WARNING: Graphic Images
We continue our look at the lives of rock stars who have spoken publicly about their abuse.
“My mom had stuff in her room that I could sneak in and get…books, vibrators. I did it. I’m sure everybody does…”
Prince Rogers Nelson a/k/a Prince called the film Purple Rain (the story of a tormented boy with an unhappy homelife) his “emotional biography”, but was contradictory when speaking about the abuse he endured as a child [1B].
Prince’s epilepsy was viewed as sinful, and an embarrassment by his parents. Exposed to pornography early in life, he was thrown out of the house at age 12 when his father, John Nelson, found him in bed with a girl.
“Don’t abuse children or else they turn out like me.”
-Excerpt from the song “Papa” by Prince
Musically, Prince was a perfectionist, driving all the musicians with whom he worked hard [1C]. The musical polymath, known for sexual lyrics, is thought to have bedded dozens of women during his lifetime. He died at age 57 of an accidental fentanyl overdose [3A].
Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, and the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame in 2016 [3B]. Many artists including Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Rihanna, Usher, and Alicia Keyes have cited him as an influence [3C].
WARNING: Graphic Images
What do Axl Rose, Sinead O’Connor, Prince, and Madonna have in common? As their fans know, these acclaimed artists have all experienced abuse of one kind or another.
“I feel that child abuse and sexual abuse…is kind of the key to why there are so many problems in the world today. The more books I read on it, and the more work I do on trying to overcome the problems that I had in my childhood that I accepted…I knew it was crazy, but I accepted it as normal behavior for my life, and I realize now that it wasn’t normal behavior, and it’s caused me to act in many ways because it’s what I was trained, it’s what I was taught, it’s what I saw. My formative years were very ugly.”
-Axl Rose 
William Bruce Rose, Jr. a/k/a Axl Rose – frontman for the band Guns N’ Roses – had a troubled childhood . Sexually abused at the age of two by his biological father, Rose was later physically abused by his stepfather.
Understandably, Rose developed difficulties with authority, becoming a delinquent in his teens. He was often self-destructive, intentionally overdosing on painkillers in 1986. His personal relationships have been tumultuous.
Musically, Rose sometimes exercised suffocating control over the bands with whom he sang. For a time abandoning his career, he spent years in near isolation.
Despite all this, Rose was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. Guns N’ Roses have sold more than 90 million albums worldwide. Continue reading