|Photo courtesy of R Sones|
It’s not just us mere mortals who suffer from dental problems which need attention – pop and rock stars also have their share of dental work which needs doing.
Whether you’re a star of the stage or just an ordinary citizen, products are available to help improve the appearance of your teeth – one good example is Invisalign. London dentist Ethicare is one of many practices which can advise and help you fit these discreet teeth-straightening braces.
Below is a list of ten of the most famous sets of teeth in pop music history. Some of these figures provide shining examples of how to look after your teeth, while others had teeth which weren’t quite as magnificent as their musical skills!
1. Freddie Mercury – the Queen singer had a distinctive overbite caused by the presence of four extra teeth which pushed his incisors out.
“I don’t like the way my teeth protrude. Apart from that I’m perfect,” he once said.
2. The Bee Gees – the brothers Gibb bright smiles were as famous as their tight trousers, falsetto voices and movie soundtrack hits.
3. Shane MacGowan – the Pogues front man’s tombstone teeth-look is one best not imitated at home.
4. Liam Gallagher – had two front teeth knocked out in an altercation with some estate agents at a Munich Hotel in 2002. After extensive dental surgery, he introduced a performance of the song Live Forever by saying: “This one is for my teeth.”
5. Amy Winehouse – the Back to Black singer might not have wanted to go to rehab but she has been rumoured to have had dental work done to repair teeth damaged by drug addiction. A few years ago, a
‘friend’ of hers told the Daily Mail: “Her mouth is full of holes and she is desperately worried she is going to lose more.”
6. Keith Richards – the Rolling Stones guitarist fooled journalists into believing he went to Switzerland to have a blood-change operation. In fact, before-and-after photos suggest that he had dental work done instead.
The operation seemed to change his singing voice from a nasal whine to a pleasingly smoky croak. Bandmate Mick Jagger is no stranger to cosmetic surgery: he has one subtle diamond tooth in his mouth, an addition which has not altered his vocal delivery.
7. Kanye West – the American rapper recently opted to have his bottom row of teeth removed and replaced with diamond and gold implants. Explaining his decision, he said: “I guess there’s just certain things that rock stars are supposed to do.”
8. Goldie – the English electronic music artist had his gold teeth long before Kanye West had cosmetic dental surgery. He used to sell gold teeth – also known as grills – in America in the days before he found music fame.
9. The Osmonds – the singing family were famous for hits such as Crazy Horses but their shiny teeth were the result of sensible dental care. Why did their teeth get so commented on? Perhaps because in the 1970s lots of people had bad teeth and dentistry was more primitive.
10. Cliff Richard – a living, walking advertisement for what clean living can do for your teeth. Studies such as a recent one by the Irish Dental Association have suggested a link between harmful habits such as teeth grinding and drug use. The message seems to be: if you want to have teeth which are more Cliff Richard than Keith Richards then try to enjoy life in moderation!
11. Jimi Hendrix – the late great star produced hits such as Hey Joe, Foxy Lady and Fire and could play his guitar with his teeth better than most players could play with their hands.
Apparently, the idea of using his teeth as makeshift plectrums came to him after he saw unsung fellow Seattle musician Butch Snipes perform the same trick on stage.
12. George Formby – the British singer-songwriter and comedian wowed music hall audiences in the 1930s. His toothy buck-toothed grin fitted his cheery personality perfectly, endearing him to his adoring audiences. In pre-war Britain it would have been difficult to correct his buck-toothed appearance with braces but this physical characteristic was an integral part of his stage persona.
13. Johnny Rotten – born John Lydon, the Sex Pistols singer acquired a new stage name partly because of the state of his teeth. But, long before he started starring in adverts for butter, he was accused of selling out by having dental work done.
He responded by claiming the treatment was more medical than cosmetic, telling Q magazine that “brussel sprouts would get stuck in the rotten ones and I’d get food poisoning”.
14. Paul Simonon – catwalk models with gap teeth are all the rage now but Clash bassist Simonon was rocking the look on stage back in the late 70s.
A gap in your front teeth is supposed to be lucky and it certainly never harmed Simonon’s career as his looks made him a style icon for his army of fans.
15. Lemmy – the Motorhead front man had ten teeth taken out without anaesthetic when he was just ten: an experience which put him off the dentist for another five years. Over 50 years later, he now sports a set of teeth which are testimony to the skill of Hollywood dentists.