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How These 12 Dead Rock Stars Would Look If They Were Still Alive Today?

Rock music, or rock and roll, intertwined with the life of people of all ages during the ’50s and ’60s. Even now, this music genre pretty much has a cult-following thanks to its catchy rhythm. And we can’t not admire artists who contribute to the success of this type of music. From the “King Of Rock” Elvis Presley to the legendary band The Beatles, they really cast a spell on us with their tunes.

However, many great rock stars passed away quite early, making fans feel downright sorrowful. Elvis Presley burned out when he was only 42 due to a heart attack, while John Lennon got a shot by a crazy fan and passed away at just 40. And we can’t have more rock hits from them.

Be that as it may, they are still illustrious, and become the models that many generations of artists follow. And if they were still alive, they would bring us high-octane performances and hits. The Rock and Roll Heaven project by Sachs Media Group produced an image of how these late artists would appear today and provided professional speculation from two renowned musicologists on what these icons might have accomplished with their abilities. Scroll down to explore.

#1 John Lennon

Source: Wikimedia Commons / Sachs Media

John Lennon is the co-founder of the legendary band The Beatles, with Paul McCartney. They have many remarkable songs. People today are still bopping and singing “Let it be, let it be…” He also has an agreement vocal that thrills the listeners. Unfortunately, he got shot by a crazy fan and didn’t survive thereafter. The singer of the hit “Stand by me” was first admitted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Beatles in 1988 and then again in 1994 as a solo performer.

According to Rock and Roll Heaven, here’s what he would be doing today if he was still alive:
“Having retired from the music business and devoted himself to fatherhood, Lennon returned with a new maturity and would have been likely to continue his social activism with more focus.

He paved the way for such musical activists as Bob Geldof and Bono, but given his talent and fame could have accomplished even greater things. Given what he had done already, it is hard to put limits on what he might have attempted, and it seems safe to assume he would have continued to surprise even his most devoted followers.

He might have been the first classic rocker to embrace the hip-hop revolution, composed avant-garde experimental music, gone back to his roots by forming a hard-rocking guitar quartet, or most likely would have experimented with all of those alternatives and more. (And yes, he almost certainly would have stayed with Yoko Ono.”

#2 Karen Carpenter

Source: Wikimedia Commons / Sachs Media

Karen Carpenter first earned the limelight as a teenager, singing with her brother Richard. They formed the Carpenters band and possess many top-class hits such as “Top Of The World”, “Yesterday Once More”, and the list goes on. She passed away at 32 due to a deadly heart attack. It was the sequence of her eating disorder for a long time.

According to Rock and Roll Heaven, here’s what she would be doing today if he was still alive:
“At the time of Karen’s death, the Carpenters were in transition. She had explored solo projects while Richard dealt with some personal issues, but they were back together and cementing their global popularity with international tours.

They would likely have continued to build on the foundation of their classic hits, touring, and playing top venues, and in the 21st century might well have established their own showcase theater in Las Vegas, placing them in the company of such stars as Prince and Bette Midler.”

#3 Elvis Presley

Source: Wikimedia Commons / Sachs Media

There are almost no words to describe how illustrious Elvis Presley is. Even John Lennon said that The Beatles were nothing without Elvis Presley. The “King of Rock” churned out hit after hit and acted in Hollywood movies. However, a heart attack took his life away when he was 42.

According to Rock and Roll Heaven, here’s what he would be doing today if he was still alive:
“As long as Colonel Parker remained his manager, Presley would have been unlikely to make any dramatic changes of artistic direction – but it is not hard to imagine the Colonel opening an Elvis Grand Casino in Las Vegas where the “King of Rock and Roll” could have held court throughout the years.

After Parker died in 1997, Elvis might have branched out. Like his old Sun labelmate Johnny Cash, he might have put himself in the hands of young rock producers and revisited his blues and country roots, making stripped-down albums that would have won him a new following of young hipsters.

Given his command of older pop styles, he would also have been an obvious first choice for the Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett superstar duet projects.”

