What John Denver Said to Billboard About Kanye West and the Billboard 200
In 2016, John Denver gave the world a glimpse into the inner workings of the modern-day artist and his career.
It’s a view that would come to define his legacy.
The former frontman of The Doors, The Rolling Stones and The Eagles spoke candidly about his own inner struggles during a Q&A session at the Billboard Music Awards in Los Angeles in December 2016.
At the time, Denver was in the midst of a comeback and recording contract negotiations with The Beatles.
After the Rolling Stones’ John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Yoko were killed in a car crash, Denver went into a “state of shock.”
In an interview with The Atlantic, he said, “I just remember being on a plane, and I couldn’t speak and I thought I was going to die.”
In 2016, he began writing songs that would go on to sell millions.
His self-titled debut, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts, earned him critical acclaim and led to an advance in his recording deal.
But as he approached the end of the decade, Denver faced a number of health issues.
He battled a rare form of cancer in 2009 and, in 2014, the National Institutes of Health announced he had tested positive for an elevated risk of blood clots.
He went on to undergo surgery for prostate cancer in late 2017.
The next year, Denver lost his mother to breast cancer and underwent a bone marrow transplant.
He returned to the band after the tour ended, and by the time of his death in 2017, he had completed his final album, This Is It.