25 Singers Who Overdosed

singers who overdosed pink on stage in a leotard and crop pink jacket
Pink Summer Carnival, Target Field - Photography by Dylan Novacek

Unfortunately, drugs are not an uncommon thing in the music industry. Many singers have been open and honest about their nearly fatal experiences, while others were found unresponsive and never recovered.

If you want to learn more about singers who overdosed, read on. Although some survived their fight with addiction, many singers succumbed to their experience. Their legacy lives on today.

1. Prince

prince height prince on stage singing in a blue suit
MIAMI – FEB 4: Prince performs during half-time for Super Bowl XLI between the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts at Dolphin Stadium on February 4, 2007 in Miami. Image from Shutterstock.

First on our list of singers who overdosed is Prince, who was very anti-drug during his early years. In the 80s, he experimented with ecstasy and hallucinogens, then became addicted to painkillers in the form of opioids and ultimately passed away after overdosing on fentanyl at age 57.

Related: How Did Prince Die?

2. Tony Bennett

tony bennet holding a microphone on stage while wearing a yellow suit
Image from Shutterstock.

Tony Bennett was a sweet man in his final days, but in his younger years, he overdosed on cocaine after losing a contract with Colombia. His second wife found and saved him, and his son helped him escape his addiction. 

3. Demi Lovato

demi lovato in an off the shoulder gown which shows her tattoos
Image from Shutterstock.

Demi Lovato overdosed on heroin in 2018, forcing her team to rush her to the hospital. She survived the incident and continues to be open with her fans about her addiction as she pushes her career forward.

4. Eminem

eminem wearing a hat in front of a gray background
Image from Shutterstock.

Once upon a time, Eminem was severely addicted to painkillers, and they almost killed him. He was treated and survived and now works with Elton John to remain sober.

Related: 45 Facts About Eminem

5. Billie Holiday

billie holidays figure in madam tussands wax museum
Image from Shutterstock.

Billie Holiday is one of the most influential jazz singers of all time, but she unfortunately used drugs and alcohol to deal with the pain from her past of abuse. Her first husband got her addicted to opium, which led to her addiction to heroin, which eventually ended up in her untimely death after being diagnosed with advanced liver cancer and drug complications.

Related: 21 Best Jazz Songs

6. Tom Petty

tom petty songs tom petty playing guitar on stage
Image from Shutterstock

Next on our list of singers who overdosed is the iconic Tom Petty, one of the best singers of our era. He was in extreme pain in the later years of his life, thanks to various issues, leading to a painkiller addiction and his eventual overdose on a cocktail of prescribed medications from his doctor.

7. Lil Wayne

lil wayne with a microphone and his hair flying in the wind
Chicago, Illinois / United States – Saturday, August 3rd, 2019: Lil Wayne performs at Lollapalooza in Grant Park, Chicago. Image from Shutterstock.

Lil Wayne famously almost overdosed on a variety of drugs in 2013. He’s since pulled himself back together and is still alive and going strong today.

Related: 14 Best Rappers

8. Amy Winehouse

amy winehouse nd blake fielder kissing
Image from Shutterstock.

Amy Winehouse was a powerhouse of a singer with an unfortunate addiction to alcohol that began long before her sudden rise to fame. She abused alcohol, crack, cocaine, and more to handle her mental health struggles, leading to an early demise at 27 after she overdosed on alcohol in 2011. 

9. Elvis Presley

lisa marie presley with her parents elvis and priscilla as a baby
Elvis Presley and Priscilla with Lisa Marie, February 1968. Image is in the Public Domain

Elvis Presley is another tragic hero who passed from a drug overdose too soon, leaving behind an astounding legacy that is still remembered today. The King had fourteen drugs in his body, including Demerol, morphine, tranquilizers, painkillers, sleeping pills, valium, codeine, Quaaludes, and more.

Related: How Did Elvis Die?

10. Mac Miller

mac miller on stage singing
Mac Miller kicked off his tour with a hometown performance in Pittsburgh on September 18 at Stage AE. Miller is touring in support of his latest album, ??The Divine Feminine, released September 16. Image from Shutterstock.

Mac Miller was well-known for his professional career as a musician and his time dating singer Ariana Grande. He had a history of drug abuse to deal with his various mental health struggles, ultimately leading to an overdose of cocaine and fentanyl and his death at 26 in 2018.

11. Janis Joplin

janis joplins figure in the madam tussands wax museum
Image from Shutterstock.

Janis Joplin passed away at 27 from an overdose of heroin addiction, making her part of the unfortunate “27 Club” of celebrities who passed away at the young age of 27. She had struggled with addiction to heroin throughout her life and tried to get clean several times, but she never did before the tragic end of her life. 

Related: Best 60s Songs

12. Steven Tyler

steven tyler on stage in a campo shirt and vest holding a microphone
Image from Shutterstock.

Next on our list of singers who overdosed is Steven Tyler, who lives a clean life after his overdose. He abused heroin in his band’s early years, almost dying before the manager forced him into rehab.

13. Michael Jackson

michael jackson's net worth Michael Jackson getting out of a car in a red outfit.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – Exact date unknown – circa 1990 – Michael Jackson arriving at a celebrity event. Image from Shutterstock.

