By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
So we only hit one in 10 with last year's list (see "Death Pool for Cutie," January 5, 2006), and it's painful that it had to be the Godfather. And we failed to predict some final exits that seem obvious in hindsight. But we've learned from our mistakes and recalibrated the Morbitron 3000 Death Calculating Device to ensure accuracy with this year's picks.
We suggest going double-or-nothing with each of last year's picks and adding the following to your death pool this year. Feel free to pad your list with any of the drain-circlers on stiffs.com or deadoraliveinfo.com. We just didn't have anything witty to say about ancient big-band leaders we've never heard of.
Dick Clark. Not a musician, but American Bandstand's best-known host has been a titan in the world of pop music from the 1950s to the present and created the template for teen-pop pandering shows for generations to come. In 2004, Clark, dubbed "America's Oldest Teenager," suffered a stroke. He will likely exchange that title for "America's Freshest Corpse" at some point in 2007.
Snoop Dogg. Two arrests this year is one more than required by boilerplate hip-hop marketing strategy to promote a new album. Snoop can't stay out of trouble, and his long-standing beef with former Death Row label boss Suge Knight is still simmering.
Suge Knight. He's a physically imposing brute, legendary for his strong-arm tactics, and a convicted felon. But he's also bankrupt, and bodyguards usually don't work pro bono. Who's the badder motherfucker, Snoop or Suge? We won't pretend to know, so we're listing both to hedge our bets.
Britney Spears. Loser ex-husband, panty-free nightlife lifestyle, burdensome chest area—she's got enough wild-ass variables in her life that some element of her hard-partying ways could spin fatally out of control at any moment.
Kevin Federline. This imbecile doesn't have a brain cell to spare. If he kills one more, he's going to forget how to breathe. Someone buy him a beer.
Lindsey Lohan. She's not much of a musician, but she did put out a teen-pop album and this list is short on substance. Sort of like her music. And sort of like her body, which is clearly not receiving "adequite" nutrition.
Paris Hilton. See above, substitute drunk-driving accident for malnutrition as cause of death.
Pete Doherty. Doherty barely qualified as a musician this year, as he's more of a career addict now. Heroin junkies and crackheads both dwell in a dark underworld of overdoses, sickness, knives, guns, robbery, deceit and derangement. Someone addicted to horse and the rock exponentially multiplies those dangers. We didn't need any more proof that drug prohibition is a failure in the U.K., the U.S. and anywhere else political leaders hypocritically try to protect people from their own stupidity, but Doherty's willing to make an example of himself anyway.
Tim DeLaughter. First he clad his band in cultish robes, then military-inspired jumpsuits. I predict this year the Polyphonic Spree leader mixes up a big batch of Kool-Aid, meaning the band's next uniform will be the wooden kimono.
Les Paul. The inventor of the electric guitar and overdub recording pioneer is 91. Hopefully he can defy his age to die a dignified rock death by choking on his own vomit or engaging in ill-advised gunplay.