10 Music Artists Who Quit In Their Prime

Unlike most, these musicians knew the value of quitting when you’re ahead.

Gotye Somebody That I Used to Know

Whether you’ve learned to play an instrument and slogged around the country, played in dive bars for pennies or simply sung your heart out into a hairbrush for the benefit of your bedroom mirror, most of us have dreamed of pop or rock stardom at one point or another.

We might mock famous musicians for their outrageous demands, crazy behaviour or outlandish outfits, but who amongst us wouldn’t gladly swap the nine-to-five for the life of adoring fans, vast wealth and creative fulfilment that a successful career in music seems to offer?

It stands to reason then, that should anyone actually manage to perfect that magical, alchemical mixture of hard work, talent and luck needed to make it in the music industry, they would cherish that success and hold onto it with both hands. At the very least making the most of their moment in the sun, milking the success before fame starts to wane and record sales begin to slide. Strangely that isn’t always the case.

Who on Earth, then, would walk away from fame and fortune, whilst still at the peak of their commercial or creative powers? Read on to find out.

10. Russell Senior

While Oasis seemed to burst into the public consciousness fully formed and Blur found mainstream success with their third album, Britpop peers Pulp had an altogether more protracted gestation period. The Sheffield band originally formed way back in 1978, long before they found fame in the 1990s.

Russell Senior joined as part of the band’s third line up and played a central role, contributing guitar, violin and vocals. He was with group for over a decade before before their breakthrough album His ’n’ Hers in 1994, which was followed by the massive success of ‘95’s Different Class.

Having stuck it out with his bandmates through their years in obscurity, you might think Senior would revel in their hard earned success. Instead, he soon found himself disillusioned with fame and the treadmill of touring, recording and promotion he found himself on.

He wasn’t the only member of Pulp finding out success wasn’t quite what he’d imagined. The subject made up much of the lyrical content of the band’s next album This Is Hardcore. However, Senior was all finding himself unfulfilled creatively. He disliked the band’s song Help The Aged so intensely that he attempted to sabotage its recording.

He left the band entirely soon afterwards, worrying his unhappiness would create a poisonous atmosphere within the group. Though he remains friendly with his former bandmates and briefly reunited with the band for a comeback tour in 2011, he now devotes much of his time to antique dealing alongside other musical projects.

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Chris Chopping is a writer, YouTuber and stand up comedian. Check out his channel at YouTube.com/c/chrischopping. His dream job would be wrestling Manager and he’s long since stopped reading the comments section.... Follow him @MrChrisChopping on Twitter.