Have you ever wondered why the musical artists who are no longer with us seem to have an almost cult following? Or why does an artist seem to become infinitely more popular after the news of his death? This trend has been evident throughout history from the 1970s to the present day, most recently with artists such as Pop Smoke and Nipsey Hussle gaining immense popularity. after their deaths. Is it just a coincidence, or are there some reasons for this common theme among deceased artists?
Dying young is almost a glorified action in today’s music scene, especially since the idea of the 27 Club was coined in 1994, after Kurt Cobain’s death. The 27 Club is a metaphorical club, made up of musical artists Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain, all of whom have died at the age of 27.
Giving a nickname to this unfortunate group of the dead, in addition to the fact that these artists were very successful, made it seem like dying young from the complications of the rock and roll lifestyle was something to idolize. This led to many artists of our century being placed on a pedestal and labeled as great, simply because they would die, in turn raising their status and popularity.
Most of the deceased artists in our decade actually died young, which is another reason music fans seem to be obsessed with them once they’re gone. It is in human nature to imagine what could have been and because artists such as Lil Peep, Avicii, Juice WRLD and Amy Winehouse all had their early to late twenties when they passed away, this question could have a variety of answers.
The “what ifs” in this question are endless, making it a common topic of discussion for music theorists or just regular fans. Because this question can never be answered correctly, it solidifies the artist into legendary status. As far as we know, this artist could have spawned the greatest songs the world has ever known, or ended up failing and ruining their legacy. However, music fans will always choose to believe the former, firmly establishing the said artist as an industry titan.
From a sales perspective, the death of an artist immediately increases the value of their work. This is a tendency known as the “death effect” and is more evident in the art industry, but it can also apply to certain aspects of the music industry. It was easier to measure an increase in sales before streaming services began to dominate, with audio storage devices such as records and CDs still seeing an increase in sales after the death of an artist.
Often times, the death of a musical artist will trigger reporting or reporting if they are successful enough, which is another obvious reason why their popularity can soar. There is no bad publicity, even from the grave, so this kind of media coverage could reach a whole new audience who will then listen to that artist out of curiosity, thus increasing their stream count.
Finally, the loss of a beloved singer or rapper is a sad event when it happens, but it often brings the music community together to mourn. This mourning often takes the form of listening to the music of the deceased artist for weeks or even months after his death. This large influx of listeners mourning the loss of an artist can inflate the number of broadcasts or plays they receive, making them even more popular than when they were alive.
While dying young is not something to glorify and the Club of 27 is not a goal to strive for, it does provide some insight into why artists become even more loved in their afterlife. Speculation as to what the artist might have become, although it is impossible to know for sure, is almost more satisfying than knowing the answer to this question and adds to the cult appeal that some rappers acquire posthumously. .
When it comes to the logistics of a musical artist’s career, the increased publicity due to his death, and the growing value of his work with each day he is not alive, are keys to explaining the sudden surge in popularity. which occurs when the artist dies. Grieving together as a community makes you appreciate the musical artist who is mourned, but I would like to think that he would be equally appreciated and loved if he was with us today, whatever the genre. Rest in peace to all artists who have died in the history of music and may their legacy endure through their work forever.