This is part two of our Famous Short Men series. If you missed the part one, click here to check it out. In this post, we’re going to talk about five of the shortest rockstars of all time.
Like actors, rockstars often look bigger in their music videos and on stage. In reality, many of the best musicians and entertainers are men of modest height. Without further adieu, here are our five favorite short-stature rockstars:
Let’s start with a classic. Roger Daltrey is a legend. He is a singer, songwriter, actor, musician and founder of one of the best rock bands of all time, The Who.
Although he wasn’t the most prominent songwriter in the band, he did write a handful of hit songs for The Who, as well as several other groups.
He also created the deity-esqe persona that influenced some of the biggest rock-n-roll front men of his generation (and those to follow).
At just 5’7″ tall, Daltrey supposedly ran the show – on stage and off. He wouldn’t shy away from confrontation, and he readily got his point across with his fists.
He was confident on stage and is known for his signature move of swinging the microphone around his head. Daltrey was the lifeblood of one of the best rock bands of our time.
First of all, if you are universally known by one name – nay, one syllable – you know you’ve made it. Prince is a musical genius who has produced 10 platinum albums and 30 hit singles over the course of his career.
Although he is usually seen as a flamboyant, tight pants wearing front man, he is actually an extremely gifted mulch-instrumentalist who has won seven Grammy Awards. By this, I mean that he ridiculous at guitar, bass, drums and a bunch of other instruments.
In fact, especially in the early days of his career, the recorded and produced all of his own stuff. He would simply play every instrument for every song (all of which he wrote, by the way).
Oh, and did I mention he is a ladies man? He’s dated fashion models (Kim Basinger), pop stars (Madonna), and actresses (Carmen Electra). Most of them were several inches taller than him.
Best known for his all-American brand of pop/rock, John “Cougar” Mellencamp is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee who has received critical acclaim for his early work as well as his latest album (and most of the stuff in between).
Mellencamp captured the voice of small town America. He wrote about regular people trying to make it in the real world, which was a breath of fresh air amongst all of the glam rock and bubble gum pop.
He stays true to his roots, too. Mellencamp lives on a lake in Indiana, and his vacation homes are in Georgia and South Carolina, not the Caribbean and the Hamptons.
Being 5’7″ didn’t stop Johnny Cougar from marrying supermodel Elaine Irwin (5’11”), releasing over 20 hit songs, being nominated for 13 Grammy Awards, and co-founding Farm Aid.
No matter where you’re from or what kind of music you listen to, you know who Bob Marley is. You can probably even name (and sing) a handful of his songs:
“I Shot the Sheriff”, “No Woman, No Cry”, “Stir It Up”, “Jammin”, “Redemption Song”, and so on.
Marley was a Jamaican singer, songwriter and guitarist. He was the lead singer of his band, Bob Marley & The Wailers.
Although hardcore reggae people will probably take issue with this, Marley was basically responsible for the genre’s popularity in the U.S. The compilation album Legend that was released after his death sold over 25 million copies.
Bob Marley died from cancer when he was just 36 years old. A Rastafarian and generally spiritual man, his last words were to his son Ziggy:
“Money can’t buy life.”
Marley may have only been 5’8″ tall, but had the spirit and presence of a lion.
Like Prince, Paul David Hewson is internationally known by his stage name, Bono. This singer, humanitarian, writer, activist and philanthropist is the only person in the world to be nominated for a Grammy, Oscar, Golden Globe and Nobel Peace Prize. That’s like the Triple Crown of life.
Oh, and he was granted honorary knighthood by the Queen of England.
Although Bono has been made fun of for his accolades and activism, the fact is he is an amazing person. He’s played a ton of benefit concerts, organized multiple charities and non-profit campaigns, met with decision-making politicians like Bush and Obama, and written all of the lyrics for one of the most successful rock and roll acts of our time.
I hope this list of short rockstars has inspired (or at least entertained) you. These guys all knew that it’s not about your height. It’s about what you do with it. Personally, my new goal is to join Prince and Bono by being known only as “Brock”. Knighthood would be cool too.
If you missed part one of this series, check it out – Famous Short Men, Part 1: Actors.