3. Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and pianist, well known by his nickname, The Killer. He has often been described as “rock and roll’s first great wild man and one of the most influential pianists of the twentieth century.”
However, his worldwide fame went downhill when he married Myra Gale Brown, his 13 year old cousin. That was not considered extreme back then in Lewis’ native Louisiana, so he was not worried about a scandal. Even if Lewis was warned not to take his child bride with him on his first European tour, but he ignored the “I told you so” warning.
Arriving in Britain in 1958, he introduced the child to reporters as his wife, but claimed she was 15–still…she was really young. When Myra’s real age was revealed, the backlash was fierce. The British press labeled Lewis a “baby snatcher” and “cradle robber”, urging a boycott of his concerts, and calling for his deportation as a child molester.
All tour dates were cancelled, and Lewis and Myra were forced to go back to the US, where the press was no kinder. The Killer had experienced an unbelievable rise, and at the peak of his career, everything went down. It crashed and burned spectacularly, and his personal appearance fees dropped from the then princely sum of $10,000 a night, to $250.