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Top 10 Musicians Who Died Due to Drugs and Alcohol

VO: Matt Campbell
Script written by George Pacheco They may be gone, but not forgotten. Welcome to, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Musicians Who Died Due to Drugs and Alcohol. For this list, we're ranking the most influential and popular musicians to have died as a result of drugs or alcohol, whether due to accident, misadventure or intentional abuse. Special thanks to our users Franny LP or submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by George Pacheco

Top 10 Musicians Who Died Due to Drugs and Alcohol

They may be gone, but not forgotten. Welcome to, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Musicians Who Died Due to Drugs and Alcohol. 
For this list, we're ranking the most influential and popular musicians to have died as a result of drugs or alcohol, whether due to accident, misadventure or intentional abuse. We will also be taking into account musicians of all genres, from rock and pop to country, R&B and beyond.

#10: Whitney Houston

A voice of a generation was tragically silenced on February 11th, 2012, as singer Whitney Houston was found lying unresponsive ina hotel bathtub. The popular and versatile performer had enthralled millions during the 1980s and 90s with such songs as "Greatest Love of All," "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" and "I Will Always Love You" from "The Bodyguard" soundtrack, and had performed publicly just days before. Yet years of cocaine abuse had sent the singer on a downward spiral in her personal life, which-assisted by Houston's atherosclerotic heart disease-unfortunately resulted in her death by drowning.

#9: John Bonham
Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham did not disappoint when it came to living the excessive rock star style. From private jets, women and alcohol, Bonham rarely lived life with any sort of restraint, and this enthusiastic energy was showcased heavily in the man's immense percussive skills. Bonzo would not live to see his band's legacy carry on into the 1980s and beyond, however, as on the night of September 24th, 1980, Bonham had been set to sleep on his side in guitarist Jimmy Page's house after a night of tour rehearsals and heavy drinking. Similarly to original AC/DC front man Bon Scott, Bonham choked on vomit in his sleep after adrinking bender, with bassist John Paul Jones discovering him unconscious the next morning.

#8: Sid Vicious
The Sex Pistols

Born John Ritchie, Vicious gained fame later in life as the focal points of a band spiritually linked with the emergence of British punk rock. A punk icon through and through, the life of Sid Vicious was marred with emotional turmoil, drug abuse and violence. Sid's life caught up to him when he was arrested for the murder of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen in New York's Hotel Chelsea. Vicious would never recover from the incident, even after making bail, and would finally succumb to a fatal heroin overdose on February 2nd, 1979.

#7: Keith Moon
The Who

One of the few classic rock drummers to rival Led Zeppelin's John Bonham, The Who's Keith Moon possessed a reputation being somewhat of a lovable lunatic on stage and off, with a crazed and manic energy. Unfortunately, Moon's often unhinged persona would go on to impact his personal life outside The Who, with the English rock legend developing an addiction to alcohol to go along with Moon's already legendary reputation for rabble rousing and practical jokes. Moon was eventually prescribed Heminevrin for the alcohol withdrawals he was enduring in his attempts to get sober, only to OD from a lethal dose of the drug in September of 1978.

#6: Michael Jackson

There are moments in history where everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing. For some, it was the JFK assassination, and for others it was the death of the King of Pop. A child star whose meteoric success as a member of The Jackson 5, Jackson became an internationally influential icon during the 80s through his solo career. In 2009, MJ was set to play an epic 50 night residency at London's O2 Arena but was being administered propofol, midazolam, and lorazepam by his personal doctor, Conrad Murray. While rehearsing for these shows Jackson received a fatal dose of propofol and benzodiazepine, which triggered acardiac arrest resulting in his death at 50 years of age.

#5: Elvis Presley

The loss of Elvis Presley stands to this day as one of the largest outpourings of grief from a collective fan base. Legions of people still make pilgrimages to Presley's Graceland estate decades later. The King was still a certified legend during the early and mid seventies, but poor diet, a grueling tour schedule and heavy drug addiction were taking its toll on Presley in a dramatic fashion. Presley was in rough physical and mental shape by the latter part of the decade, passing away in his home due to a heart attack, exacerbated by an over-prescribed combination of drugs and medication from his personal physician.

#4: Amy Winehouse

It's always a tragedy when an artist is taken away by personal demons, and nowhere is this more evident than in the short, yet influential life of Amy Winehouse. Fans flocked to the songwriter's refreshing honesty and retro-style, not to mention Winehouse's even more vintage sounding vocals, which hearkened back to the days of classic soul, jazz and pop from the 1950s and 60s. Fast fame can be a cruel mistress, however, and it wasn't long before Winehouse's drug and alcohol addiction led to erratic and poor performances, before finally resulting in her death in 2011. After a night of drinking Winehouse was found dead with a blood alcohol level at five times the legal limit.

#3: Janis Joplin
Big Brother and the Holding Company

27 is a cursed age for rock stars, and Janis Joplin was one of the more high profile of those casualties. Janis Joplin's performance of"Ball and Chain" at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival has gone on to become the stuff of legend; a captivating display of the singer's one-of-a-kind emotional release. Indeed, there were few blues-rock singers who could touch Joplin's raw power on stage, yet the performer's emotional turmoil would also lead to a heroin addiction, a habit which served as the cause of her death after overdosing on a particularly potent batch of the drug on October 4th, 1970.

#2: Jim Morrison
The Doors

In 1971 Jim Morrison, the iconic frontman for The Doors was found dead in his Parisian apartment's bathtub. The official cause ofMorrison's death was labeled as heart failure, although the fact that there was no performed autopsy opened the doors wide to speculation over whether or not drugs had played a part in Morrison's demise as well as whether or not the musician actually faked his own death. British singer Marianne Faithful eventually claimed that a strong batch of French Connection heroin given to Morrison by her boyfriend Jean de Breiteuil was the true cause of the singer's demise, but some fans continue to hash out conspiracy theories regarding Morrison's death to this day.
Before we reveal our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions
Scott Weiland
Stone Temple Pilots/Velvet Revolver
Ol' Dirty Bastard
Wu-Tang Clan
Bradley Nowell
Dee Dee Ramone
The Ramones
John Entwistle
The Who
Steve Clark
Def Leppard

#1: Jimi Hendrix

Ask any hard rock guitarist who was a teenager during the 1960s who inspired them to pick the instrument, and it's very likely that this name will come up time and time again. James Marshall Hendrix simply changed the landscape of what the electric guitar could do during his brief but influential time in the spotlight. Hendrix would never live to see his influence grow throughout the next decade, however, as an excessive dosage of sleeping pills led to the guitarist aspirating in his sleep after vomiting, with the resulting asphyxia robbing the world of yet another musical icon far too soon.
Do you agree with our list? Which much missed musician do you think should've made the list? For more eye-opening top tens, published every day, be sure to subscribe to!

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