As the world mourns another dead pop star in Whitney Houston, it’s natural that we ask ourselves: could it happen to me? Tot up the number of categories below that apply to you and we’ll tell you whether you’re headed for a long life of health and happiness – or a short one of dodgy lovers, court appearances and increasingly weird behaviour at airports...
12) Mad hair. If you’ve been kidnapped by FARC guerrillas in Colombia and held hostage in a rainforest for two years, you have an excuse for hair like this. Otherwise, seek help. You’re heading the way of the dead pop star, and not one of those “death with dignity” deals. We’re talking about death with your knickers around your ankles and your face smeared in Krispy Kreme doughnut.
10) Failure to launch, part one. If you’re failing to deliver the goods in the day job, you may be heading into Winehouse territory. Put the crack pipe down, finish that report on potential drainage problems at that retail park in Droitwich and hand it in to the boss. You can’t live on former glories forever.
9) The bad boy lover. Amy had Blake. Whitney had Bobby. Jacko had Bubbles. All superior lovers, no doubt, but hardly appropriate for mult-millionaire pop stars. Let’s face it, if your partner is a snaggle-toothed, pasty-faced drug addict with acne, you might as well be on match.com. Remember: if you love something, give it away. If it comes back, it’s yours forever. If it doesn’t, it never was. But if you pay a backstreet private detective to break its legs, it won’t come back.
8) The endless court cases. If your only defence to having half a ton of cocaine hidden in your loft is “personal use”, you are definitely reading the path of the prematurely dead pop star.
7) Failure to launch, part two. This relates to your live performances. If it’s the day of your big pitch to a potential new client, and you’re so hung over that you can’t even speak and instead choose to whack the PowerPoint soundtrack up to full and just point a big stick at the projector every now and then, you’re in a bad place. If your client’s only question afterwards is why you’re wearing slippers, check in to The Priory forthwith.
6) You’re paying someone else to take your urine tests. You are a dead pop star in waiting.
5) Wandering around. If you’re meant to be doing some filing at work but instead are alternating between handstands at the water cooler and strolling up and down the aisles with a vaguely amused expression, be worried. Especially if other staff members are doing a slow hand clap and throwing empty cups at you.
4) Your dad. If your father is not so much the lovable grey chap in the sensible sweater who’s always there to put up shelves and repair your car, and more that man who’s always giving statements to the press outside your flat, seek help.
3) The entourage. If you can’t even pop out to the wheelie bin without a group of 12 in tow – including stylist, manager, hypnotherapist, yoga instructor and personal doctor – you’ve probably lost touch with reality.
2) You’ve met Nelson Mandela. A surefire guarantee that death is imminent.
1) Erratic behaviour involving an airport. Catching a plane should entail nothing more complicated than popping in to WH Smith to buy a copy of Bella, politely declining discount chocolate, then hurrying to the boarding gate, boarding and watching an Adam Sandler film on repeat for six hours. If you’re repeatedly getting into bust-ups with flight attendants or find yourself tasering other passengers, you’re heading into dead pop star territory. Asking the pilot of a scheduled flight to “drop you off” is a bad sign, too.
How many categories applied to you?
0-2. You’re Julie Andrews. A saint. Stop wasting our time.
3-5. You’re Lily Allen. More like a real, modern person. You’re no angel, you cut loose now and then but you’ve got things under control.
6-8. You’re Stevie Nicks. The Fleetwood Mac singer had massive addictions but just managed to pull back from the abyss and deny the good Lord another prematurely dead pop star. Can you?
9-10. You’re Amy, Janis, Jacko and Whitney, all rolled into one. Seriously, seek help from friends, family or medical practitioners. ‘Cos you’re heading for that cobbled together “B-sides and covers” album, if you know what we’re saying.Tweet