‘Death of a Pop Star’ looks back at the lives and tragic endings of music’s biggest acts from the last 50 years – From Buddy Holly to Michael Jackson
SAN FRANCISCO, CA,— Timing can be everything in the music business. The right song at the right time, or the right look in the right place can make or break a career. Strangely enough, the new book Death of a Pop Star from Aplomb Publishing, never intended to have a chapter on Michael Jackson – until his sudden death in the summer of 2009 changed all that.
“I had actually been working on the book for about four months and the idea came about after the anniversary of the death of Buddy Holly,” says author John William Law. “February 2009 marked the 50th anniversary of the death of Holly and I had been reading a bit about him and it got me to thinking about the numerous rock and pop music stars who died tragically after him. I suspected it might make for an interesting book.”
Law, a San Francisco journalist began working on the idea in the spring of 2009 and by summer the bulk of the work was done, until tragic events stopped him in his tracks. “I had most of the writing completed by July when news reports came that Michael Jackson had died,” recalled Law. “The introduction and closing chapters had to be rewritten and a preface had to be added.” In addition, Law spent the next several months watching the Jackson tragedy unfold and in early 2010 began writing what would become the opening chapter in the book.
“I planned to start the book with Buddy Holly and take readers chronologically forward, but after Michael Jackson’s death it seemed appropriate to kick off the book with his story because it was such a major passing.” Law also says the Jackson event changed the impact of the book in other ways as well.
“Jackson’s al legacy really impacted the music industry. As an artist he became the biggest pop act of 2009 following his death. His album sales and digital track sales went through the roof and Forbes, by October 2010, had named him the top earning dead celebrity of 2009-2010. And numerous other music icons included in the book found their way to the list including Elvis Presley, John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix.”
Even though these artists have died, their legacies continue to impact the music industry says Law. “You’d think because the artists are dead their stories would be frozen in time, but that’s not the case. Jimi Hendrix’s story opens with the release of a new album in 2010 and John Lennon’s killer was up for parole last year, so their lives and careers continue to make news,” says the author.
Death of a Pop Star looks back at the lives and deaths of some of the music industry’s biggest acts. In addition to chapters on Holly and Jackson, the book looks back at the passing of legends Marvin Gaye, Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Janis Joplin, Andy Gibb, Cass Elliot, Jimi Hendrix, Karen Carpenter, Tupac Shakur, Selena, Kurt Cobain, John Denver and more. With Elvis Presley and Jackson featured on the cover, the book is packed with photographs and stories behind their tragic ends, as well as brilliant careers, Death of a Pop Star takes readers back for a trip through pop culture time and rock and roll history.
Published in January 2011, and available in bookstores worldwide and through on-line booksellers like Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble, the book is released in both print and ebook editions for Kindle and Nook. Death of a Pop Star contains 20 chapters in a perfect-bound, 220-page paperback book that retails for $14.95 in print and $9.95 in ebook.