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Dave Gahan


The lead singer of Depeche Mode might not have a solo career to speak of -- or any career, for that matter -- had he not literally died and been reborn. Addicted to booze and drugs, Gahan overdosed on a mixture of heroin and coke in 1995 and was revived three times before truly coming to. The brush with death shook up his life: in the following years, Gahan kicked drugs, started a family, traded in Los Angeles for leafy Greenwich Village, and poured himself into a solo album called Paper Monsters, named for demons past and present. That album combined themes of hope and rebirth with the darker things that brought Gahan to this place. As a result, the singer's solo work has proven gently schizophrenic: it's tender and redemptive, and yet it also lashes out, venturing into territory clearly tormented by the past.

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