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Old 12-09-2003, 08:27 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: The beer joint
Posts: 79
Don't worry be happy, suicide.

I have heard that the writer (not the singer) of the 1980s song "Don't worry, be happy" committed suicide. Is this true. if it is, can one laugh and enjoy the irony of the black humor?

Old 12-09-2003, 08:37 AM
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Atlanta, Georgia - Female
Posts: 5,308
Bobby McFerrin was both the writer and the singer of "Don't Worry, Be Happy," and he's still very much alive.

Go here.

This has always struck me as an especially irritatingly-stupid urban legend, because it's so very easily falsified, but no one bothers to.
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Old 12-09-2003, 10:53 PM
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Location: SEC
Posts: 13,724
Possibly this stems from the video for the song. In the video, the main character (McPherrin) is contemplating suicide after having read really bad financial news.
Old 12-09-2003, 11:09 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 369
The snopes article doesn't really know much about Bobby McFerrin. They seem to think he was just a one hit wonder. Although they acknowledge he still performs, but they say "the rumor of his suicide fits an established pattern of celebrities who've become pop culture icons as much for their benign, cheerful personas as for their accomplishments." Well, that seems a bit to diminish his accomplishments.

I think it would have been nice if they had mentioned that McFerrin studied under Leonard Bernstein, has won 10 grammies, and is well respected throughout the world of serious music.
Old 12-10-2003, 02:34 AM
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 56,109
I don't doubt this is merely an update of the (true) story of Felix Lloyd Powell, co-composer (with his brother George) of the World War One tune Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag. Felix committed suicide in 1942.
Old 12-10-2003, 06:59 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 1,682
I don't think there's any danger of McFerrin falling into the pit of one hit wonder hell. He is a tremendously accomplished musician, who continues to grow. For him, it wasn't about having a hit. He is the rare breed that made a hit, without planning on it, and continues to make music that interests him.
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