When they were young, everyone dreamed of being a Rock Star. They're living idols that people look up to. They follow every Rule of Cool
and wear lots of tight leather and make up. They're loud. They're fun. They're rolling in girls and money. They're larger than life.
The Rock Star
is often found around Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll
, but on occasion this is subverted and they are found to actually be the character with their heads screwed on the best. If this character is an adventurer they tend to use The Power of Rock
as their weapon, or failing that they will be a Musical Assassin
Not to be confused with Rock Star Song
which is a song about being one of these. British Rockstar
is a specific subtrope that tends to focus on the less likable and/or glamorous tendencies of rockers.
examples of this trope would fall under Music
- Marvel Comics' Dazzler was originally a mutant who can change sound waves into light waves, and uses this as part of her disco stage show, making her one of the few not nigh-universally hated mutants in the 'verse.
- Longshot had all of the qualities of this trope without actually being a musician, though he did upstage Dazzler the one time he did sing on-panel. Longshot deliberately produced as Estrogen Brigade Bait by Mojo for shows in his dimension.
- The comic Greatest Hits is about a Beatles Expy rock group called The Mates who also have superpowers, but those powers are unrelated to their rockstarness.
- Todd Ingram, in both the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels and movie, cites this as the reason why he's allowed to be a Karma Houdini. It fails. Miserably.
- 2000AD had Zenith, an 80s superhero who was also a New Wave/Glam popstar.
- Quite a few in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World but Envy Adams takes the cake easily.
- In the film Rock Star an average guy suddenly becomes the lead singer of a highly successful Heavy Metal band, and he finds himself unprepared for the debauchery and hedonism of the rock star lifestyle.
- Dewey Cox from Walk Hard is a vicious deconstruction.
Music (Particularly famous Real Life examples who often inspire fictional ones)
- Zal of the Quantum Gravity series is an elf rock star, though one of the points he likes to make is that he does not limit himself to rock music, because every genre can be good. Incidentally, becoming a rock star is all part of his plan to make "a lot of people free," as Malachi puts it. It's weird, but it works.
- Cole Saint Clair of Wolves of Mercy Falls Series, former lead singer of NARKOTIKA, an in universe popular rock band. He's loud and abrasive, and utterly charmed by himself. Flashbacks make it clear he had that "rolling in girls and money" thing down pat.
- Lestat of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles becomes one of these in the nineteen-eighties, and is very pleased with himself about it. He uses it as a platform to try and reveal vampires to mortals, but he doesn't deny that he's also just enjoying the fame.
- Elvis Presley.
- The Beatles.
- David Bowie, whose exploration of this trope (i.e., The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars) in The Seventies paved the way for him to outright live it.
- Michael Jackson.
- Amy Winehouse.
- This is a bit of a stretch, but her lifestyle and personality fit: Lady Gaga.
- The Rolling Stones.
- The Ur Example would be 19th-century violinist Niccolò Paganini. He reputedly sold his soul to the devil for his abilities and learned his signature move of playing on one string in prison, where he was only allowed one string. He had long fiery-red hair (at the time a sure sign of demonic influence) and at a time when bright colours were the height of fashion dressed only in black. He was almost as well known for drinking, gambling and womanising as he was for playing the violin.
- For bonus points, it is said he can play the violin behind his back.
- Franz Liszt was inspired by Paganini to become a piano virtuoso. The term "Lisztomania" was coined in 1844 (therefore, older than Phoenix) to describe the effects of his performances and his fame.
- Freddie Mercury, of the group Queen, provides this page's image.
- Jim Morrison is often said to be the Trope Codifier for this.
- The Who are real-life examples of four different garden-variety rock-star stereotypes: the Memetic Sex God (Roger Daltrey), the hotel-wrecking, drug-running madman (Keith Moon), the tortured artist trying to keep his head and his band together (Pete Townshend), and The Quiet One who's nevertheless Not so Above It All (John Entwistle). It could be argued that any example of this trope will fall under one or more of these categories.
- Shadowrun. The supplement Shadowbeat had rules for PCs to be musicians, including rock stars.
- Cyberpunk 2020. PCs could be Rockerboys, with "Charismatic Leadership" that allowed control of other people by playing music.
- The Masters Of The Universe Power Tour, a live stage show from 1987, featured the new character Songster — simply put, an Eternian rock star. The Power Tour was the only medium to ever feature the character... which is arguably for the best.
- Rock Zilla in My Dad The Rock Star prefers to act like a space case, but is actually clasically trained and can keep up with his snooty, orchestrally trained father when he is of a mind to.
- Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: The show centers around the escapades of two rock stars, Ami and Yumi, who are in the eponymous band. They perform at stadiums...when the plot doesn't get in the way.
- Sonic, Sonia, and Manic in Sonic Underground.
- All five Dethklok members in Metalocalypse