7 Famous Musicians’ Unexpected Hobbies

When they aren’t writing their next hits, recording in the studio, or on stage pouring all their energy into their performances, musicians live pretty plain lives like most of us. Turns out that your favorite musical idols are often just normal people, too! Here are seven unexpected hobbies by some of our favorite musicians.

1) James Hetfield and His Bees

You’ve probably heard of James Hetfield as the lead singer, rhythm guitarist, and songwriter for the universally known heavy metal band Metallica. Hetfield started working with beehives on his Vail, Colorado, ranch as a way to relieve the anxiety he felt when preparing to leave on one of his band’s many touring trips.

In case you are wondering if Hetfield’s booming vocals come out when he gets stung by a bee, which seems nearly inevitable when dealing with honeycombs, he doesn’t quite say, though he did receive 20 stings to an exposed ankle one time and found relief with a bucket of ice.

What does Hetfield do with the honey? He sells some of it and even auctions off signed bottles for charity. Also, in Metallica fashion, the name on the bottle is “Haunted Hives.”

2) Knitting With Rivers Cuomo

Rivers Cuomo is best known as the frontman of the band Weezer. He’s also known for the song ‘Undone – The Sweater Song,’ which may have more meaning than you realize. Why? Because Cuomo has taken up the hobby of knitting. He isn’t too specific about why he started knitting, though Cuomo once tweeted that he knits in bed with his wife and found it especially cozy. In addition, he works with wood and whittling and makes heads from clay. Perhaps, like James Hetfield, Rivers enjoys hobbies that require considerable focus and, in the case of knitting, some dexterity in his fingers.

3) 50 Cent Loves Gambling

50 Cent has made some big bets. During his successful music career, he’s placed some massive wagers, including $500,000 on the NFL’s NFC Championship Game and $1,600,000 on a UFC match. The entrepreneur even launched a blackjack game called ‘50 Cent’s Blackjack’ through Facebook. We can’t help but wonder what the prizes are like, though you could check with a company that evaluates casino bonuses if you are as curious as we are.

4) Flea Has a Thing for Chess

Flea is, of course, the nickname for the high-energy Red Hot Chili Peppers bass guitarist. The bassist has learned how to play chess while out on tour, going so far as to take on some real competition in playing an anonymous chess master. Admittedly, Flea didn’t win that matchup, but witnesses to the game say he held up quite well considering the talent on the other side of the table. The bassist also spent some time with another chess Grandmaster, Magnus Carlsen.

5) Tom Morello Plays Dungeons and Dragons

You’ve likely heard of Tom Morello from his days with Audioslave and Rage Against the Machine. The politically spirited messaging within his music naturally leads him down the path to many forms of activism. But what does Morello do to relax when he is not fighting to improve the world?

Dungeons and Dragons! Yes, you read that right—Morello plays the dice game with friends from the world of music and acting, including Vince Vaughn. You’ll also want to keep your eyes open if you watch the Dungeons and Dragons movie, as Tom makes a brief appearance as the character he created while playing the game, Kimathi Stormhollow.

6) Michael Jackson and Motorcycles

While many music lovers remember Michael Jackson for his smooth dancing, incredible vocal range, and ability to entertain a crowd, he’s much less known for his motorcycle hobby. Jackson earned a reputation as a gearhead within motorcycle circles, though he also dabbled heavily in luxury vehicles and racing. The ability to dig in and restore a motorbike and race it around the city with some friends is not something we ever expected to hear about the ‘Thriller’ singer.

7) Alice Cooper Relaxes With Golf

What does a musician who has been in the recording studio and on the road touring for six decades do to chill out? In the case of Alice Cooper, it’s playing golf. Cooper fits in a round nearly every day and even wrote a book about the 12 steps of becoming a golf addict. He says that many musicians his age smoke, drink, and have little energy left, while he credits the daily walks and thought process of golf with keeping him sharp and in shape.

In case you were wondering, Cooper doesn’t tend to wear leather pants on the golf course. He selects a more comfortable pair of slacks for a smooth swing.


These rock, pop, and hip-hop stars prove that even when you have money and fame, you often just need an outlet for relaxation and fun. Maybe their stories will inspire you to try something new, knowing that your favorite musicians aren’t much different from you.

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