The Rock Star

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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 and 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 Rockstar Song which is a song about being one of these. British Rock Star is a specific subtrope that tends to focus on the less likable and/or glamorous tendencies of rockers.

Real Life examples of this trope would fall under Music.

Examples of The Rock Star include:

Comic Books[edit | hide | hide all]

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 2000 AD had Zenith, an 80s superhero who was also a New Wave/Glam popstar.

Film[edit | hide]

  • Quite a few in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World but Envy Adams takes the cake easily.
  • In the film Rockstar 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.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • 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.

Live Action Television[edit | hide]

Music[edit | hide]

(Particularly famous Real Life examples who often inspire fictional ones)

  • 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.
  • 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 Niccolo 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.
  • Freddie Mercury, of the group Queen, provides this page's image.

Tabletop RPG[edit | hide]

  • 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.

Theater[edit | hide]

  • 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.

Video Games[edit | hide]

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • 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