Crimes in Music Scene by Musicians
With the recent news of pop singer, Kesha, being denied a dissolve to her business relationship with her record label, Sony, I started to think about other figures in music that have committed horrible crimes. For those who don’t know, Kesha accused her producer, Dr. Luke of sexually assaulting her and credited certain comments he made about her body leading her to a stint in rehab in 2014 for an eating disorder. She requested to be released from her recording contract but a New York judge blocked her wish rendering her legally bound to stay onboard the same company that employs her alleged rapist. Really despondent stuff on display here. What’s even sadder is that Dr. Luke’s actions unfortunately aren’t uncommon in the music industry. Musicians and producers, like a lot of celebrities, can be generally hotheaded and not to mention, careless. Countless artists have been in trouble with the law at some point of their career. What I’m going to cover today though goes beyond the minor fender bender or pot bust. These musicians have committed some pretty heinous crimes, some even still serving hard time for them.
If you’ve been to any sporting event ever, you’ve heard the music of Gary Glitter. While most don’t know the name, his hit song Rock & Roll Part 2 has echoed in arenas worldwide. Behind the glam rock image though, rests a very troubled man. The musician has had problems with pedophilia dating all the way back to the 1970s. In 1997, he was busted with child pornography. He served a jail sentence and subsequently tried to put the incident behind him but his later residences in Cambodia and Vietnam were plagued with multiple charges of child abuse. Glitter would deny all of the allegation but in 2015, he was convicted of seven counts of numerous sexual offences with children and was sentenced to 16 years in prison which he is currently serving. In light of this disheartening news, I sincerely hope these sports arenas stop playing his music.
Tripp Eisen, the former lead guitarist for Dope, Static-X, and Murderdolls, was keeping himself busy in the metal world when he was involved in a scandal in 2005. As it turns out, Mr. Eisen connected with a young Static-X fan on a message board and lured the underage girl to a fast food parking lot where they engaged in intercourse. The girl was only 14-years-old and Eisen also posed as a fan of the group. The authorities were informed once the lady’s mother found out about the incident. Eisen was later arrested for kidnapping and sexual assault and was set to serve a year in prison. Once the news surfaced, Static-X immediately removed him from their line-up and expunged every mention of him on their website. He was released after seven months but wound up going back in 2009 for violating parole. He’s free now but has been keeping a relatively low profile out of the public eye to get his life back in order.
Christianity and heavy metal are two thing you’d probably think wouldn’t go together but bands that have combined the two have gained prominence over the last decade or so. I’m not talking about the Strypers or Creeds of yesteryear, I’m talking about bands like Norma Jean, Underoath, and As I Lay Dying who blend hard hitting riffs with the words of God. Speaking of As I Lay Dying, their former lead singer is now serving time in prison for attempting to hire a hitman to murder his wife. Not very Christian-like behavior I must say.
By 2013, front man, Tim Lambesis’ physical appearance had changed drastically. He went from tall and scrawny to jacked and swoll which he credited to a new diet and weight lifting regimen. To morph into this new image, he spent tons of time in the gym which is where he first inquired to the other iron-pumping patrons on who would be able help wack his estranged wife who was in the process of divorcing him. Lambesis reportedly went off a tip from a man at his gym in California and located a supposed hitman who he paid a healthy sum of money to get the job done. He told the assassin the code to the front gate of his wife’s house and instructed him to do the deed while he was spending time alone with his kids so that he would have an alibi. He was even recorded on tape saying that he was sure he wanted this to happen. Days later, the hit man was revealed to be an undercover cop and Lambesis was arrested for solicitation or murder.
His lawyer tried to claim that his actions were due to steroid abuse which would explain his altered appearance in recent years but the shallow defense wouldn’t help him. Lambesis later denounced his faith and admitted it was all a ploy to sell records. In 2014, he was sentenced to six years in prison.
I’ll admit that I was a fan of Lostprophets’ first record, thefakesoundofprogress, when it was released in 2001. For a while, …And She Told Me To Leave was a song that was constantly in rotation in my stereo. I wasn’t keen on a lot of their stuff after that first record but I was still astonished when I heard what singer, Ian Watkins, would wind up doing.
In 2013, Watkins was convicted of sexual abuse of minors, some even being infants, and sentenced to 29 years in a federal penitentiary. Child pornograpic as well beastiality images were also found on the scene. You have to believe that mental health issues played a key factor here. What would possess a man to commit such an awful crime? It’s safe to say that I haven’t listened to a single Lostprophets song since this incident and don’t think I ever will again which is shame.
Hip-hop fans of the early 2000s know Mystikal all too well. From his hit single Shake Ya Ass to his verse in Ludacris’ Move Bitch, it looked like he was going to be the next thing to look out for in the rap game. Unfortunately, shortly after his success, he was arrested for sexual assault. In 2003, he had allegedly forced his hairdresser to perform sexual acts on him while videotaping the entire incident. Him and his bodyguards pleaded guilty and the MC wound up serving six years in prison for sexual assault. He was released in 2010 and resumed his career, managing to have a track on Mark Ronson’s Uptown Special record.
If you were following the music scene in the early 2000s then you know might recognize the name Shyne. During the last days of 1999, Bad Boy entrepreneur and rapper, Diddy, then known as Puff Daddy was dating Jennifer Lopez. A predecessor to Jay-Z and Beyonce, the power couple were at a club in Downtown Manhattan when a shooting broke out leaving several people injured. Puffy was named a suspect and was eventually arrested on weapons charges. Joining him in the turmoil was his 21-year-old protege, Shyne, who was recording his big debut record for the Bad Boy label at the time.
After over a year of speculation, it looked like Diddy was about to serve some serious time in connection to the gun fight, however, he was cleared of all charges. The same unfortunately could not be said about Shyne who was outed as one of the gunman and convicted. After Sean Combs’ acquittal, the judge ruled that Shyne serve ten years in prison for reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a weapon, and assault. While behind bars, he converted to Judaism and would later live a Hasidic lifestyle. He was finally released in 2009 but was deported back to his native Belize. He still writes music to this day with the most notable thing he’s done in recent years being collaborating with reggae singer, Matisyahu. He even reconciled with Diddy and hopes to collaborate with him once again.