Rock Stars Who Will Turn 70 in 2017
“How terribly strange to be seventy.” – Simon and Garfunkel
Strange indeed, with the notorious lifestyle of rock n’ roll that revolves mostly on alcohol, drugs, girls, and hard partying, it’s already such a rarity for the rock star greats to reach a lifespan beyond 40. Many icons of today remain frozen in their glorious days, taken by the lifestyle itself at such a young age (27 Death Club, familiar?). Those who live fast and long have amazingly aged gracefully. Some are even going strong in their careers and continue to rock on into their 70s! Even after decades and decades in the music industry, putting out records and doing shows and tours, these septuagenarian rock stars remain to be after they at the top of their game.
1. Elton John
The legendary English singer-songwriter turns 70 on March 25, 2017.
The sun hasn’t gone down on The Rocket Man himself just yet. Concluding 2016 with a whopping 131 concerts and performances in 24 countries, it’s hard to believe Sir Elton John is going into his 70s, with a career spanning almost 5 decades! It doesn’t look like age is going to stop him now with a tour lined up in US, UK, Europe, Norway, and South America in 2017. The multi- Tony and Grammy award winner continues to add to his long list of accomplishments and the past year proves to have been quite a productive one for the singer – composer. Elton released his 33rd studio album, Wonderful Crazy Night, in February of 2016 and even peaked at number 6 in the UK charts. He also went to collaborate with rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers on their newest record. With all the energy and creativity he still has, it looks like Sir Elton John is up for an exciting seventh decade to come!
2. Iggy Pop
Iggy Pop, whose real name is a mouthful, James Newell Osterberg, Jr. will be turning 70 this Spring on April 21. This birthday is in itself a miracle what with the eccentric singer’s uncontrollable drug abuse in his youth. When Iggy Pop checked himself in the UCLA neuropsychiatric institute in the late 1970s, it was his dear friend and rock icon David Bowie who saw him through his troubled times. The Stooges front man has since then put himself together. After his stint in rehab, Iggy Pop was invited by Bowie to his join him on his Station to Station tour in 1976. The proto-punk singer, famously known for his wild and unpredictable stage antics, popularized the stage dive,and was the first known rocker to do the famous act at a concert in Detroit. Just in 2016, he released his seventeenth studio album called Post Pop Depression.
3. Brian Johnson – born October 5, 1947
AC/DC front man Brian Johnson is will be celebrating his 70th birthday on October 5 of this year. In 1980, following the death of former AC/DC lead singer Bon Scott, Johnson took over and the rest is rock n’ roll history. In 2003, Johnson and the rest of the band were the ones inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Johnson has been performing with the iconic rock band for almost 40 years now, but just recently, while touring on the Rock or Bust World Tour in March 2016, he quit the tour after suffering hearing problems. Following the news of his hearing problems, it was hinted that he might not be returning to the band, saying “I’ve had a pretty good run. I’m just thankful, really, that I came out of it in one piece.” Going into his 70th birthday, it seems that Johnson is back in top hearing shape thanks to his new ear piece that filters out high frequencies he’s mostly exposed to, being in a rock band and all that. Well, we sure can’t wait to see what’s in store for Brian and AC/DC in 2017!
4. Carlos Santana
Carlos Santana, front man and namesake of the rock band Santana, and one of the most prominent blues guitar players in the industry, is turning 70 years old this summer on July 20th. The multi-award winning Mexican – American singer and guitarist continues to keep himself with music the past year. Last April, he released his twenty-third studio album Santana IV along with original members of the band from the 1960s, the ones who performed at Woodstock Festival ’69. The album debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200 Charts in the United States, having sold 40,000 copies in its first week. Carlos Santana is known to have revolutionized the blues rock genre by incorporating his Latin American roots into it. This 2017, as he becomes a septuagenarian, he will go on tour around North America and Australia to promote his band’s newest record.
5. Brian May
Queen co-founder and lead guitarist Brian May, CBE, is turning 70 on July 19. Not only does Brian May remain active in the industry, he’s also an accomplished astrophysicist aside from being a rock star. He makes use of a home-built electric guitar, which he called the Red Special. In 2016, his friend and band mate, the legendary Freddie Mercury would’ve turned 70 years old. In honor of his departed friend, the astrophysicist guitar hero named an asteroid after the music icon. Today, Asteroid 17473 (which was first discovered in 1991) is officially called Freddie Mercury. Brian May has just recently concluded a tour with Queen and American Idol alum Adam Lambert across Europe and Asia. With this much productivity in his ripe age, Brian May is surely happily singing, “Don’t Stop Me Now.”
6. Mick Fleetwood
The co-founder and namesake of Fleetwood Mac, the iconic rock band’s drummer Mick Fleetwood will be turning 70 on June 24. The famed drummer has been hitting away since 1967 and with a career spanning 50 years, he doesn’t seem to have retirement on his mind just yet. Reflecting upon his long career, Fleetwood expresses, “Over my career I’ve been called a pop star and a rock star, yet in my inner heart, I will always be part bluesman. On my journey from blues to a life of rock ‘n’ roll, I’ve always remembered where I started.” In 2016, Fleetwood went back to touring with his Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, including bassist Lenny Castellanos, keyboardist Mark Johnstone and former Fleetwood Mac vocalistand guitarist Rick Vito. Last July 2016, Fleetwood’s new band played a set at the LA Dodger’s Stadium.
