Musicians are just human like the rest of us, but sometimes it might be necessary to draw a 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 have actually chosen to stop supporting them.
For the experiment, TickPick surveyed 1,001 music fans between the ages of 20 and 80. Of this group, 66% agreed with the statement “It is impossible to separate a musician from his art”, which means that they cannot support an artist who displays problematic behavior. 20% disagreed with the statement and the remaining 14% had no opinion on the matter. Millennials and Gen Xers have had a harder time separating musicians from their work than baby boomers.
These discoveries came from fans of 19 different genres. Looking at rock fans specifically, 65% of punk fans, 64% of alternative fans, 61% of rock fans, 58% of grunge fans, and 52% of indie rock fans were agree with this sentiment.
When it came to ceasing to financially support an artist, 51% of participants felt it depended on the circumstances in which the artist was specifically involved, 42% said they would absolutely stop supporting a controversial artist, and 7% said they wouldn’t. 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 it’s just the right thing to do.
The results also found the top 20 artists that music fans have admitted to having stopped supporting as a result of their actions. R. Kelly, Chris Brown and Kanye West were the Top 3 of all, but Bryan Adams, Marilyn Manson and David Ellefson were the three rock artists who were mentioned.
See some of the charts 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 2020, just months after the COVID-19 pandemic began. “Tonight was supposed to be the start of a gig rental at the @royalalberthall, but thanks to some fucking bat eaters, selling animals on the wet market, making greedy viruses, the world whole is now on hold, not to mention the thousands who have suffered or died from this virus,” he wrote in a since-deleted post.
In February 2021, actress Evan Rachel Wood named Manson as her attacker, and a string of women came forward with more allegations against the rocker in the following months. He was fired from his record label and agent, stripped of several television roles, and experienced a decline in radio airplay and music airplay as a result.
Ellefson was fired from Megadeth in May 2021 after several graphic and private videos and text conversations between the bassist and a young woman leaked onto the internet.