#4 Jimi Hendrix

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Jimi Hendrix, regarded by many as the finest guitarist in the history of rock music, was a groundbreaking artist. One of the remarkable moments in his career is the legendary performance at Woodstock in 1969, where he performed “The Star Spangled Banner.” Sadly, he died of an overdose at age 27. In 1992, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

According to Rock and Roll Heaven, here’s what he would be doing today if he was still alive:
“At the time of his death, Hendrix had become frustrated with the limitations of rock and was discussing a duet project with Miles Davis. This would have opened up new worlds to both artists and could have been the defining masterpiece of jazz-rock fusion.

He would also undoubtedly have continued his innovative explorations of new sound technologies, and created increasingly complex and ambitious long-form compositions.

Though in the process he would have moved further from the hit-focused rock-pop mainstream, [and] he would have provided a bridge between the funk-jazz of Parliament and the growing experimental rock movement, and could now be reigning as the pioneer, father figure, and supreme master of the jam-band scene.”

#5 Jim Morrison

Source: Wikimedia Commons / Sachs Media

The Doors’ hard-partying vocalist and composer Jim Morrison revolutionized the 1960s with his music, arrests, and outrageous behavior. His music and unhealthy habits were legendary, yet at age 27, he passed away in the bathtub of an apartment in Paris, most likely from heart failure. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame honored Morrison as an influential member of The Doors in 1993.

According to Rock and Roll Heaven, here’s what he would be doing today if he was still alive:
“Of all the 1960s rockers who died young, Morrison is the most difficult to pin down in terms of where his artistic muse might have taken him, given his broad range of interests not only in music, but also in poetry, film, and theater.

He undoubtedly would have been involved in the explosion of independent filmmaking in the 1970s, and was perhaps the only rock star of his generation who would have been completely at home in the punk rock movement of the 1970s and later alternative scenes.

Alternatively, he might have abandoned music entirely; devoted himself to writing; moved to New York, Paris, Tokyo, or Dakar; and by now be honored by a few cognoscenti as an experimental avant-gardist rather than revered by millions as a rock star.”

#6 Bob Marley

Source: Sachs Media

When you think of reggae, Bob Marley will spring to your mind. Together with Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, Marley established the Wailers, who are well known for songs like “Get Up, Stand Up” and “I Shot the Sheriff.” Marley, 36, passed away from cancer. Marley was enshrined in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

According to Rock and Roll Heaven, here’s what he would be doing today if he was still alive:
“Marley’s success was globally inspirational in a way no previous superstar had been. Had he lived, he would undoubtedly have gone beyond his collaborations with Jamaican, American, and British musicians, becoming the central figure in the “world music” explosion and forging new fusions with artists from Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

Given his international stature and his devotion to the varied styles of the African diaspora, he would have been a dream partner for stars like the Fugees and Kanye West. It is also likely he would have also attempted to use his influence beyond the musical domain, challenging the ongoing dominance of the old colonial powers, and serving as a spokesman for people of color around the world.”

#7 Bobby Darin

Source: Wikimedia Commons / Sachs Media

With bangers like “Splish Splash” and “Dream Lover,” Bobby Darin established himself as a notable actor, singer, and songwriter. He won two Grammys, and in 1990, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted him. After open heart surgery, he passed away at the age of 37.

According to Rock and Roll Heaven, here’s what he would be doing today if he was still alive:
”At the time of his death, Darin was increasingly focusing on politics and the “turbulent aspects of modern society.” Having traveled with Bobby Kennedy, he might well have entered the political arena, perhaps returning to New York to challenge the Rockefeller machine. With his commitment to social change, he would undoubtedly have been a mainstay at major events like Live Aid.

And with his breadth of taste and talent, he might have expanded the range of artists involved in those projects, bringing in friends from the world of Hollywood and Las Vegas. As he grew older, he would probably have concentrated more deeply on his acting career, and might, in the end, have been better known for his activism and acting than his music.”

