2019-08-29T14:57:32 q1

Musician mortality data, 1956-2007

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This collection includes a comma-separated file (.csv) containing musician's dates of birth, dates of number one hit, and dates of death; a data file for the R software (RData file) to accompany the .csv file; R syntax to create a Lexis diagram displaying all data by calendar time and age at death; and R syntax to create death rates and musicians at risk figures. Data were obtained from Wikipedia, using the lists of number one albums by decade, starting with 1956 and ending at 2007.

Using this data, researchers investigated whether famous musicians are at an increased risk of death at age 27, thereby testing the "27 club" hypothesis.

Access rights

Data and statistical code used in this study were collected from publicly available websites. Analysed data are freely accessible from the links provided. Wikipedia article re-use guided by Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Geographical area of data collection



Wolkewitz, Martin, Allignol, Arthur, Graves, Nicholas, and Barnett, Adrian. (2011). Is 27 really a dangerous age for famous musicians? Retrospective cohort study. BMJ (International Edition), 343(7837), pp. 1-6. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d7799

Research areas

27 club
R software

Cite this collection

Wolkewitz, M; Allignol, A; Graves, N; Barnett, A; (2011); Musician mortality data, 1956-2007; Queensland University of Technology.
Barnett, Adrian; Graves, Nicholas (2012): Musician mortality data, 1956-2007. Queensland University of Technology. (Dataset) https://doi.org/10.4225/09/586b341df3104

Related information

The Human Mortality Database: Death rates per 100 person years in the UK population by decade of birth were used for comparison in this research. http://www.mortality.org/cgi-bin/hmd/country.php?cntr=GBR&level=2
The R Project for Statistical Computing: R is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics (for UNIX platforms, Windows and MacOS). http://www.r-project.org/
Martin Wolkewitz, collaborator on Famous Musicians Mortality Study http://portal.uni-freiburg.de/imbi/team?showEmployee=wolke
Arthur Allignol, collaborator on Famous Musicians Mortality Study http://portal.uni-freiburg.de/imbi/team?showEmployee=arthur
Wikipedia: List of 1970s UK albums chart number ones http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_number-one_albums_from_the_1970s_%28UK%29

Data file types

This collection includes a comma-separated files (.csv) and a data file for the R software (RData file).


Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 (CC-BY-SA)


© M. Wolkewitz, A. Allignol, N. Graves and A. Barnett, 2011

Dates of data collection

From 1956-01-01 to 2007-12-31


Has association with
Adrian Barnett  (Researcher)
Is output of
Is owned by
Adrian Barnett  (Researcher)
Nicholas Graves  (Researcher)


Name: Associate Professor Adrian Barnett
Phone: +61 7 3138 6010
Fax: +61 7 3138 6030


Date record created:
Date record modified:
Record status:
Published - Open Access