5 Music Legends Still Going At It In Their 80s
via ringostarr / Youtube
As people reach their 80s, most tend to embrace retirement and slow down in their later years. However, this isn’t the case for many musicians who have entered their octogenarian phase.
In 2023, Mick Jagger turned 80, shortly before Keith Richards did the same in December. Other notable musicians like Chubby Checker, Bob Dylan, and Judy Collins have also reached their 80s, while Frankie Valli, at 89, released a new album called “Touch of Jazz” in 2021. Yoko Ono and Willie Nelson celebrated milestone birthdays in 2023 as they reached their 90s.
Despite their age, these artists continue to be active in their art, highlighting the enduring power of music. Here’s a closer look at five more musicians who are still going strong in their 80s:
1. Pat Boone (June 1, 1931)
Pat Boone, who is celebrating his 70th year in the entertainment industry, is still busy as an actor, appearing in movies like A Cowgirl’s Story (2017) and The Mulligan (2022), in addition to presenting the SiriusXM radio program The Pat Boone Hour and going on tour to promote his 28th book, The Eternal Choice We All Must Make.
Boone experimented with a variety of musical styles over his lengthy career, including heavy metal with the late ’90s album In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy, R&B with the 2006 album We Are Family: R&B Classics, and country records. He has run The Gold Label, which publishes music by well-known performers as well as his own songs, for the past 20 years. In the year 2023, at the age of 89, Boone sang his 1956 record hit, “Chattanoogie Shoeshine Boy.”
2. Engelbert Humperdinck (May 2, 1936)
Dubbed the “King of Romance,” Engelbert Humperdinck has exquisitely encapsulated love across his 60-year career, infusing his albums like Release Me, The Last Waltz, A Man Without Love, and his 1969 self-titled release with heartfelt hits such as “Winter World of Love” and the Burt Bacharach/Hal David-penned “I’m a Better Man.” The essence of love continues to thrive in his music up to the present, as he affirmed in a 2023 interview with American Songwriter.
Celebrating his 87th birthday on May 2, 2023, Humperdinck marked the occasion with a new album, All About Love, featuring 13 covers of R&B and pop classics by iconic artists like the Bee Gees, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Barry White, Lou Rawls, and The Flamingos, among others.
3. Tom Jones (June 7, 1940)
In a career spanning nearly 60 years since his debut, Along Came Jones, Tom Jones is known for hits like “It’s Not Unusual,” “Delilah,” and “Sex Bomb.” In 2021, he released his 41st album, Surrounded by Time, featuring covers of songs by Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, and The Waterboys. Jones was honored twice in the 2000s, first by Queen Elizabeth II in 2006 and then by the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2022, he performed with Stereophonics in Cardiff and is set for his Ages and Stages Tour in 2023.
4. Ringo Starr (July 7, 1940)
Similar to Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr has released 20 solo albums in addition to having nearly 60 years of musical history, starting with the Beatles. He is still a standout drummer and frontman for the 1989-formed Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band. The band has gone through 14 lineup changes throughout the years, with current members including Steve Lukather, Edgar Winter, and others.
Starr said that in contrast to the past’s constant changes, his band’s current steadiness makes him quite happy. In addition to music, Starr started publishing EPs in 2021 with Zoom In, followed by Change the World and EP3, and an upcoming country EP is expected in 2024.
5. Paul McCartney (June 18, 1942)
Paul McCartney performed as the headlining act at Glastonbury in 2022 for the first time since 2004 and paid respect to late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. In June 2023, London’s National Portrait Gallery will host the publication of “1964: Eyes of the Storm,” a collection of his images from that year.
The 336-page book includes McCartney’s personal recollections together with 275 pictures documenting the start of Beatlemania and the Beatles’ first trip to the United States. McCartney, 81, made hints about a new global tour and future Beatles album in 2020, which would include “Now and Then,” John Lennon’s farewell song recorded in 1978.