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Songs of Resilience: 39 Famous Musicians with Chronic Conditions

COPD Basics

May 13, 2024

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by Emery Wright

•••••

Fact Checked by:

Jennifer Chesak, MSJ

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by Emery Wright

•••••

Fact Checked by:

Jennifer Chesak, MSJ

•••••

Check out our playlist to hear from singers who understand what’s it like.

Though celebrities may seem larger than life, they have health issues just like the rest of us.

Many famous singers live with chronic conditions like Crohn’s, migraine, multiple sclerosis, and more. After all, they’re only human. But it’s easy to forget when you hear them on the radio or even see them perform live.

The Bezzy editorial team curated a playlist of popular songs from 39 artists living with chronic conditions. You can listen to the playlist on Spotify and read on to learn more about the diagnoses of these famous musicians.

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Bipolar disorder

Singer-songwriter Demi Lovato was relieved when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Lovato has been open about her experience with substance misuse disorder, eating disorders, and depression, and she’s written multiple songs about overcoming hardship, including “Warrior” and “Skyscraper.”

These famous artists also live with bipolar disorder:

Does bipolar disorder make you more creative? Read more on Healthline.

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Breast cancer

Grammy Award-winning American musician Sheryl Crow was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. She wrote the song “Make It Go Away” about her experience with cancer treatment and continues to advocate for early breast cancer detection.

Following her breast cancer treatment, rock musician Melissa Etheridge also wrote a song based on her experience and dedicated to survivors, titled “I Run For Life.”

These famous musicians were also diagnosed:

Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis

You may know Mike McCready as the lead guitarist for Pearl Jam, but he’s also a national spokesperson for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.

McCready was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) at 21 years old, and he’s openly shared his experience with Crohn’s in the media.

Many actors and athletes also live with IBD, along with these musicians:

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Migraine

Migraine is more common among women.

“Twenty to 30 years ago, [vestibular migraine] used to be called floating women’s syndrome; [doctors] used to consider it a psychiatric or neurotic syndrome,” said Dr. Steven D. Rauch, a professor of otology and laryngology at Harvard Medical School, in an ABC News article about Janet Jackson’s migraine diagnosis.

You may have also seen Lady Gaga’s commercials for migraine medications, but she’s not the only singer living with migraine. Here’s a list of other famous celebs with migraine:

Multiple sclerosis

Alan Osmond of The Osmand Brothers and his son David Osmond were both diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. David wrote the song “I Can Do This” to inspire people living with MS and to raise awareness about the disease.

Chad King, half of the hit duo A Great Big World, also lives with MS. You may recognize his hit song with Christina Aguilera, “Say Something.” In 2015, King wrote an MS mantra song called “Won’t Stop Running.”

These musicians have also been diagnosed with MS:

  • Masta Ace
  • Walter Williams, O’Jays founder and singer
  • Clay Walker
  • Aaron Solowoniuk, Billy Talent drummer
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Psoriasis

Kim Kardashian isn’t the only celebrity with psoriasis. In an interview with the American Academy of Dermatology, Cyndi Lauper shared how meditation and yoga help her manage stress, a common psoriasis trigger for her.

These singers also live with psorasis:

  • LeAnn Rimes
  • Lance Bass, *NSYNC bass singer
  • Art Garfunkel, half of Simon and Garfunkel

Rheumatoid arthritis

Musician and former American Idol judge Paula Abdul was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis around 2005. In an interview with the Arthritis Foundation, Abdul said, “For my mental health as well as my joint pain, I have to move. If your body’s feeling good, you inevitably start feeling better.”

Other famous musicians living with RA include:

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Type 2 diabetes

Patti LaBelle was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes after collapsing onstage during a performance. In an article she wrote for USA Today, LaBelle shares her story and advocates for greater visibility for people living with T2D.

These artists were also diagnosed with T2D:

Some musical inspiration

We curated a playlist of the most popular songs from these artists living with chronic conditions. You can follow and listen to the playlist on Spotify.

Is there a playlist theme you’d like to us to cover? Let us know by emailing us at article-feedback@bezzy.com.

Fact checked on May 13, 2024

5 Sources

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About the author

Emery Wright

Emery Wright is an editor at Healthline and Bezzy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English with minors in creative writing and communications. She’s also an AFAA-certified fitness instructor and student in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Outside of work, she can be found hiking, writing Yelp reviews, and recording cooking videos.

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