed talking to his cats. The Queen song "Delilah" and his entire solo album Mr. Bad Guy is dedicated to to his felines.

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    • Age: Died at 45 (1946-1991)
    • Birthplace: Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania
    • Profession: Record producer, Pianist, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Singer, + more
    • Credits: Metropolis, Ted, Shaun of the Dead, Moulin Rouge!
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    Louis Armstrong Handed Out Lax... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 21 Extremely Peculiar Personal Quirks that Historic Musicians Had
    Photo: World-Telegram staff photographer/Wikimedia Commons

    In the early fifties, jazz legend Louis Armstrong lost 100 pounds, which he attributed to an herbal laxative called "Swiss Kriss." After his success with the product, he became probably the most loyal customer of all time, and distributed it to friends, family, and acquaintances. Nothing says "I care" like "I'm worried about your bowel movements."

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    • Age: Died at 70 (1901-1971)
    • Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America
    • Profession: Musician, Actor, Trumpeter, Singer
    • Credits: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Blue Jasmine, WALL·E, Twelve Monkeys
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    Mozart Enjoyed Being a Cat is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 21 Extremely Peculiar Personal Quirks that Historic Musicians Had
    Photo: Barbara Kraft/Wikimedia Commons

    There are enough bizarre facts about Mozart to confirm that he was far from a normal guy, but this one is really one of the strangest: the composer enjoyed pretending to be a cat, especially during the rehearsals of his operas. He would often climb over chairs and meow when bored. Okay, he'd officially be the worst person to have next to you on an airplane.

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    • Age: Died at 35 (1756-1791)
    • Birthplace: Salzburg, Austria
    • Profession: Pianist, Musician, Composer, Violist, Violinist
    • Credits: The King's Speech, The Shawshank Redemption, Batman Begins, Alien
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    Beethoven Was a Literal Bean C... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 21 Extremely Peculiar Personal Quirks that Historic Musicians Had
    Photo: Joseph Karl Stieler/Wikimedia Commons

    Like any successful person, Beethoven was nothing without his coffee. But unlike most casual drinkers, he insisted upon counting his coffee beans in order to make sure that exactly sixty went into his daily cup. It's unclear what catastrophic scenario would unfold if this number was off, but maybe he knew something that we don't know.

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    • Age: Died at 57 (1770-1827)
    • Birthplace: Bonn, Germany
    • Profession: Songwriter, Pianist, Musician, Lyricist, Composer, + more
    • Credits: Django Unchained, A Clockwork Orange, The King's Speech, The Pianist
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    John Lennon Hated Listening to... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 21 Extremely Peculiar Personal Quirks that Historic Musicians Had
    Photo: ㊣/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    For someone who was the lead singer of one of the most successful bands of all time, John Lennon was pretty nervous about his singing voice. He liked double-tracking his vocals for this reason, and apparently asked his producer to cover up his voice as much as possible: “Can’t you smother it with tomato ketchup or something?”

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    • Age: Died at 40 (1940-1980)
    • Birthplace: Liverpool, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Activist, Film Score Composer, Record producer, Musician, Film Producer, + more
    • Credits: A Hard Day's Night, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Yellow Submarine, Children of Men
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    Kurt Cobain Was Convinced He W... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 21 Extremely Peculiar Personal Quirks that Historic Musicians Had
    Photo: Film Forward

    When Kurt Cobain was a little kid, he was certain that his parents weren't his real parents. But the Nirvana frontman didn't think he was just adopted; it went a bit weirder than that. In a 1993 interview, he told journalist Michael Azerrad that he was certain he was actually an alien. “I always used to think that I was adopted by my mother because she found me after a spaceship left me from a different time or a different planet. Every night I used to talk to my real parents in the skies. I knew that there were thousands of other alien babies dropped off who were all over the place and I’d met quite a few of them. It’s just something I’d always like to toy with in my mind… it was really fun to pretend that there’s some special reason for me to be here."

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    • Age: Died at 27 (1967-1994)
    • Birthplace: Washington, Western United States, Northwestern United States, Aberdeen, United States of America, + more
    • Profession: Guitarist, Songwriter, Musician, Singer, Artist
    • Credits: Moulin Rouge!, Jerry Maguire, The Big Short, Jarhead
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    Bob Dylan Is a Little Obsessed... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 21 Extremely Peculiar Personal Quirks that Historic Musicians Had
    Photo: U.S. Information Agency. Press and Publications Service/Wikimedia Commons

    Maybe it was the cane, or maybe the mustache or the hat, but something about Charlie Chaplin just really charmed the heck out of Bob Dylan. The musician known for his groundbreaking style and lyrics has said that he is "always conscious of the Chaplin tramp," and early in on his musical career, he would perform with a prop hat in reference to the film star. His love has not faded with time. In 2006, Dylan released the album Modern Times, which shares its name with a classic 1936 Chaplin film.

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    • Age: 74
    • Birthplace: Duluth, Minnesota, United States of America
    • Profession: Film Score Composer, Record producer, Poet, Guitarist, Musician, + more
    • Credits: Forrest Gump, American Beauty, Silver Linings Playbook, The Big Lebowski
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    Neil Young is the Conductor of... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 21 Extremely Peculiar Personal Quirks that Historic Musicians Had
    Photo: Mark Estabrook/Wikimedia Commons

    The famous artist behind "Heart of Gold" occupies his time with the hobby perhaps most loved by grandfathers: model trains. His collection is so big that he is a consultant for the huge model train company Lionel, as well as a major shareholder.

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    • Age: 70
    • Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
    • Profession: Activist, Film Score Composer, Record producer, Songwriter, Musician, + more
    • Credits: Philadelphia, Almost Famous, American Beauty, Jerry Maguire
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