For anyone who even passively follows the news, it’s obvious that the United States has a problem with gun violence. It has for a long time. Among the numbers killed by guns in the United States are a fair few musicians. Cuepoint’s Mike “DJ” Pizzo wanted to make an infographic about how many musicians have been killed by gun violence.
“The endless cycle of gun violence in American society got me thinking about how our typically peaceful sanctuary of music has been shattered by guns. I ended up on Wikipedia, two pages in particular: “List of Deaths in Rock & Roll” and “List of Deceased Hip-Hop Artists”. These two lists date back to 1956 and 1987, respectively, covering just about every way to die possible. Focusing on guns — suicides included — I found that over 100 rock stars, rappers and other musicians have lost their lives due to firearms”.
Pizzo narrowed the list down to 79, as many of the deceased hip hop artists on the lists were obscure and without their own Wikipedia pages. He also debated whether or not to include suicides on the list, however after seeing the name of a high school friend, Tommy Marth who played with the Killers, on the list, he decided to include them. He writes:
“I felt that suicides should not be overlooked. These artists are people’s friends, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters, and for whatever the reason, access to a gun led to their untimely death”.
Once all the data was pulled together, some interesting things came to light. For example, just the number of musician gun deaths has increased exponentially since the 1950s. Out of the 79 total deaths on the infographic, 54 were murders, 20 were suicides, and five were accidents.
Pizzo concludes his write-up with this genuine statement:
“As you scroll past the faces on this chart, please consider that a gun abruptly silenced each individual, killing not just the artist but the art they were destined to create—output that never had the chance to see the light of day”.
Take a look at the infographic: