Famous musicians and their unusual hobbies

By lmt-editorJuly 4, 2024
Est. Reading: 5 minutes

When we think of famous musicians, we often associate them with their incredible talent, sold-out concerts, and chart-topping hits. 

However, few of us may know that many of these music legends have hidden passions and hobbies that are just as fascinating as their music. 

In this article, we'll take a closer look at some of the most famous musicians and their unusual hobbies that will surprise and delight you.

David Bowie singing

David Bowie – Painting and sculpture

David Bowie, celebrated for his iconic music including hits like "Space Oddity" and "Heroes," also delved deeply into the world of painting and sculpture. 

Moving to Switzerland in 1976, Bowie's new environment provided a retreat from his previous lifestyle and allowed him to focus more on his artistic pursuits. 

He sketched during tours and immersed himself in galleries, becoming not only a prolific painter but also a dedicated art collector. Bowie's artistic journey culminated in solo exhibitions such as "New Afro/Pagan and Work: 1975–1995" in London. 

Additionally, he founded a publishing company and curated a valuable art collection that included works by luminaries such as Damien Hirst and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan – Iron sculpting

Bob Dylan, a seminal figure in folk and rock music, is celebrated for his poetic lyrics and profound influence on popular music. His career spans decades, marked by iconic songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Like a Rolling Stone," which have shaped generations of musicians and listeners alike. 

Beyond his musical achievements, Dylan has also cultivated a lesser-known passion for welding and iron sculpting. He channels his creativity into crafting intricate iron gates and sculptures, showcasing his artistic versatility and craftsmanship. 

Dylan's sculptures, characterised by their detail and artistic expression, reflect his deep commitment to both music and visual artistry, offering fans a glimpse into another facet of his creative genius.

Rod Stewart singing

Rod Stewart – Model railroading

Rod Stewart, renowned for his distinctive voice and enduring hits like "Maggie May" and "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?," has enjoyed a prolific career spanning rock, pop, and soul.

His gravelly vocals and charismatic stage presence have made him a global music icon, with numerous awards and record sales to his name.

Beyond his musical achievements, Stewart harbours a passionate interest in model railroading.

For years, he has dedicated time to building a meticulously detailed model railroad city, showcasing his craftsmanship and dedication to this hobby.

Stewart's extensive collection of model trains and the intricacies of his railroad layouts highlight his creative side offstage, often bringing his miniature creations along on tour to indulge his passion even while on the road.

Brian May

Brian May – Astrophysics

Brian May, renowned for his iconic guitar work with Queen on hits such as "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "We Will Rock You," also holds a PhD in astrophysics from Imperial College London, showcasing his dual expertise in music and science. 

He has authored numerous research papers and co-authored books on astronomy, underscoring his lifelong passion for space exploration. 

Beyond academia, May served as Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University, collaborated on NASA's New Horizons mission, and co-founded Asteroid Day. 

In 2023, he contributed to NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission, demonstrating his ongoing commitment to scientific discovery.

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper – Golf

Alice Cooper, famous for pioneering shock rock with hits like "School's Out" and "Poison," has carved out a lasting legacy in the world of rock and roll. Known for his theatrical stage presence and provocative lyrics, Cooper's influence spans generations of rock music enthusiasts. 

Beyond his music career, Cooper is also an avid golfer who indulges in the sport nearly every day. His passion for golf is so profound that he authored a book titled "Alice Cooper, Golf Monster," which explores his deep affection for the game and offers insights into his experiences on the golf course. 

Cooper's dedication to golf reflects his disciplined approach to hobbies outside of music, showcasing another facet of his versatile personality.

Bruce Dickinson

Bruce Dickinson – Fencing and aviation

Bruce Dickinson, renowned as the lead singer of Iron Maiden, has solidified his legacy in heavy metal with iconic albums and tours spanning decades, including their celebrated World Slavery Tour. 

Beyond music, Dickinson is a multi-talented individual who excels in diverse pursuits. He is not only a competitive fencer who has competed internationally but also holds a commercial airline pilot's licence. 

Dickinson actively flies for commercial airlines and even piloted Iron Maiden's tours on their own Boeing 747, named Ed Force One. 

His dedication to fencing and aviation showcases his commitment to excellence in both sport and professional endeavours, making him a unique figure in the worlds of music and athletics.

Neil Young singing

Neil Young – Model trains

Neil Young, known for his influential career in folk and rock music with timeless songs like "Heart of Gold" and "Rockin' in the Free World," has also embraced a lesser-known passion for model trains throughout his life. 

Beyond his musical achievements, Young co-owns the renowned model train company Lionel and has been actively involved in developing advanced control systems for model railroading. 

His deep-seated love for model trains is not merely a hobby but a significant business venture, reflecting his dedication to preserving and innovating within the world of miniature railways.

Mick Jagger

Mick Jagger – Ballet

Mick Jagger, the iconic frontman of The Rolling Stones, has a notable interest in ballet, having actively taken ballet classes. He appreciates the discipline and physical demands of ballet, which require rigorous training and athleticism. 

In addition to his musical career, Jagger has been recognised for his commitment to healthy living. Reports indicate that he engages in a diverse fitness regimen that includes running, kick-boxing, weightlifting, cycling, and yoga, supported by his own personal trainer. 

During performances, Jagger is known for covering significant distances on stage, showcasing his stamina and dynamic stage presence.

Paul McCartney performing

Paul McCartney – Painting

Paul McCartney, celebrated for his iconic music career with The Beatles and as a prolific solo artist, also explores his artistic passions through painting. 

Inspired by observing Willem de Kooning's work, McCartney began painting in 1983. Initially private about his artwork, he eventually exhibited his pieces, including portraits of John Lennon, Andy Warhol, and David Bowie, in a notable show in Siegen, Germany, in 1999. 

McCartney's paintings, showcased in exhibitions across Europe, including at the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol and his hometown's Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, reveal his creative depth beyond music. 

As lead patron of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, McCartney continues to support arts education and cultural endeavours.

Serj Tankian

Serj Tankian – Visual arts and painting

Serj Tankian, renowned as the lead vocalist of System of a Down, has carved a distinctive niche in alternative metal with his powerful vocals and socially conscious lyrics. 

Beyond music, Tankian is an accomplished visual artist and painter, blending his artistic talents with his musical prowess. He often creates multimedia experiences that fuse music and visual art, exploring themes that resonate with his deep-seated social and political convictions. 

Tankian's artworks have been showcased in exhibitions, highlighting his creative versatility and expanding his impact beyond the realm of music.


These famous musicians have proven that there's more to them than just their music. 

Their hobbies showcase their unique personalities and talents beyond the spotlight, and these musicians are just as fascinating off stage as they are on.

So next time you're listening to your favourite artist's album or attending one of their concerts, remember that there might be more to them than meets the eye!

Related articles