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13 Rock Stars Who Disappeared

From David Bowie to D'arcy Wretzky, a guide to musicians who have left the spotlight behind
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Sony Music Archive/Getty Images/Terry Lott; Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images

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Billy Joel

At first glance, Billy Joel might seem like an odd choice for this list. After all, the man just did a long podcast interview with Alec Baldwin, and he's a regular on the Hamptons social scene. He's also done Q&A sessions with college students, and last fall he even performed at New York's Beacon Theater for Sting's 60th birthday show. These are not the moves of a rock recluse. But consider the fact that Joel's last album of original material, River of Dreams, came out over 19 years ago. He hasn't played a single real concert since 2010, and he has no known plans to return to the road in the foreseeable future. 

Barrett Scale: 0.5. Cancelling a memoir at the last minute, going two decades without a new album and getting off the road are classic signs of recluse-dom – but Joel is just too out there in public to say he's truly disappeared.

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