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Top 10 Musicians You Thought Were Dead

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
Let’s take a look at some people who are totally still alive... for now. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down the Top 10 Musicians You Thought Were Dead.   For this list, we’ll be looking at musicians who, either as result of a life of hard living or a lack of recent musical activity, may have been mistaken for dead by certain members of the general public.
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Top 10 Musicians You Thought Were Dead

Let’s take a look at some people who are totally still alive... for now. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down the Top 10 Musicians You Thought Were Dead.
 
For this list, we’ll be looking at musicians who, either as result of a life of hard living or a lack of recent musical activity, may have been mistaken for dead by certain members of the general public.
 

#10: ABBA

Swedish group ABBA were a veritable pop powerhouse in the ‘70s and early ‘80s. Though they unofficially disbanded in 1982, their membership are all alive and well, appearing together at the premiere of the Mamma Mia! film in 2008. More recently, in 2016, they announced that they were all collaborating on a “digital entertainment experience” after appearing at a party together. Sadly, despite the fact that all four members remain among the living, they’ve made it clear that they are disinterested in reuniting to perform a reunion tour in the flesh.  
 

#9: David Lee Roth

Van Halen is an iconic American rock band that requires very little introduction. Though brothers Edward and Alex may be the band's namesakes, it was David Lee Roth who fronted the group to superstardom. Perhaps its his well-documented rockstar lifestyle that leads many to assume that he died sometime after splitting from the band that made him famous. But in reality Roth is not only alive and well, but since 2007 has been again manning the mic for Van Halen, albeit with shorter hair, less spandex, and fewer jump kicks than in his youth.
 

#8: Chubby Checker

We understand why so many people just assume that Chubby Checker has moved on from this world - “The Twist” was a very long time ago. But the man responsible for popularizing the song and accompanying dance move is not only still alive, but continues to sing, dance and record as well. As recently as 2013, he was releasing new material. The golden age of Chubby Checker may be long gone, but his dance moves, including the Twist, the Limbo Rock and the Fly, remain crucial pieces of dance history - and he remains among the living.

 

#7: Iggy Pop


An old school punk rocker defined by his drug consumption, self-destructive stage presence and nihilistic tendencies, you’d be forgiven for thinking that nobody could survive past their 50s living like that, but Iggy Pop is the exception. As of 2018, Pop has not only survived his 50s but cracked his 70s and appears to be fitter than rockers half his age. Not only is he not gone, he's still force to be reckoned with. In 2016, he released “Post Pop Depression”, produced by Josh Hommes. The record and subsequent tours prove that Iggy Pop is very much still alive and kicking.
 
 
 

#6: Loretta Lynn

Born in 1932, Loretta Lynn went on to record more country hits than you can count, spread across a career spanning over 50 years and dozens of albums. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, this musical juggernaut often released multiple albums in a single year and, though she was quiet during the ‘90s, as of the new millenium, she has continued to put out new music. If yourequire any more proof that she’s still with us, you need look no further than her 2018 album “Wouldn't It Be Great” - the third instalment in a planned 5 album series.
 

#5: Brian Wilson

 
This legendary musician has had a tough life, but this Beach Boy is still with us. Much of the confusion over Wilson’s life status stems from his period as a recluse. After achieving massive success in the 1960s, his public reputation and mental health declined, and he spent much of the 1970s abusing drugs and alcohol and cutting himself off the from the world. He eventually came back from it, but the road to recovery was a long and troubled one. Of course, music lovers will tell you that he has since given us a lot of great music, including the critically-acclaimed “Smile”.
 
 

#4: Jerry Lee Lewis

Where most of Jerry Lee Lewis’ black and white television peers are long gone, people tend to assume that he shuffled off as well. But why people seem to think so is anyone's guess. It could be that his career never quite picked up after his controversial 1957 marriage, or his long absence from the mainstream charts. He’s one of the last men standing of Rock n roll’s first generation – but where Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and so many others from his time have joined the choir invisible, Lewis is still alive and living it up on stage.
 
 
 

#3: Little Richard

Little Richard was known for his larger than life persona, and played a massive role in music history with his work in rock n roll, funk, rhythm and blues, and soul. Though he’s no longer at the forefront of the music world, he’s still alive and, as recently as 2013, was still performing live - reportedly putting on one hell of a show despite officially being in his 80s. Although he did have some health setbacks, including a heart attack and hip surgery, Little Richard is still living and, according to his attorney anyway, still rocking.
 
 
 

#2: Bob Dylan

He’s a Nobel Prize winner. He’s among the most influential songwriters  in history. And yes... he’s still alive, he's just notoriously hard to get a hold of. In fact, Bob Dylan is arguably the most active aging musician around. Since 1988, he’s been on his Never Ending Tour, which sees him performing roughly 100 shows a year with his backing band. True to its name, it’s now 30 years old and approaching 3000 shows. Though his albums don’t get the fanfare they once did, most are still met with critical acclaim, and he’s releasing albums quicker than most popular artists in their 20s and 30s.
 
 
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions
 
Shane MacGowan
 
 
Frankie Valli
 
 
Nikki Sixx
 

#1: Keith Richards

Keef is one of the most iconic hard-partying, drug-using rockstars in the history of popular music. It would be easy to assume that, like so many of his peers, drugs claimed him during the heyday of rock music, but sure enough, he survived to clean up his lifestyle, and still plays with the Rolling Stones to this day He’s played over two thousand concerts all over the world, been through the hell of heroin and alcohol addiction and survived, had multiple marriages and five children, and has written some of the most iconic rock songs ever released. Who knows, maybe, even in his 70s, he lives too fast for death to ever catch up.  

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