Musicians – especially in the rock and jazz genres – don’t always have a long lifespan. Accidents, drugs, random violence, suicide and disease have claimed the lives of far too many talented people too soon.
Rock and roll pioneer Buddy Holly has died aged 22. For Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin and 27-year-old Amy Winehouse, that was all they had. Jazz great Charlie Parker died aged 33 (although the coroner who performed his autopsy initially guessed he was around 60), and John Coltrane only reached 40.
On the other hand… Some musicians seem to defy the predictions and reach 75, 85 or more; some even hit 100 or more, like country singer Slim Bryant, jazz singer Herb Jeffries, and bandleader Orrin Tucker. These are 35 rock stars who are now 75 or older.
Long lives are a thing in the music industry, but what’s truly amazing about some veteran musicians isn’t just the number of years they’ve been on the planet, but the extent of their professional career. Some started in their teens or even earlier, some continued acting or singing until their eighth or ninth decade, and some did both. No matter your age, here is a list of the most famous musicians born in the year you were born.
Click here to learn more about 35 musicians with legendary careers
24/7 Tempo has assembled a list of notable living musicians, across the worlds of rock, pop, jazz, country and classical, who have been doing their thing for 60 years or more – and in one notable case, since 85 years old.