The Wildest Reveals From Musicians' Memoirs



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Over 100 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Wildest Reveals From Musicians' Memoirs
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Vote up the most eye-opening confessions of these music legends.

The experiences of a rockstar or pop singer can sometimes seem larger than life. They get to travel the world, perform for thousands, party with groupies. 

However, many musicians will attest to the hidden, more difficult aspects of living a life of fame. Many (and we do mean many) develop alcohol or drug addictions, to different degrees. Some singers got so high that they lashed out at the people they loved, drained millions from their bank accounts to pay for their addictions, and one even snorted their own father's ashes. 

  • Steven Tyler Admitted He Was In Sexual Relationship With A Teenager, And Even Became Her Legal Guardian
    Photo: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 3.0

    You can learn a lot about a person based on how they respond to poor choices from the past. Some people will become accountable for their actions and own them. Others will apologize. And some will gloat. 

    We'll let you determine which is true for Steven Tyler, the lead singer of Aerosmith. 

    In Tyler's 2011 memoir, Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?: A Rock 'n' Roll Memoir, Tyler openly admits to having a sexual relationship with a minor. In his words:

    She was 16, she knew how to nasty, and there wasn’t a hair on it. I was so in love I almost took a teen bride.

    He also wrote how: 

    I went and slept at her parents’ house for a couple of nights and her parents fell in love with me, signed paper over for me to have custody, so I wouldn’t get arrested if I took her out of state.

    These quote are being used against Tyler in an ongoing lawsuit where Julia Holcomb accuses Tyler of sexually assaulting her as a minor.  

  • Grace Jones Didn't Enjoy Taking Cocaine The Usual Way - So She Inserted It Elsewhere
    Photo: Gary Friedman, Los Angeles Times / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0
    123 VOTES

    Grace Jones Didn't Enjoy Taking Cocaine The Usual Way - So She Inserted It Elsewhere

    Some celebs really bare it all when they write their memoirs. And one who sure did was singer Grace Jones. 

    In her 2016 book, I'll Never Write My Memoirs, Jones explained, in detail, how she didn't like to snort cocaine. But she did like the high she got from it – so she stuck it somewhere else

    As she wrote: 

    Coke was never my drug, although there are some who might be surprised by that. By being so closely associated with Studio 54, the assumption is that I was a complete cocaine fiend. If I had taken as much cocaine as it is rumored, I wouldn’t have a nose. 

    Actually, I preferred to put a rock up my *ss rather than snort it. Sometimes it might get blown up there, one way or another. Then you get a very wonderful sexual feeling in your lower half. Stick a tiny little rock up your butt and it feels fantastic. The coke must be clean, of course. Very clean — that’s the word, more than “pure.” Or you put it in a bit of lotion and rub it on your skin. Tried that with a couple of girlfriends in Paris — nice.

    123 votes
  • Rockstar Ozzy Osbourne is known for his wild antics on and off stage. And in his 2011 memoir, I Am Ozzy, he adds more detail to some of these infamous events, most notably biting the head off a live bat in a concert. When a fan threw the bat on stage, Osbourne thought it was fake – so he naturally decided to bite its head off. 

    In his memoir, he wrote:

    My mouth was instantly full of this warm, gloopy liquid, with the worst aftertaste you could ever imagine.

    Throughout the book, Osbourne also gets into the less sensational and more grim aspects of his life. This included a night he almost strangled his wife, Sharon, while he was high on a cocktail of drugs. 

    In an interview, Sharon recalled the incident, describing how Ozzy turned calmly to her and said:

    We've come to a decision that you've got to die.

    Ozzy woke up in jail, with no memory of the encounter. (Sharon did not press charges.)

  • After being in the public eye for over 20 years, many people feel like they know Britney Spears pretty well. However, in her 2023 memoir The Woman in Me, Spears reveals intimate details about her life that she managed to keep out of the tabloids. 

    This included a surprise pregnancy she had early on in her career, as well as the subsequent abortion that Spears says still haunts her to this day. 

    When Spears wrote about the pregnancy, she said that while she would have kept the baby, her then-boyfriend Justin Timberlake didn't want to be a father: 

    It was a surprise, but for me, it wasn’t a tragedy. I loved Justin so much. I always expected us to have a family together one day. This would just be much earlier than I’d anticipated. But Justin definitely wasn’t happy about the pregnancy. He said we weren’t ready to have a baby in our lives, that we were way too young.

    If it had been left up to me alone, I never would have done it. And yet Justin was so sure that he didn’t want to be a father.

    Spears also opened up about other famous media moments of her career, like when she shaved her head in 2007. She suggests the act was her way of rebelling against the beauty standards that had been held against her throughout her career:

    I’d been eyeballed so much growing up. I’d been looked up and down, had people telling me what they thought of my body, since I was a teenager… I’d smiled politely while TV show hosts leered at my breasts, while American parents said I was destroying their children by wearing a crop top.

    As for her infamous conservatorship, Spears didn't hold back about her feelings toward her father or the lack of control she's felt over the course of her life:

    I became a robot. But not just a robot – a sort of child-robot. The conservatorship stripped me of my womanhood, made me into a child… They wanted me to be wild onstage, the way they told me to be, and to be a robot the rest of the time.

    She discusses being locked up in a rehabilitation center and put on lithium after objecting to a dance move during her Vegas residency, writing, 

    [T]he tech drawing my blood would be flanked by the nurse, a security guard and my assistant. Was I a cannibal? Was I a bank robber? Was I a wild animal? Why was I treated as though I were about to burn the place down and murder them all?

    Spears describes her father, Jamie, as "an alcoholic, someone who’d declared bankruptcy, who’d failed in business, who’d terrified me as a little girl," and says after he took control over her decision-making he chillingly told her, “I am Britney Spears now.”

  • In the mid-2010s, former Spice Girl Mel B became a judge on the talent show The X Factor. However, as she revealed in her 2018 memoir Brutally Honest, she was struggling at the time with her mental health. 

    She explained how, only a few weeks into being on the show, she could feel her depression really closing in. So, to help her stay focused on the job at hand, she turned to cocaine:

    I had a routine, I’d wake up in the morning and snort two lines. Then I would pray: “God, I’m sorry for taking cocaine, but please, God, help me get through the day.” I was ashamed of what I was doing, but I felt I had to have it. The cocaine only made my mental state worse because – as a lot of people know – cocaine makes you even more paranoid. I was probably taking five or six lines a day before and after work.

  • People do a lot of things with their loved ones' ashes. They scatter them into the sea. They spread them under the person's favorite tree. They display the ashes on their mantle. 

    But rockstar Keith Richards did something else with his father's ashes – he snorted them

    To be fair, it wasn't totally intentional. As Richards revealed in his 2010 book Life, his dad just happened to be at the wrong place, wrong time: 

    As I took the lid off the box, a fine spray of [my father's] ashes blew out onto the table. I couldn't just brush him off, so I wiped my finger over it and snorted the residue. Ashes to ashes, father to son.