READ
189.6k readers

People Who Got Fired From Huge Rock Bands

Updated May 17, 2021 189.6k views28 items

List RulesMusicians who were fired from famous bands - not who quit voluntarily.

People don't generally think of "rock star" as a job title. Famous musicians don't have a boss, they set their own hours, and drinking on the job is pretty much required. But plenty of rock stars have been fired. Musicians have been kicked out of bands for reasons ranging from drug problem to ego to simply not being very good. Once in a while, band members can't even agree if someone was fired or if they quit. But that detail doesn't really matter when you're left behind and your band goes on to make millions of dollars. 

Some of the biggest rock stars in history have been fired from bands and some of the biggest bands ever have kicked out members, even their lead singers. The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Metallica, AC/DC, Beach Boys, Bon Jovi, and the Smiths have all kicked out various people - some of whom went on to become stars themselves and others who disappeared from public view.

Here are some of the people fired from the biggest bands of all time with the reasons why they were fired. If you have the inside scoop on some of these fired musicians, leave a comment and tell us what happened.
  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use

    Best was The Beatles's drummer for their entire early run, playing countless shows in England and Germany. But after recording the single "Love Me Do," the band fired him and hired Ringo Starr. Rumors flew for years that Best was fired because of his good looks, his female fans, even his gloomy personality.

    But the truth is that producer George Martin wasn't happy with his drumming and simply wanted a more skilled player. Best eventually sued the group for libel, and retired from music.
    • Age: 78
    • Birthplace: Chennai, India
    • Gender: Male

    More Pete Best 

    #318 of 904 Celebrity Death Pool 2021#3 of 12 Who Should Be The Fifth Beatle?#30 of 34 Celebrities Turning 80 In 2021

  • When Keith Richards thinks you do too many drugs, you probably do too many drugs. Such is the case with Rolling Stones co-founder and multi-instrumental wiz Brian Jones. Fed up with his drug abuse, they kicked him out of the band in 1969 - and he was found dead a month later.
    • Age: Dec. at 27 (1942-1969)
    • Birthplace: Cheltenham, United Kingdom
    • Gender: Male

    More Brian Jones 

    #8 of 29 Members of The 27 Club#429 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive#704 of 1,355 The Greatest Minds of All Time

  • The other members of Black Sabbath fired lead singer Ozzy Osbourne in 1979 after his drug and alcohol problems made it impossible for him to record satisfactory vocals. While Sabbath moved on with a revolving door of members, Osbourne released 11 studio albums and built a successful solo career. Ozzy rejoined the group several times, including in 2011 for a reunion tour and new record. 


    • Age: 71
    • Birthplace: Aston, Birmingham, England, UK
    • Gender: Male
    • Alternative Name: Ozzy Osbourne

    More Ozzy Osbourne 

    Inside Ozzy Osbourne's Rough-And-Tumble Youth#92 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time#85 of 230 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters

  • Photo: TDC Photography / Shutterstock
    The guitarist was thrown out of Metallica in 1983 for his obnoxious behavior and heavy drinking. The band simply grabbed Mustaine's gear, threw him in a car, and dropped him off at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York. Soon after, Mustaine formed the hugely successful band Megadeth.
    • Age: 59
    • Birthplace: La Mesa, California, United States of America
    • Gender: Male

    More Dave Mustaine 

    #56 of 542 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time#234 of 489 The Best Rock Vocalists#105 of 298 The Best Frontmen in Rock