Marilyn Monroe [Norma Jeane Mortenson/Baker; 06.01.26 - 08.05.62] was an American actress, model and singer who became one of the most recognizable (arguably the most recognizable) figures of the 20th century. Although she is well-known, few know about her true life and personality. She overcame a difficult childhood with a mentally unstable mother, a missing father, and endless foster care and orphanages. Monroe escaped the cycle by getting married at only 16 years old. The marriage did not work out but her career luckily did. She was a highly intelligent and quiet individual, who was also deeply troubled and had low self-esteem. In Hollywood, Monroe was seen as a sex symbol to many, much to her dismay. She died at only 36 years old by overdosing.
Songs about/referencing Marilyn: “Candle in the Wind” - Elton John, “Who Killed Marilyn?” - The Misfits, “Material Girl” - Madonna, “Marilyn Monroe” - Nicki Minaj, “Body Electric” - Lana Del Rey, “Puppy Love” - Lana Del Rey
More about Marilyn:Marilyn: The Untold Story (1980), My Week with Marilyn (2011), The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe (2015)
James Byron Dean [02.08.31 - 09.30.55]was an American actor. Like Monroe, Dean became an easily recognizable figure of the 20th century and the rebellious 1950s teen counterculture. He too had a less than ideal childhood; his mother died when he was only 9 years old, and his relationship with his father was distant. He was quite controversial for his time; a bisexual Quaker, with opinions ahead of his time, who starred as loners and oddballs in his films. Dean was a very shy and kind-hearted person, not the “tough guy” troublemaker he is commonly made out to be (this image came from his character, Jim Stark, in Rebel Without a Cause). Dean died at 24 years old in a car accident.
Songs about/referencing James: “James Dean” - Eagles, “Blue Jeans” - Lana Del Rey, “Rather Die Young” - Beyonce, “New Americana” - Halsey, “Wild Children” - Van Morrison, “Walk on the Wild Side” - Lou Reed