10 Musicians Who Survived Assassination Attempts

10 Musicians Who Survived Assassination Attempts
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In a world where the famous are idolised, sometimes those who purport to love them become so obsessive that those feelings of adoration turn to jealousy, rage, and violent murderous intent.

In other cases being a high profile celebrity makes you a sufficient target for an unhinged nutter.

Perhaps your status aligns you with political figures that can draw unwanted, violent attention?

Or, in the often violent world of gangsta rap, your neighbourhood and the criminal figures around you are the biggest threat.

There is a worryingly long list of musicians who have been murdered; John Lennon, Dimebag Darrell, Marvin Gaye, Tupac Shakur, and Notorious B.I.G. to name just a few.

This list looks at those lucky musicians who survived their attackers.

10. Miley Cyrus

10 Musicians Who Survived Assassination Attempts

In 2008 the FBI discovered a very strange and elaborate plot to murder the former Hannah Montana.

A 16-year old was arrested having smuggled handcuffs, duct tape and rope onto a plane bound for Nashville. His plan, allegedly, was to hijack said plane and crash into the stadium in which Miley was performing in Lafayette, Louisiana.

The FBI confirmed that the teen had divulged that he fully intended to die, despite later downplaying the overall threat of the incident.

As elaborate as this plan sounds, there are conspiracy theories online that Disney have already killed and cloned Miley Cyrus in response to her wild child behaviour.

9. Eminem

10 Musicians Who Survived Assassination Attempts
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Suge Knight is the infamous former CEO of Death Row records, currently serving a 28 year sentence for voluntary manslaughter charges in a fatal hit and run. Back in 1996, he was driving the vehicle that Tupac Shakur was assassinated in, and Knight has since been accused of being behind Tupac’s murder, along with the similar drive-by assassination of Biggie Smalls in 1997.

So it wasn’t too much of a shock when a former bodyguard of Eminem’s claimed that Knight had twice tried to have Eminem killed.

The first incident was at The Source Awards when Knight’s “henchmen” arrived in red shirts screaming “Death Row motherf*****s! Suge Knight sent us to strong arm Eminem and it’s going down”.

The second was in Honolulu when Knight allegedly sent a whopping 50 of his men to break up a show, causing Eminem’s entourage to don their bullet-proof vests and lock and load.

8. Madonna

10 Musicians Who Survived Assassination Attempts
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Madonna has had a fair few threatening letters and creepy fans throughout her career, but one incident stands out as a particularly close call.

Robert Hoskins was a stalker of the pop icon, whom Madonna had encountered several times. In 1996, Hoskins hopped the fence of the singer’s Hollywood Hills compound screaming he would either “marry” or “slash [Madonna’s] throat!”.

He was shot by a bodyguard and arrested by police. Luckily Madonna wasn’t at home. And even more luckily, her bodyguards are good shots.

7. Tupac Shakur

10 Musicians Who Survived Assassination Attempts

As previously mentioned, Tupac was killed in a drive-by assassination in 1996. But this wasn’t the first attempt on his life.

In 1994, Tupac was shot whilst in the lobby of a Manhattan recording studio. There were three shooters and the fact that Tupac’s Rolex was not taken point towards it being a targeted hit as opposed to attempted robbery, despite his chains and gun being taken by the shooters.

In 2011 a convicted murderer by the name of Dexter Isaacs claimed that he was hired by talent agent Jimmy Henchman to carry out the 1994 shooting. The 1996 murder of Tupac remains unsolved.

6. Joss Stone

10 Musicians Who Survived Assassination Attempts

In 2011 Junior Bradshaw and Kevin Liverpool drove all the way from Manchester in North England, to Devon in the South, looking for soul singer Joss Stone. They drove around the village of Cullompton for hours looking for Stone’s house, even asking a postman for directions. Eventually, suspicious residents called the police on the pair.

When officers investigated the pair’s car they discovered knives, hammers, and even a samurai sword.

During their trial, it was revealed that the two had plotted to rob and murder Stone. Letters and texts by Liverpool detail plans to steal money of more than £1million, and to behead Stone and dump her body in a river, allegedly because of “ties to the Royal Family”.

The pair were found guilty, with Liverpool sentenced to life, and Bradshaw to a psychiatric facility.

5. Mick Jagger

10 Musicians Who Survived Assassination Attempts
Markus Schreiber/AP

Here’s another very bizarre assassination attempt, this time by the Hell’s Angels. But their choice of transport towards the mansion of The Rolling Stone singer was not by bike, rather, by boat.

In 1969 The Rolling Stones refused to ever hire the Hell’s Angels as security again after their alleged stabbing of a man at a concert. This enraged the gang and a plan was hatched. To sail by boat to Mick Jagger’s mansion and murder him.

Apparently a storm sank the boat, and thus the armed gang couldn’t carry out their seafaring assault. Truly bizarre.

4. 50 Cent

10 Musicians Who Survived Assassination Attempts
Getty Images 2016

Curtis Jame Jackson III was at the place most people feel safest - grandma’s house - when he was nearly assassinated.

Jackson got into the backseat of a car whilst retrieving some jewellery from his grandmother’s home in South Jamaica when another car pulled up alongside. At that point a man got out of the arriving car and fired nine shots at close range into Jackson, hitting him in the hand, arm, hip, legs, chest, and left cheek.

Jackson spent thirteen days in hospital, and the facial injury has left him with a permanently swollen tongue and slurred speech.

The assailant, Daryl Baum, was a bodyguard of Mike Tyson. He was found killed three weeks after the attempt on Jackson’s life.

3. George Harrison

10 Musicians Who Survived Assassination Attempts
2014 Getty Images

In 1980, a crazed man by the name of Mark David Chapman shot and killed the man he was obsessed with, former Beatle, John Lennon.

On New Year’s Eve 1999, a man by the name of Michael Abram broke into the house of former Beatle Geroge Harrison and stabbed him in the chest, collapsing a lung, before trying to strangle Harrison’s wife Olivia with the cord from a lamp.

Police arrested Abram at Harrison’s home, and it soon transpired that Abram’s obsession with Harrison was more than superfandom. Abram believed that The Beatles were witches and that Harrison was The Devil. As such, Abram was under the delusion that he was on a mission from God to kill him.

Abram was sentenced to a psychiatric hospital but released in 2002, a year after Harrison died of cancer. So far, Ringo and Paul have avoided any murderous, obsessive fans.

2. Bob Marley

10 Musicians Who Survived Assassination Attempts

The man who sang that he “Shot the Sheriff” was almost a victim of gun crime himself.

It’s an astonishing attempted mass murder driven by political ideology.

In 1976 Bob Marley & The Wailers were due to play the Smile Jamaica Peace Concert, which was seen by some as an endorsement by the reggae act for the ruling PNP political party before an election. Two days before the concert, seven armed men raided Marley’s house while he and the band were on a break from rehearsals.

Marley’s wife was shot in the head, Marley’s manager in the legs, another band employee in the torso, and Marley himself shot in the arm and chest. And somehow nobody died.

The attack is heavily suspected to have been carried out by supporters of the Edward Seaga’s opposition political party the JLP. Other, slightly wilder, theories involve the CIA having hired them in exchange for cocaine and guns...

1. Bjork

10 Musicians Who Survived Assassination Attempts
One Little Indian Records

This is a very strange one, involving a very disturbed stalker. He was a pest control worker by the name of Ricardo López.

López had been obsessed with Icelandic singer Bjrok since 1993 and sent her numerous fan letters. As time went on he made the predictably creepy decision to document his deluded and obsessive fantasies in multiple video diary entries. When Bjork started a relationship with musician Goldie, López became infuriated and decided to kill her.

López’s final video diary entry shows him preparing to go to the post office with a package to be sent to Bjork. The package contained a letter bomb with a booked rigged with sulphuric acid that would ideally kill or at least disfigure her when she opened it, which police were luckily able to intercept.

The second part of the video is most distressing of all. López returns from the post office, removes all of his clothes, shaves his head, paints himself red, then, whilst Bjork’s music plays, screams “This is for you” and promptly blows his brains out on camera.