10 Musicians Who Have Retired and Stayed Retired

Categories: Music Bidness

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signing the Social Security Act into law.
Though it isn't marked by a specific holiday, today is the anniversary of the day that the Social Security Act was enacted, 78 years ago in 1935. That means babies born on the day the bill was signed into law are currently reaping the rewards of the system they paid into for years. For many, this is their only remaining source of income, and it's a lifesaver.

In honor of those retirees, I thought I'd take a look at some of the musicians who have taken their retirement from the music business over the years -- even though I don't think many of them probably needed Social Security checks, given their success by the time they retired.

For the sake of brevity, I'll ignore the fake-out retirements I've discussed in the past and focus just on those who left the biz permanently.

Robert Fripp
Retired in 2012, the founding guitarist of King Crimson admitted that music had become a "joyless exercise in futility" for him, mostly due to problems with record labels. Therefore, he announced his leave from the business once and for all.

Bill Bruford
Bill Bruford, Fripp's longtime drummer in King Crimson, member of the classic era of Yes, briefly the drummer for Genesis when Phil Collins took over on vocals, and a member of many, many other projects, formally retired in 2009. He has since released an autobiography.

Phil Collins
Like his former bandmate and fellow drummer Bill Bruford, Phil Collins called it a day in 2011. Following the final Genesis tour in 2007, Collins had been experiencing nerve problems which forced him to have neck surgery and caused him to be unable to play drums.

He released one more album in 2009, the hit Motown covers collection Going Back, where he sang and managed to play drums with the sticks taped to his hands, but gave it up to focus on his Alamo obsession.

List continues on the next page.

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My Voice Nation Help

I gotta disagree with Grace, though - exhibit A, Debbie Harry. Seeing her last year at the Arena, she was a powerhouse, and she's on the downslope to 70. 

Ashley Kimel
Ashley Kimel

I could live without 80's solo Phil Collins, but 70's Phil Collins was one of the greatest drummers ever.

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