How much do you know about these famous rock star deaths?

ENTERTAINMENT

John Miller

6 Min Quiz

About This Quiz

Big-time musicians have riches and fame but they are just as mortal as the rest of us. Some rock stars go out with a bang -- others, with a whimper. How much do you know about these famous rock deaths?

Elvis Presley died due to an overdose of which drug?

Elvis sucked down drugs like they were going out of style. He took all sorts of substances and by the end of his career he could hardly remember the melodies to his famous songs.

Advertisement

Following Elvis' death, one of Elvis' cousins did what to his body?

Everyone around Elvis was looking to cash in on the singer's fame. One cousin secretly photographed his bloated body and sold the pictures to tabloid National Enquirer and the pictures resulted in the rag's best-selling issue ever.

Advertisement

Singer Billie Holiday was just 44 years old when she died. What killed her?

Billie Holiday was celebrated for her amazing voice -- and she was equally well-known for her substance abuse problems. She died at 44 from her cirrhosis of the liver.

Advertisement

Bon Scott died from alcohol poisoning. He was the lead singer of which group?

Bon Scott was the original singer of rock group AC/DC. He went out for a night of drinking in London, passed out … and then died. He was then replaced by singer Brian Johnson.

Advertisement

Jimi Hendrix probably died from which cause?

Hendrix was notorious for his drug intake, and on the night that he died, he chomped a huge dose of sleeping pills. The initial autopsy showed that he choked on his own vomit. He was just 27 years old.

Advertisement

Where did Jimi Hendrix die?

Hendrix partied into the wee hours of the morning with a woman in London. When she realized that something was wrong, she called for an ambulance … and then fled the scene. His body was shipped to his home state of Washington for burial.

Advertisement

Hank Williams was one of the most celebrated country musicians of the 20th century. How old was he when he died?

Williams was just 29 years old when he died of heart failure that was accelerated by his heavy drinking and drug abuse. The last song he released while he was alive? " "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive."

Advertisement

Sid Vicious was a famous member of the Sex Pistols. How did he die?

Vicious lived a vicious life of substance abuse, thanks in part to the drugs his mother gave him even when he was young. He died at just 21 from a heroin overdose.

Advertisement

Nirvana's Kurt Cobain killed himself while using which drug?

Cobain struggled with numerous health problems, and he turned to heroin for escape. While high, he killed himself with a shotgun.

Advertisement

Cobain left a suicide note that read, "It's better to burn out than to ______."

The last line of Cobain's suicide note was rather unoriginal. It read, "It's better to burn out than to fade away," a line that he stole from a Neil Young song. If you or someone you know struggles with suicidal thoughts, there is hel​p. Call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1(800) 273-8255 to reach a skilled, trained counselor 24/7.

Advertisement

Which of the following stars died in a plane crash?

Patsy Cline was just 30 years old when she died in a 1963 plane crash. Foul weather contributed to the crash, which happened in the deep woods of Tennessee, not far from Nashville.

Advertisement

Nick Drake was a folk singer from the 60s who became famous after his death. How did he die?

Drake's songs are full of painfully depressing lyrics because, well, he was painfully depressed. He devoured an overdose of pills and died, an act that was deemed suicide. If you or someone you know struggles with suicidal thoughts, there is hel​p. Call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1(800) 273-8255 to reach a skilled, trained counselor 24/7.

Advertisement

Which substance killed singer Janis Joplin?

Joplin became enraptured by many drugs, but it was heroin that killed her. It wasn't suicide, though -- it was an accidental overdose. Like Hendrix, she was just 27 years old.

Advertisement

How old was The Doors' Jim Morrison when he died?

Jim Morrison -- like Hendrix and Joplin -- was just 27 years old when he died. All three famous counterculture rockers died within months of each other.

Advertisement

What killed The Doors' Jim Morrison?

Morrison was one of the 60s stars who took drug abuse to desultory lows. Sometimes the drugs heightened his legend, but in the end, it was probably heroin that killed him.

Advertisement

Which famous musician died in a horrific plane crash?

Both Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens died in a wintertime plane crash in Iowa in 1959. Another musician named J.P. Richardson was also killed, along with the pilot.

Advertisement

Holly and the other musicians were touring by bus, so why did they suddenly decide to take a plane?

The tour buses kept breaking down, and it was too cold to be stranded on the side of the road. So Holly opted for a plane … a decision that had fateful consequences.

Advertisement

Ritchen Valens got his seat on the ill-fated plane by chance. How did he manage to score the seat?

Valens and a guitarist named Tommy Allsup flipped a coin to determine who got to ride the plane to the next gig. Valens was thrilled to win the plane ride, but the short journey wound up costing him his life.

Advertisement

Before he died from a drug overdose, The Who drummer Keith Moon was known as "Moon the ____."

Keith Moon lived a nutty, drug-saturated lifestyle and his wacky behavior led to his nickname "Moon the Loon." He was just 32 years old when he died.

Advertisement

Keith Moon died from an overdose of a drug meant to treat _____.

Moon was taking Heminevrin, which is prescribed to treat alcohol withdrawal. In other words, the drug that was supposed to save him actually helped kill him.

Advertisement

Layne Staley died in 2002. He was the lead singer of which band?

Staley was the lead singer of grunge band Alice In Chains. The rock star became a recluse in his final years and died from a massive drug overdose.

Advertisement

Howie Epstein was part of which famous rock group?

Epstein was a bassist with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He struggled with drug abuse for years and at the age of 47 he died partly due to heroin abuse.

Advertisement

Michael Jackson died from drugs meant to treat which condition?

Jackson, the "King of Pop," suffered from insomnia for years, and his doctor was treating his condition with drugs. His doctor was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and served two years in prison.

Advertisement

Which singer became famous for a song called "Rehab" and then died of alcohol poisoning?

Amy Winehouse was the English singer with the big voice and an even bigger substance problem. She was just 27 when she died in 2011.

Advertisement

Scott Weiland was a rocker known for his work with which band?

Weiland was the hard-living singer (and Eddie Vedder wannabe) in Stone Temple Pilots. After overdosing on cocaine, he was found dead on his tour bus in 2015.

Advertisement

Rick James was famous for a song called "Super Freak." He had at least how many drugs in his body when he died?

James had at least nine different drugs coursing through his body when he died, from hydrocodone to meth to cocaine. Did we mention that he had a pacemaker? Not the wisest combination for longevity.

Advertisement

In 2016, where was Prince found dead?

Prince was found dead in an elevator after a struggle with drug addiction. He accidentally overdosed on a powerful painkiller called fentanyl.

Advertisement

In 2012, Whitney Houston was found dead in a hotel room. How did she die?

Houston used cocaine regularly, and she accidentally overdosed. Her 1992 single "I Will Always Love You" is still one of the best-selling songs of all-time.

Advertisement

Singer Ike Turner died from a cocaine overdose. How old was he when he died?

Like so many other musicians, Turner died from a drug overdose. He died at the old age of 76.

Advertisement

John Bonham was a drummer for Led Zeppelin. He overdid which substance?

Bonham downed dozens of shots of vodka during one epic drinking binge. Then, he vomited and choked … and died. He was 32 years old when he died.

Advertisement

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes