Sadly, time and time again it’s been proven that a lifetime of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll may be fun while it lasts, but it can leave you with physical changes that you’re stuck with for the rest of your life. For example, these 20 stars of the rock genre were hot as hell once – but though all of them are still talented, they also all serve as a reminder that no-one stays young forever, not even a god of rock.
20. Axl Rose
Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses was once a rock superstar, and an undoubtedly gorgeous one. But now, unfortunately, it’s clear that a lifetime of excess has affected both his voice and his physique. And he knows it, too. In fact, in 2016 the rocker even attempted to get an uncomplimentary picture of himself pulled from the web.
19. Mick Jagger
Mick Jagger’s strange beauty was once legendary. But now, after decades of the rock lifestyle, the Rolling Stones star knows that he’s become old and now needs some pharmaceutical assistance to keep going. “You start out playing rock ‘n’ roll so you can have sex and do drugs,” he admitted during a 2012 appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman. “But you end up doing drugs so you can still play rock ‘n’ roll and have sex.”
18. Steven Tyler
The man who gave the world Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” and Liv Tyler still dresses like he did 30 years ago, but everything else has changed. Indeed, Steven Tyler can’t jump around on stage anymore without risking injury, and years of drug abuse have also taken a big toll on his face.
17. Robert Smith
Robert Smith of The Cure was the ultimate hot goth in the ’80s, but the look just doesn’t really carry over into old age. Smith kept with it, though, but when his appearance was described as downright “scary” by Guardian critic Caroline Sullivan in 2014, the comment and her review of the band touched a nerve.
16. David Coverdale
David Coverdale of Deep Purple and Whitesnake was actually already in his mid thirties when he started topping the music charts. But if he wasn’t over the hill then, he certainly is now – and his awesome ’80s hair and handsome face are fading away with age.
15. Billy Idol
Billy Idol hasn’t aged as badly as some of his contemporaries – which in a way is strange, because he too had a lifetime of hard drugs and wild excess that should have utterly destroyed him. However, Idol’s still come a long way from his Generation X years, where his handsomeness was almost a disadvantage.
14. Rod Stewart
Rod Stewart is still perhaps the biggest lothario in all of rock and roll, having not only dated a string of women but also having had eight children by five of them. And getting older didn’t stop him in that respect, either. After all, his face may now be more wrinkled and his hair may be more gray, but nevertheless he’s still married to a model, Penny Lancaster, who is 26 years his junior.
U2 frontman Bono was once an extremely handsome man. Now, though, fans are forced to admit that not only is he aging, he’s not really aging as well as they would like. Indeed, getting older is affecting both his stage performances and his voice – although, it has to be said, it hasn’t affected his activism.
12. Lars Ulrich
Lars Ulrich in his Metallica days was, without a doubt, a good-looking man – even if his face was often hidden behind his big mane of hair. But now the hair is gone, the youthfulness is gone and, while Ulrich is still handsome, he’s much more ordinary-looking.
11. Tommy Lee
Mötley Crüe founding member Tommy Lee had a wild rocker career that involved marrying not one but several beautiful women, including Pamela Anderson. The musician is definitely slowing down now, though. In fact, now that age has caught up with him it’s made him look rather thin and frail.
10. David Lee Roth
Poor David Lee Roth. The Van Halen singer was a very attractive man at the start of his career, but all the drink and drugs and M&Ms have taken their toll. Now Roth looks like a shell of his former self – gone are his beautiful long locks, and his face is almost skeletal.
9. Paul McCartney
Seeing as how he was one of the Beatles, Paul McCartney really falls under the label of “living legend” rather than merely “rocker.” But although he’s unrecognizable now from how he looked at the height of his fame, the singer is reluctant to make way for the next generation of musicians. In fact, as he told Rolling Stone in 2012, “Let them make way for themselves.”
8. Vince Neil
When he was in Mötley Crüe, Vince Neil was blond and cute. Now he’s still blond, but not cute anymore. Indeed, aside from the aging and the plastic surgery, the allegations of domestic abuse, drunk driving and assault have considerably toned down his attractiveness.
7. Anthony Kiedis
In his heyday, Anthony Kiedis possessed a stunning androgynous beauty. But now the Red Hot Chili Peppers singer has completely and utterly changed, losing all his lovely blonde hair and growing a moustache for some reason. He’s also got very thin, although that’s probably down to health issues.
6. Richie Sambora
Richie Sambora, the ex-lead guitarist of Bon Jovi and ex-husband of Heather Locklear, is another one who has let substance abuse problems affect his looks. Indeed, Sambora definitely looks different and less healthy now. Ironically, though, his former bandmate Jon Bon Jovi has actually aged spectacularly well.
5. Sebastian Bach
Sebastian Bach of Skid Row was once the very archetype of the hot rock star. But now, even though he’s only 48, it’s clear that he’s paid the price for 25 years of alcohol abuse. “When I get f**ked up every night, I look like pure hell, like anybody else does,” he told the Mike James Rock Show in 2014.
4. Robert Plant
Back in the day Robert Plant was a bit odd-looking, but you could tell there was a pretty face hidden underneath all that facial hair. Flash forward several decades, though, and the Led Zeppelin singer still has the beard – but the face has changed. Luckily, however, the voice hasn’t.
3. Keith Richards
Rolling Stone Keith Richards frequently appears on lists titled “celebrities who have aged badly,” and it’s not hard to see why. Although he was once an attractive man, the vast amount of drugs, drink and smoking he has participated in over the years have eventually warped his looks and turned him into an object of mockery.
2. Iggy Pop
It was okay when young, Stooges-era Iggy Pop took his shirt off on stage, but old Iggy Pop… people weren’t quite so down with that. Even Iggy himself admitted in 2016 that it was probably time to put his clothes back on, confessing to the Sunday Times that aging rockers usually look “terrible and old.”
1. Ozzy Osbourne
Ozzy Osbourne’s youthful looks have long, long since gone, but that’s only the half of it. Really, after a lifetime of the most iunbelievable drug abuse, the Black Sabbath singer should be dead. But he’s not, and in fact scientists have even studied his genome to work out why he’s still standing.