According to the Associated Press, Jim Morrison of The Doors, who passed away from a drug overdose in 1971, recently received a pardon for his 1969 conviction for indecent exposure. Morrison had a decent career as a singer and band frontman during his lifetime, but has become a legend in the years since his death. His recent pardon has his fans rejoicing that justice is done for their hero. At the same time, detractors wonder why our justice system is wasting time on pardoning a dead man while actual criminals sit behind bars awaiting trial. This is just a testament to the fact that many stars shine brighter after their death than they did during their life.
Another example of this phenomenon is Elvis Presley. Elvis broke into the rock ‘n roll scene, or rather started the rock ‘n roll scene, in 1954 and shot to stardom like a rocket. His career went through many ups and downs over the next 23 years. His time in the Army saw quiet on the Elvis front, with another resurgence in his popularity after his Army stint ended. Another quiet period came during the mid-’60s, until he burst upon the scene again with the 1968 Singer Special, also called his ’68 Comeback. He then did concerts at casinos in Vegas and other venues, and passed away in 1977 at a very low point in his career. After his death, fans again went crazy over all things Elvis. He now has his own channel on Sirius radio, and his Graceland Mansion is the top-earning attraction on the globe; Elvis himself is the top-earning recording artist year after year.
Kurt Cobain is another star who has seen a resurgence in popularity since his death. Cobain was the lead singer of the grunge band Nirvana, and husband of Courtney Love of the female grunge band Hole. Cobain died of a drug overdose in 1994 at a quiet point in his career. After his death, fans again went crazy over his albums and memorabilia, with Nirvana records spiking at an all-time high in the mid-’90s. Cobain is now known as a legend of the ’90s grunge scene.
John Denver also has seen a rise in popularity since his death in a small plane crash over Monterey Bay in 1997. Denver was a strong presence on the folk and country scenes in the ’70s and for a time in the ’80s. His career had definitely quieted down, and just before his death he recorded an album of new songs and remakes of old songs that some say he had planned as a “comeback” album. After his death, his legend has grown. Tribute artists such as Ted Vigil now perform John Denver tribute concerts, and Denver’s album sales are at an all-time high.
Glenn Miller is another artist who saw a resurgence in his career after his death. Miller was a trombonist, composer and conductor and manager of the Glenn Miller Orchestra during the 1930s and 1940s. Miller joined the Army Air Corps as the leader of the Army Air Force band in 1942, and his career in the civilian sector ceased. Miller did some radio shows and released records with the AAF Band, but his career was very quiet during the last two years of his life. Miller went missing during WWII in 1944 and has never been found. The Glenn Miller Orchestra was reactivated in the 1970s and still performs to this day. The Orchestra is the most sought-after big band show, and performs concerts across the United States and all around the globe.
Source: BRENDAN FARRINGTON and SUZETTE LABOY, “Doors’ Jim Morrison pardoned for indecent exposure” Associated Press / Yahoo! News.
Funding Universe Editorial Team, Elvis Presley Enterprises Company History, Funding Universe.
The Kurt Cobain Memorial Team, The Cobain Memorial Site.
John Denver Memorial Society, John Denver Biography, John Denver Official Website.
Maureen DeStephano, The Glenn Miller Orchestra History, The Glenn Miller Orchestra Official Website.