#8 Cass Elliot

Source: Wikimedia Commons / Sachs Media

“Mama Cass” Elliot started singing folk music in 1963 and the 1960s group the Mamas and the Papas in 1965. They created popular songs including “Monday, Monday” and “California Dreamin’.” Elliot sadly passed away from heart failure at the age of 32. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 as a significant Mamas and the Papas member.

According to Rock and Roll Heaven, here’s what she would be doing today if he was still alive:
“Unlike most 1960s rockers, Cass was completely at home with cabaret and theater performance styles. At the time of her death, she was already appearing in prestigious venues such as the London Palladium, and with her powerful voice might have built an enduring career as a solo concert diva on the order of Bette Midler or Barbra Streisand.

As one of the rock world’s great ensemble singers, it seems likely that she would also have continued to work in group settings, perhaps adding her soulful harmony to superstar collaborations like the Linda Ronstadt-Dolly Parton-Emmylou Harris trio.”

#9 Keith Moon

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Keith Moon is an incredibly high-octane rock-and-roll drummer. He played with The Who, later gaining the nickname “Moon the Loon” for destroying drum sets and hotel rooms. . He overdosed on drugs and passed away at age 32. For his significant contribution to The Who, Moon was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

According to Rock and Roll Heaven, here’s what he would be doing today if he was still alive:
“Though he occasionally experimented with side projects, Keith Moon was always first and foremost the heartbeat, clown, and spectacular lunatic of The Who, and his career would have continued to be wrapped up with his longtime bandmates.

Had he lived, The Who would not have broken up in the 1980s and could have continued on a par with the Rolling Stones, making new albums and selling out stadiums around the world. The music would not have changed all that much, but new generations of fans would have a chance to see them with the magnificent madman Moon on drums.”

#10 Kurt Cobain

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Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of the band Nirvana, revolutionized rock by starting the grunge movement. Cobain solidified his position as a grunge movement hero with the releases of the albums Nevermind and In Utero. He committed suicide at the age of 27. Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain was officially honored by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2014 for his contributions to musical history.

According to Rock and Roll Heaven, here’s what he would be doing today if he was still alive:
“Given his aversion to celebrity, had Cobain lived, he would likely have continued to work with Nirvana, but also explored smaller, less commercial projects with other players, trying to recapture some of the anonymity and artistic freedom of his early years.

He would probably have pursued artistic outlets offstage and behind the scenes, eschewing the limelight and using his fame to bring attention to young musicians on the cutting edge, as well as exploring his deep interest in Americana styles by producing and collaborating with older roots” artists.”

#11 Dennis Wilson

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Dennis Wilson, one of the Beach Boys’ original members, sang, played the drums, and wrote songs. He struggled with a drinking problem as well, and at the age of 39, he drowned by accident. Wilson, a renowned Beach Boys member, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.

According to Rock and Roll Heaven, here’s what he would be doing today if he was still alive:
“Though his solo projects were personally satisfying, Wilson would have continued to be known principally for his work with the Beach Boys.

Aside from touring the world with his bandmates, he would have appeared in all-star shows with fellow rock legends, made occasional albums with musician friends (one can’t help musing about a duet project with long-time friend and lover Christine McVie), and perhaps would have added luster to his brother Brian’s phenomenal comeback.”

#12 Janis Joplin

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With the band Big Brother and the Holding Company, Janis Joplin made her mark on the blues music scene in 1966. Their 1968 album Cheap Thrills was well-received by critics. After that, she pursued a lucrative solo career before a heroin overdose claimed her life. She passed away at 27. In 1995, she was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

According to Rock and Roll Heaven, here’s what she would be doing today if he was still alive:
“The pace and intensity of Joplin’s lifestyle and singing were unsustainable, and she would almost certainly have experienced a collapse of some kind in the early 1970s. However, by the 1980s she could have returned with the wisdom and depth of that experience, re-emerging like similarly troubled peers, such as Joe Cocker and Tina Turner.

Her voice would undoubtedly have lost much of its screaming power but gained control. She could have surrounded herself with the best sidemen available and created music that – while it would have been less raw and wild than her youthful work – would have been surer, deeper, and just as passionately soulful.”