Behind the scenes, it's not uncommon to see celebrities living somewhat troubled lives, often plagued by addiction and mental health issues. Unfortunately, this often leads to a tragic end, as was the case for several famous musicians who choked on their own vomit and died.
Yes, you read that right.
Although a morbid topic (but one that is nonetheless interesting), asphyxiation on vomit is a tragic end that has befallen several famous musicians. This typically occurs when someone vomits while passed out, and then inhales (or aspirates) their own vomit into their lungs. As you have guessed, this can cause a fatal interruption in breathing, and ultimately lead to death. Some of the most famous musicians who have died in this manner include Jimmi Hendrix, John Bonham, and Bon Scott.
Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970)
- Real Name: James Marshall Hendrix
- Born: November 27, 1942
- Birthplace: Seattle, Washington
- Death: September 18, 1970
- Age: 27
Jimi Hendrix rose to prominence in the 1960s as a member of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and his innovative style of guitar playing established him as one of the most influential musicians of his generation. Perhaps he's best remembered for his masterful use of feedback and distortion, which transformed the sound of rock music, and his album Electric Ladyland is widely considered to be one of the greatest rock albums of all time.
Hendrix died tragically at the age of 27, after accidentally overdosing on sleeping pills and chocking on his vomit. Reportedly, Hendrix had been in London for a series of concerts, and on the night before his death, he was seen drinking heavily at a club with his girlfriend Monika Dannemann. Dannemann later claimed that Hendrix had taken nine Vesperax sleeping pills, and that she found him unresponsive in bed the next morning, choked on his own vomit.
Even though he had only been a major force in the music world for a few years, Hendrix left an indelible mark on popular culture, and his influence is still felt today.
John Bonham (1948-1980)
- Real Name: John Henry Bonham
- Born: May 31, 1948
- Birthplace: Redditch, England
- Death: September 25, 1980
- Age: 32
John Bonham began playing drums at a young age and was already performing with local bands by the time he was in his late teens. His big break came in 1968 when he joined Led Zeppelin, which quickly became one of the most successful rock bands in history. With his powerful and precise drumming, Bonham was a key member of Led Zeppelin, and helped to create some of the band's most iconic songs, such as "Stairway to Heaven" and "Kashmir."
Tragically, Bonham died at the age of 32 after he choked on his own vomit following a 12-hour drinking binge. On the night before his death, he had consumed 40 shots of vodka, and was later found dead in his bed by bandmate and Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones. An autopsy later revealed that he had aspirated vomit into his lungs, which led to his death.
Bonham's death effectively ended Led Zeppelin, and he is widely considered to be one of the greatest rock drummers of all time.
Bon Scott (1946-1980)
- Real Name: Ronald Belford Scott
- Born: July 9, 1946, in Kirriemuir, Scotland
- Death: February 19, 1980
- Age: 33
Bon Scott was the lead singer of Australian rock band AC/DC from 1974 until he met his untimely death in 1980. He was an accomplished singer and songwriter, and helped to create some of the band's most iconic songs, such as "Highway to Hell" and "You Shook Me All Night Long."
Scott's death was particularly shocking, as it occurred just a few months after the release of AC/DC's album Highway to Hell. As the story goes, Scott had been out drinking with a friend on the night of February 18, 1980, and he was later found dead in his friend's car the next morning. The official cause of death was listed as "acute alcohol poisoning," but it is believed that Scott choked on his own vomit and aspirated it into his lungs, which ultimately led to his death.
Even though it was a devastating blow to the band, they decided to carry on and released their next album, Back in Black, as a tribute to their fallen singer.
While it's certainly not a subject that anyone wants to think about, the sad fact is that many music artists have died by choking on their own vomit. These three artists all met untimely deaths at a young age, and their legacies continue to live on through their music. Their deaths are certainly tragic, that is for sure, but it’s at least comforting knowing their contributions to the world of music will never be forgotten.