Michael Jackson tragically overdosed on drugs prescribed to him by a doctor rather than something he had obtained illegally. In 2009, he passed away after going into cardiac arrest following an overdose of propofol, a powerful pain medication Jackson got after his many surgeries.

Related: How Did Michael Jackson Die?

14. Whitney Houston

whitney houston movie whitney houston on the red carpet in a pink dress
23FEB2000: Pop star WHITNEY HOUSTON at the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Paul Smith / Featureflash

Whitney Houston lived a tragic life, using substance abuse to deal with her sudden fame, sexual abuse, and various forms of enablement from those around her. At 48, she was found unconscious and facedown in a bathtub with a cocktail of marijuana, Flexeril, Xanax, Benadryl, and cocaine in her system.

Related: How Did Whitney Houston Die?

15. ODB of Wu-Tang Clan

ol dirty bas**** from the wu-tang clan
Image from Shutterstock.

ODB from Wu-Tang Clan struggled with drug abuse and mental health issues throughout his life, even as his fame grew. Unfortunately, he could never become sober and was found dead in 2004 after overdosing on a lethal combination of Tramadol, a prescription drug, and cocaine.

16. Jimi Hendrix

jimi hendrix statue at madam tussands in las vegas
Image from Shutterstock.

Jimi Hendrix was a drug abuser throughout his life, openly abusing LSD even as he suffered in his health thanks to lack of sleep and influenza-related sickness. He took amphetamines at a party one evening, then took eighteen times the recommended dose of sleeping pills to come down, passing away from barbiturate-related asphyxia at 27. 

Related: How Did Jimi Hendrix Die?

17. DMX

dmx on stage rapping in a brown shirt
Image from Shutterstock.

Next on our list of singers who overdosed is DMX, a man who paved the way for the rap world and was very open about his drug addiction throughout his life. He revealed he wanted to get sober but unfortunately suffered a heart attack from an overdose of fentanyl, crack, alcohol, and prescription drugs. He also had COVID-19.

18. Pink

pink on stage in a lotard and crop pink jacket
Pink Summer Carnival, Target Field – Photography by Dylan Novacek

When Pink was growing up, she was much more experimental than she is now. As a teenager, she almost overdosed on a cocktail of meth, acid, and ecstasy. 

19. Judy Garland

judy garland in a sparkly sheer top leaning sideways
A publicity still of Judy Garland from MGM used in conjunction with promotion of The Harvey Girls (1946). Image is in the Public Domain.

Judy Garland lived a tragic life, and it came to a devastating end when she was found on the floor of her bathroom in 1969 at the age of 47. She had dealt with alcohol and drug addiction for years before her death, and the ultimate cause was revealed to be an overdose of barbiturates

20. Dee Dee Ramone

dee dee ramone with shaggy hair performing on stage
Image from Shutterstock.

Next on our list of singers who overdosed is Dee Dee Ramone, who struggled with on-and-off mental health issues and drug addiction throughout a good chunk of his life. Ramone was found unresponsive in Los Angeles in 2002 as a result of an overdose of heroin.

21. Juice WRLD

Juice Wrld in Las Vegas holding up his hands
LAS VEGAS – MAY 1: Juice Wrld at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 1, 2019 in Las Vegas, NV. Image from Shutterstock.

In 2021, federal agents boarded Juice WRLD’s private plane to investigate for drugs, during which the singer went into serious convulsions. He passed away, even after several attempts to revive him, as a result of swallowing several pills of Percocet, oxycodone, and codeine.

Related: How Did Juice WRLD Die?

22. Kurt Cobain

how did kurt cobain die large image of kurt cobain on the cover of a record album
Image from Shutterstock.

Kurt Cobain was the lead singer for Nirvana and often used drugs and alcohol to remove the pain from his bipolar disorder and issues with his digestion. He survived several heroin overdoses but eventually took his own life with heroin and valium in his system and a self-inflicted gun wound at 27 years old.

23. Bon Scott

an ac dc record on a white tabletop
Image from Shutterstock.

Next on our list of singers who overdosed is Bon Scott, the lead singer for AC/DC for six years until he passed away from asphyxiation after a long night of drinking. Even for someone in the rock world, Scott was known to drink rather excessively.

24. Jim Morrison

jim morrison book with his image on the front
Image from Shutterstock.

Jim Morrison lived for a long time with alcohol and substance abuse as a way to cope with many tragic events that had happened in his life. He was found dead in 1971 as a result of a heroin overdose, which many think he assumed was cocaine.

25. Chris Cornell

chris cornell playing guitar on stage while singing
Image from Shutterstock.

Chris Cornell was the frontman of the band Soundgarden when he took too much of his prescribed anxiety medications for the purpose of ending his life. Chris had been outspoken about his struggles with depression over the years, but even seeking help was not enough to keep him from being one of many singers who overdosed. 

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Written by Hope Davis

Long-time music lover Hope became a full-time writer in 2020 after being laid off from her regular job due to COVID-19. She now spends her time traveling the world to see her favorite bands while writing about them!


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