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3 Reasons Why We Immortalize Muscians Who Died in their Prime
If They were Still Alive Would we Still Hold Them in Awe?
Whichever genre you listen to (Reggae, Hip-hop, Hard Metal, Rock n Roll, Soul, Jazz, Classical etc.) there’s always an Artist(s) who at their Peak Revolutionized the industry and inspired a generation with their Lyrics, Talent, Songs, Personality, and Performance.
They were like demi gods in their prime worshipped by legions of fans worldwide, captivating us with their songs & lyrics, but their mysterious & untimely death shocked us and left an inedible mark on our lives, making us immortalize them to this day.
But what if they were still alive; would we hold them in awe? Would their Songs, Lyrics or Compositions be revered? Would their influence & popularity be the same as before they died? What influences our attachment to them when dead than alive? Is it something innate or psychological making us appreciate them more when gone?
It’s hard to know what really makes us immortalize such artists, but after reading several articles, I have advanced several theories to help explain.
Those who predicted their death
“Many things he would try for he knew soon he’d die,” “Now Jimi’s gone, he’s not alone/ His memory still lives on,” “Five years, this he said/ He’s not gone, he’s just dead.” “The Ballads of Jimi ,” by Legendary Guitarist Jimi Hendrix. These lines baffled fans worldwide, as exactly five years later he was found dead in his apartment aspirated by his own vomit while intoxicated and many believed he had predicted his own death. Going by the lines above I am leaning towards the same and provided an aspect on my theory why we immortalize them with artistes who somehow predicted their death.
From John Lennon, Bob Marley, David Bowie, Kurt Cobain, and Tu pac Shakur, all predicted their death through lyrics or might have hinted at it during interviews with almost prophetic precision of their untimely demise. Fans were mystified by creating conspiracy theories in explaining such premonitions as there were no rational explanations or reasons and fans refused to let them Rest in Peace.
Thus immortalizing such artists by refusing to let them fade away naturally and holding onto them through seeking answers in explaining how they could’ve somehow predicted their own death.
Those gone Too Soon
At age 14, she released her critically acclaimed album, Age ain’t nothing but a number, which was certified gold, and two years later her sophomore album, One in a million, selling 8 million copies worldwide and certified double platinum. Aaliyah Dana Haughton also known by her moniker Aaliyah, achieved such a feat while still a teenager, not forgetting her roles in various Blockbusters like Romeo must die.
Just as her star was shining brightly, on August 25, 2001 at the tender age 22 her life was snuffed out by a plane crash in the Bahamas, and after an autopsy traces of alcohol & cocaine was found in the pilot’s system. Her demise shocked all worldwide, as fans had not had enough of her exceptional talent, they were not finished with her, and she still had more to offer.
Hence providing another aspect to my theory by immortalizing those artist gone Too Soon, where we refuse to let them Rest in Peace because their demise came rather too soon or sudden and not giving fans enough time to fully appreciate their exceptional talent or comprehend what had just happened.
Immortalizing by Default
Or it can be something psychological or innate; as they hold a special place in our heart, just like our loved ones, hence when they die we keep their memories burning in our hearts thus immortalizing by default.
Whatever reason you have or think of, no one deny the fact that their songs & lyrics played a major role in shaping our lives, hence morally obliged to immortalize by keeping their memory alive
© 2018 Van Nchogu