Geoff Rickly of Thursday posted some thoughts via Twitter on why he thinks singers have a high suicide rate. This comes after the death of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington. Check out his thoughts below.
I do actually think there are a bunch of factors at work on why we see a high suicide rate (along with drinking, drugging to death) among singers. The kinds of people that tend to gravitate towards devoting their lives to music are often quite introverted. We all know the effect that music has, especially on the solitary spirit. The level of devotion required to become a famous singer almost guarantees that these singers have an unhealthy obsession with music. Now take these introverts and throw them into a group dynamic where they are joined closely with other musicians and also stand apart. Being a singer is like being a goalie: you’re a team mate but you stand alone and often get blamed when you lose the game. This youngest child/only child dynamic is stressful for introverts, in the best of times. Now put them on tour 10 months a year and add easy access to drugs and alcohol. Now add public opinion and the cycle of ego inflation and ego destruction that comes with a career in the spotlight. One minute you’re a genius, the next you’re an idiot.
The last, and I believe most significant, factor is one faced by other entertainers and models. I have friends who are adult stars and we discuss what exactly we will do when we’ve sold the last drops of our youth. We can’t retire on our earnings. Your youth, itself, becomes the commodity of yours that other people sell. Did you know labels will insure certain body parts of their artists? It’s a strange thing to experience. If you’re very lucky, you last long enough to wave goodbye to your youth and a lot of your career, in the process. All of these factors probably contribute in some way. I try to stay pretty grounded and I’ve had periods where I didn’t think I could handle it anymore. I’m not sure if I know the answer. I’m certainly searching for mine. Recovery, my relationships and service seem to be the corner stones.
Lots of love, Geoff