7. Don Henley
Eagles drummer and co-lead singer Don Henley will be entering his 70s this coming July 22. The singer-drummer launched a successful solo career following the break up of The Eagles from in 1980, but came back as an active member of the band when they reunite from 1994 until 2016. As a solo artist, he has released five studio albums and sold 11 million records. With the Eagles, he’s released seven studio albums. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Henley as the 87th greatest singer of all time. Today, not only does he look two decades much younger than his real age, his energy and creativity seem to follow suit, setting out to have a solo tour in the US, Australia, and New Zealand to promote his latest album “Cass County”.
8. Meat Loaf
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Hard rock legend Meat Loaf (born Marvin Lee Aday) will be celebrating his 70th birthday on September 27. Although he’s suffered some health issues of late, the singer is still going strong and is ready to face his 7th decade, and 40th year of performing. He is most famous for his “Bat Out of Hell” trilogy of albums having sold more than 43 million copies worldwide and earning a Grammy Award for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for the song “I’d Do Anything for Love”. In 2006, Meat Loaf ranked 96th on VH1’s “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock”. In mid-June of 2016, while singing on stage in Edmonton, Canada, Meat Loaf collapsed on stage but has told his fans that he has since then recovered. It’s not the first time he’s had health problems mid-performance as he also collapsed on stage in 2003 then had heart surgery the following week. The singer was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat problem known as Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.
9. Sammy Hagar
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It’s hard to believe former Van Halen lead singer Sammy Hagar is about to turn 70 on October 13! The Red Rocker looks as young as he did when he was rocking out with Van Halen more than a decade ago. The rock star has done well with his fame and wealth and invested it to commercial entrepreneurship. He founded the Cabo Wabo Tequila brand and restaurant chain. He is also the owner of Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum. Although he’s had a rather messy fall out with his band mates in Van Halen, he still remains active with music, creating new bands Chickenfoot and The Circle of which he is the lead singer of. In 2016, he made an appearance on the hit reality talent search TV show “The Voice” as a guest mentor on the show judge Adam Levine’s team.
10. Glenn Tipton
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Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton will be turning 70 later this year on October this year. The Grammy Award-winning guitar player and songwriter may have been in the dark the past few years but he’s been brewing something to look forward to with his band. He is best known for his classically complex guitar solos and his fans can’t wait to hear new material from the talented rock star. For most of 2016, he has been touring with the Judas Priest and recording in studio, working on a new album. His focus on the album has lead him to drop out of the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp supposedly held last August. Despite the excitement of new music and more performances from the veteran musician, he has hinted that he may have to think about retirement eventually, saying
“…there will be a point when we’ve gotta hang the hat up, and I’d rather hang my hat up than have somebody else hang it up.”
11. Joe Walsh
(Photo credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)
The Eagles guitarist and singer Joe Walsh has a colorful career spanning almost 50 years now and with that he will be celebrating his 70th birthday later this year on November 20. He is well-praised for his talent and contribution to the Eagles’ success. In 1998, he along with the rest of Eagles band members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Walsh was also part of former Beatles drummer Ringgo Starr’s band aptly called Ringgo Starr and His All-Starr Band. His success in the 70s and 80s has taken him to even greater heights as a solo artist. Just recently in the summer of 2016, he co-headlined a tour with Bad Company. After that, he held a solo tour called the Walsh Toor. And he hasn’t stopped yet. Walsh is also to tour in 2017 and we’re looking forward to it!
12. Gregg Allman
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Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band will have a lot to celebrate during the holiday season this year as he is turning 70 on December 8. It’s been nearly 46 years since his brother Duane passed away in a tragic motorcycle accident in 1971, and it’s nice to know that as the other half of the Allman Brothers Band, Gregg is living and honoring his brother’s legacy. He’s been keeping real busy the past year, touring all over the country and recording his upcoming album Southern Blood set to be released sometime in 2017. The whirlwind of productivity has taken a toll on Gregg’s health that he had to cancel the rest of his winter tour last November. He issued a statement on his website saying, “This is the hardest thing I’ve had to do in a long, long, time. I’ve been on the road for 45 years because I live to play music with my friends for my fans. As much as I hate it, it’s time for me to take some real time off to heal.” Allman will make up for the missed shows in July of 2017.
13. Jeff Lynne
photo credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times
Electric Light Orchetra singer Jeff Lynne will be celebrating his 70th birthday at the end of 2017 on December 30. Under the pseudonyms Otis Wilbury and Clayton Wilbury, he co-founded the supergroup Traveling Wilburys with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty in 1988. His known credentials would probably be producing and collaboraating with various members of The Beatles throughout their solo careers. Although it’s been 30 years since Electric Light Orchestra disbanded in 1986, the band reunited last year and performed at London’s Hyde Park. It will be a big year for the singer-producer this 2017 as he along with the rest of Electric Light Orchestra band members will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 7.
14. Roky Erickson – born December 30, 1947
photo credit: rukkus.com
Texan Psychedlic rock legend Roky Erickson is turning 70 on December 30th of 2017. A pioneer of the psychedelic rock genre, he is most known as the singer and co-founder of the band the 13th Floor Elevators. Erickson has had quite a messy and interesting life and career over the past couple of decades. He’s the man behind the classic break up song “You’re Gonna Miss Me” which found big success on the U.S. charts. What’s interesting about the famed musician is that after he was heard speaking gibberish while performing in 1968, it was found that he had paranoid schizophrenia which lead to his confinement in a psychiatric hospital in Houston, Texas. His mental health saved him from being incarcerated in 1969 after being arrested for possession of illegal drugs and plead not guilty due to insanity. It’s good to know he’s survived that rocky past and revived his career in the late 2000s. He has just recently wrapped a tour last year and has a couple of shows lined up for 2017.