Thursday, June 19, 2014

Seven Musicians Who Beat The Odds and Came Out Winners

A list of seven musicians who have beaten the odds and come out a winner.

What do Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, James Durbin, Jewel, Refugee All Stars, Rick Allen and Ludwig van Beethovenhave in common? They are seven musicians who have beaten the odds and come out a winner.

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Rick Allen

Not even a career threatening accident can deprive this young man a spot on our list of seven musicians who defy the odds. As a 21 year old, Rick Allen the drummer of the famous English rock band Def Leppard got involved in a car racing accident and lost his left arm in the process. Thinking it was the end of his career, Allen became so depressed.

Luckily, Joe Elliot, the band’s lead vocalist, dropped by to see Allen in an attempt to cheer him up. Later on, Allen and Elliot came up with a special drum design, fit for Allen to play. The rest is history, Def Leppard, with Allen manning the drums, came out with several hits and went on to be one of the best selling bands of the 80s. Allen’s fans now call him the “Thunder God”.

James Durbin

Although James Durbin came in fourth in the 10th season of American Idol, this turn of event did not stop him to follow his dream. The 21- year old singer just go for it — captivating his audiences with big repertoire of good performances. After losing his dad at the age of nine, Durbin suffered from asperger syndromes and became socially aloof.

With sheer determination, Durbin overcame his fear and boldly faced each and every interviews with confidence. He may not have won the American Idol title, but this young musician has captured the hearts of America on one of today’s television shows.

Stevie Wonder

Though blind since his birth, this did not deter Stevie Wonder to claim success. At the tender age of five, he learned to play the piano, drums, harmonica, and bass. With a single mother to raised her up, Stevie Wonder had to work hard to get his talent be discovered. He defy the odds and conquered all challenges soon. By age 13, Wonder became one of Motown recording talent and the rest is history. With twenty Grammy awards, more than thirty top ten hits and several film roles, it is safe to say that this musician has clearly beaten the odds.


Alaskan born Jewel Kilcher, professionally known as Jewel, is a popular singer-songwriter, actress, poet, guitarist, and producer. She started on a music career in her late teens, but ended up in a failure. For a time, she was poverty-stricken and to help each end meet had to accept small coffee shop gigs for meager pay. Her perseverance and hard work paid off when a record agent spotted her in one of her coffee shop gigs. She was then offered by Atlanta Records a recording contract. In 1995, he recordered her debut album, Pieces of You, which became one of the best-selling debut albums of all time.

From then on, Jewel was regular MTV fixture. She won several music awards including : American Music Awards — Favorite New Artist (1995), MTV Video Music Awards –Best Female Video – You Were Meant For Me, Billboard Magazine — #1 Female Singles Artist Of The Year and Billboard Magazine — Top 40 Artist Of The Year. She too has several Grammy Awards nominations. Jewel’s career is an inspiring story about not give up on your dreams, no matter what the odds are!

Refugee All Stars

The Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, is a reggae-inflected band formed by six Sierra Leonean refugees which express their thought and sad flight at the refugee camp through music. Through the 2005 documentary film Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, these musician had defy the odds to show that music has the power to make any situation better.

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton success is one of those rugs-to-riches stories. Miss Parton described her childhood life as “dirt poor”. Her family occupied a dilapidated one-room cabin in rural Tennessee. Her inclination to music became her tool to attain stardom. She started performing at a very young age – appearing in radio shows, get noticed and eventually became a Nashville stage figure. The rest as they say is history. Dolly Parton, “The Queen of Country Music” is one of the most successful female country artists of all time.

Ludwig van Beethoven

Not even an impairing loss of hearing can stop this great musician to hold a spot on our list of 7 musicians who defy the odds. Ludwig van Beethoven composed some of the greatest music though most famous pieces were composed after he completely lost his hearing, Knowing that he would soon lose his hearing, Ludwig van Beethoven still was determined to compose and conduct. His masterpieces include: Moonlight Sonata, Fur Elise, Ode to Joy, 5Th Symphony among others.


  1. Wow! Ang galing ni Rick Allen, a true artist through and through

  2. I like Jewel and Dolly Parton's music!

  3. I have heard of Rick Allen and about his accident. Its amazing how he bounced back from a handicap. I also watched James Durbin's American Idol journey. I admired his tenacity! His only goal was to get into a job that would help him in raising his son. These people are epitomes of determination!. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I love Dolly Parton! Wow ha, dapat pala di talaga tayo mawawalan ng pag-asa. Especially us mga songer-wannabes aka Pinoys! LOL. Pero in fairness talaga ha, Filipinos are born singers! ;)

  5. Love this kind of trivia! Can we also add our very own Arnel Pineda of Journey, he also had a difficult life and through hard work became popular world wide.

  6. I like listening to Jewel and Dolly Parton too :-) These two are amazing singers in their own way :-)

  7. I love Jewel's music. So I guess that explains why she sings so beautifully, heartfelt songs I could really feel them.

  8. I really like hearing stories about how people succeed against all odds.

  9. I like the music of Stevie Wonder (especially I Just Called To Say I Love You) and Dolly Parton.

  10. These are really inspiring stories, Papaleng! I hope more people get inspired to reach for their dreams despite the odds.

  11. It's really inspiring to know how these 7 musicians beat the odds and rose to fame. I love Stevie Wonder's songs and of course Dolly Parton.

  12. Wow! They are super inspiring. But, I am just not born to be a musician but I love music though. Thanks for this trivia, Paps! :)