New Study Finds the 3 Most Controversial Figures in Rock Music

Musicians are just humans like the rest of us, but there are times when it may be necessary to draw the line regarding which of them you choose to support as a fan. A new study by TickPick has found the three most controversial figures in rock music, in which their fans actually chose to stop backing them.

For the experiment, TickPick surveyed 1,001 music fans ranging from the ages of 20 to 80 years old. Of that pool, 66 percent agreed with the statement, “It’s impossible to separate a musician from their art,” meaning they cannot support an artist who displays problematic behavior. 20 percent disagreed with the statement, and the remaining 14 percent had no opinion on the matter. Members of the millennial and Gen X generations found it more difficult to separate musicians from their work than the baby boomers did.

Those findings were from fans of 19 different genres. As for rock fans specifically, 65 percent of punk fans, 64 percent of alternative fans, 61 percent of rock fans, 58 percent of grunge fans and 52 percent of indie rock fans agreed with the sentiment.

As far as ceasing to support an artist financially, 51 percent of the participants felt that it depends on the circumstances the artist was specifically involved in, 42 percent said they would absolutely stop supporting a controversial artist and 7 percent said that they would not. The Top 3 reasons to stop supporting an artist were: They should be held accountable for their actions, They shouldn’t profit from bad behavior, and That it’s simply the right thing to do.

The results also found the Top 20 artists that music fans admitted they stopped championing as a result of their actions. R. Kelly, Chris Brown and Kanye West were the Top 3 of all of them, but Bryan Adams, Marilyn Manson and David Ellefson were the three rock artists that were mentioned.

See some of the graphs and tables from the study below, and read the full report here.

According to NBC News, Adams made several racist comments toward Asians and Asian Americans on Twitter in May of 2020, just a few months after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Tonight was supposed to be the beginning of a tenancy of gigs at the @royalalberthall, but thanks to some fucking bat eating, wet market animal selling, virus making greedy bastards, the whole world is now on hold, not to mention the thousands that have suffered or died from this virus,” he wrote in a since-deleted post.

In February of 2021, actress Evan Rachel Wood named Manson as her abuser, and a string of women came out with more allegations toward the rocker in the following months. He was dropped from his record label and his agent, stripped of several television roles and experienced a decline in radio airplay and music streaming as a result.

Ellefson was fired from Megadeth in May of 2021 after several graphic, private videos and text conversations between the bassist and a younger woman were leaked onto the internet.

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