5 Singers Who Went Through Hardship

Some of the greatest singers you may know had tough stretches in their musical careers.

logo
Ultimate Guitar
0

Some of the greatest singers you may know had tough stretches in their musical careers.

Billy Joel

Oh, the great Billy Joel. Grammy winner, amazing singer and artist. However what many do not know is that his album was rejected, and following that, he spent the next six months of his life playing bar piano. As well as this, he disguised himself as a different name. Anyone starting to see a connection to one of his songs maybe? Maybe *cough* "Piano Man"? Billy Joel never gave up though, and see if one takes a look at his career now, you would never guess this happened to him.

Whoopi Goldberg

Comedian, political activist, amazing singer. However, did anyone know she dropped out of high school and then lived off of a wonderful thing known as welfare? The hard-working Goldberg never gave up though. She had three jobs at this time. One as a bricklayer, one as a bank teller, and her final job was a makeup artist... to dead people. She would literally do the hair and makeup of a dead body. Talk about creepy. I mean I didn't even know that was a real job. I had no idea a dead person had a personal preference on what they looked like as they were buried into a pile of dirt. "Oh no! Be careful when you put her in! The dirt might ruin her makeup!" I wonder if makeup could ruin the decomposing process, like does that actually affect the dirt or something? Anyway, moving on...

The Beatles

I think everyone knew this one was coming. The arguably greatest band to ever live. In 1962, The Beatles auditioned for Decca Records. However The Beatles were rejected because Decca claims that they, "Don't like their sound and guitar music is on the way out." Well I'm lost for words. The Beatles ended up... well becoming The Beatles. If you don't know who The Beatles are and want me to explain their success, well she should probably just leave and murder yourself with your lack of knowledge. If you don't, then I'll have to kill myself then eat you. Moving on.

Cyndi Lauper

She's probably less recognizable than my other artists I'm doing, but regardless, her story is pretty cool with her best known song probably being "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." In 1977, she sang some covers with Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, and a whole lot more. However, she managed to damage her vocal cords really badly. She was told by doctors in 1977 that she would never sing again, but she kinda won a Grammy in '84. However, it took her until 1980 to actually get back to the batter's box and take a swing. But yeah, she kinda hit a home run.

Elvis Presley

THE KING OF ROCK AND ROLL BABY! Something people may not know about Elvis is that he was thought to be a really bad singer as a teenager. He got a "C" in his high school choir and was told by a manager of his to stop singing and go back to "drivin a truck." I don't know about you, but I bet if you ask those two if they regret any of those comments, I 100% guarantee they get embarrassed. It would be a similar situation like if you asked Michael Jordan's high school basketball coach why Jordan didn't make the team. And the answer is simple: they don't have the slightest clue what they were thinking.

Thanks everyone for reading! Name some people I forgot down in the comments and have a great weekend! I mean these people really did prove their doubters wrong, to the point of embarrassment. This just goes to show you, never give up on anything that you are passionate about.

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Jack2994
    Some of these are hardly great hardship, I'm sure The Beatles aren't the only successful band to have been turned down by a record label in their early days...
    Asecretchord
    I guess you have a point there, but I think it was more about, for me at least, the intensity of which they were rejected, if that makes sense. For example, as I said in the article, Decca basically insulted their music, not just a simple rejection. It would be like asking a girl out. If you were called a pathetic loser, you would probably feel putrid, as compared to a simple no.
    Dr. Knox666
    Jonathan Davis of Korn. He was abused as a child, his stepmother hated him and he nearly died of a seizure caused by his asthma
    sideslick
    And his reasons for writing "Pretty" are by themselves disturbing enough to deserve a spot here. I'm just not even gonna go into how horrific the backstory is. Google it if you want to know. It makes Ian Watkins look like a good person, in comparison. Just don't say I didn't warn you.
    RU486
    Corey Taylor went through alot of the same things as Davis did, and now they're both (I believe) Grammy-winning, platinum artists.
    Jazz1992
    Ozzy Osbourne? AFAIK after leaving Black Sabbath he was completely broke + the drug/booze related problems. If it wasn't for his relationship with Sharon (who was the daughter of Sabbath's manager), today he would've been nothing.
    nico.lombard.58
    The #1 spot goes to Sixto Rodriguez!!! He was more famous than Elvis in South Africa, selling 100,000 of thousands of records yet in his home country of America he was working on a construction site not knowing he's a legend! Watch searching for sugar man!
    AlanHB
    That's a great movie, but is not the complete truth. Sixto actually did find some success in Australia, touring there in 1979 and 1981. His "Alive" album was recorded infront of 15,000 people on the 1979 tour. Of course this information wouldn't have been known to those in South Africa.
    Sleaze Disease
    Putting makeup/etc. on a dead body is obviously for the family's sake. Nobody wants to see their loved one for the last time looking like shit. They want to remember them as they looked in life. I don't know if you're just an idiot, though.
    Slap-happy
    Kurt Cobain literally slept under a bridge in his late teens. Dave Grohl returned from tour with Scream to find that he'd been made homeless and was tiling floors at Taco Bell prior to joining Nirvana. Axl Rose was a night manager of a video store and slept under the fire escape at the rear.
    eds1275
    Don't forget Axl was also sexually abused by his father at the age of 2...
    Jack2994
    Kurt was also turned down for a job cleaning dog shit out of kennels right before Nirvana hit it big.
    Kueller917
    I take it you're fortunate enough to have never had a close person die if you didn't know about the funeral cosmetology.
    LazyHardRocker
    Also, when the Beatles split up, none of them were millionaires. They were intensely successful, but the suits kept most of the cash. Or so my dad told me.
    Asada Hiruka
    Not actually true. Around the time of the split,they had already their money into capital gains (Check out what they did with Northern Songs, the label). As the British income tax took nearly 90% of their ordinary income. Their net worth was, and continues to be worth millions.
    EqualOfHeaven
    Pretty interesting article. None of them compare to Malian band Tinariwen, who were drafted by Gaddafi in the 80s, then consequently left to join a Taureg rebel militia, before becoming involved in conflicts in Mali in the 90s. Luckily for them, they managed to achieve a fair degree of international success, so have managed to avoid a lot of the problems facing Mali recently, such as the take over by the muslim brotherhood.