The Downside of the Rock Star Lifestyle

Monday, 08 March 2010 15:35 Written by  Ebony Hall

From the way we talk to the way we dress, we have been influenced by celebrities, the youth especially. Celebrities have made a huge impact on culture and lifestyles that people live today. Today the most popular and followed genres of entertainment would be hip-hop, pop and sports culture. Constantly we hear about the good but mostly bad choices many athletes, rappers, singers and actors have made. These choices that they make not only affect themselves and their families but the youth that looks up to them.


Younger generations today have everything at their fingertips. Technology has a created an open field for pre-teens and teenagers to browse anything and everything. The music that they may listen to on the radio or watch on television may be edited, but they can hear or see the explicit content on their favorite websites.

Along with the music, the gossip sites and blogs tell all about what mishaps these celebrities are doing. There are even television shows that show how celebrities have lived their life either being addicted to drugs, alcohol or sex. Everywhere you turn a celebrity gets a breaking news alert or top story from drunk driving, drug overdose, infidelity or many other endeavors. There is way more negative news concerning celebrities than there is positive.

An example of this is the death of Michael Jackson. Jackson was a pop icon and loved by young and old people all over the world. When he died, it shocked everyone but the cause of the death was even more shocking. Jackson had been using a prescription drug for many years and had overdosed, which caused him to go into cardiac arrest leading to a terrible death. News stories on his death and causes surfaced on the Internet and television for more than month. Even though Jackson was an older entertainer, the youth idolized him. Up-and-coming dancers and singers admired his talent and used it as motivation in their careers. When Jackson died, some people even committed suicide because they could not believe the sudden death of the King of Pop.

lw Grammy award winning rap mogul Dwayne “Lil’ Wayne” Carter is also popular amongst young and old, mostly the young. Young men follow his lyrics like they are scriptures in a Bible. Whatever designer he wears, young men are wearing it. The women he describes in his songs, young men desire them. Many more young men and women want to become rappers and soar like Carter.

All races admire Lil’ Wayne to the fullest, but should they? In the past five years of Carter's career, he has been arrested numerous times for drug possession of marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine and firearms. He will soon be incarcerated for one of the arrests that was made when he had a firearm. He admits that he smokes marijuana and is addicted to syrup. Syrup is a drug that rapper Pimp C had used when died in 2007. Not only that, Carter became a father of three children by three different women within a two-year span and none of the women was his wife. Lil' Wayne has great talent musically, but his lifestyle is not a thing to admire.

Teens are engaging in drugs, alcohol and unprotected sex more often than they should, and I wouldn't be surprised if the ideas came from their idolized celebrity. HIV/AIDS statistics show that more teens, especially African Americans, are being diagnosed with the disease—and these are only the ones that have gotten tested. Situations like this are not helping our youth. Many celebrities don't realize that the lifestyles they live while they are in the limelight can affect those who look up to them. By promoting a healthy life, the youth can be lead into a prosperous future. Causes of deaths like Jackson's has to be explained to younger individuals because they can easily feel they have to turn to drugs or alcohol to live a successful life.

The younger generation should know that living the life of the celebrities they may adore can lead to a terrible outcome or even death. Celebrities are definitely affecting the youth's outlook on healthier lifestyles, but how do we change that? Parents and mentors should encourage younger people to be successful while living a healthy life physically and emotionally.

On the other hand, the deaths of celebrities could in a sense be helping the youth. When they see that things like drug abuse or an unhealthy sex life is taking the lives of their idols, it could help them make better decisions. Either way, it is important that the youth stay informed on what is healthy and what’s not. Keeping them balanced with the good and bad will help our generation evolve into a favorable future.

Ebony Hall

Ebony Hall

Ebony Hall is a Columbia College student and a writer for GMO. Born in the outskirts of Chicago, she is focused on getting her bachelor’s degree in journalism.

She can be contacted at