Yesterday, 06:20 PM
Twilight of the rock gods
For music fans, the recent flood of celebrity deaths has been overwhelming: David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Prince, Leonard Cohen, George Michael and Chuck Berry seem like a disproportionate number of superstars to lose in a short time span.
But with many of rock’s founding fathers and mothers reaching their 70s, the end of the age of rock ’n’ roll is just beginning. While every generation bemoans the passing of its great artists, the outsize influence of rock promises to have a profound impact on popular culture and overall music-industry sales.
Of the 25 artists with the highest record sales in the U.S. since 1991, when reliable data first became available, just one—Britney Spears—is under 40, Nielsen data show. Nineteen of the 25 are over 50 years old.