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Top 20 Under 40 Los Angeles- Mickey Avalon

Mickey Avalon’s tragic past inspired him to become the innovative hip hop artist he is today.
By: Ashley Baylen
Published: August 23rd, 2012 in Culture » Music » News
Mickey Avalon

In celebration of Shalom Life’s new Los Angeles office, we have decided to take our popular “Top 20 Under 40” series on the road.

Over the next 20 days, Shalom Life will showcase 20 individuals of diverse talents and backgrounds that have made a significant contribution to their field both locally and globally. From entrepreneurs to philanthropists, entertainers to chefs, this list places a spotlight on a small sampling of the spectacular, innovative, and passionate Jews that call Los Angeles home.

Top 20 Under 40- Mickey Avalon

Age: 36

Mickey Avalon, born and raised in Los Angeles, has experienced more in his 36 years than most do over several lifetimes. Luckily, his tragic past inspired him to take the journey that eventually led him to where he is today; an inspired, successful, well-respected and innovative musician.

Avalon was raised by drug-addicted parents. Learning from his mother, he began dealing pot at a very young age. Precocious enough to realize there were other available paths, he converted to Orthodox Judaism in his late teens. Unfortunately, due to never-ending family tragedy, including his father’s death in a drunk driving accident, he abandoned religion.

In his early 20’s, Avalon relocated from the chaos of Los Angeles to the idyllic beauty of Portland, Oregon in an attempt to start over. Although he was geographically in a new space, he could not escape the torment of his past. Before long, he became addicted to heroin, leading to divorce and bankruptcy.

Again looking to start anew, Avalon moved in with his sister, hoping that together they could fight their drug addiction and seek recovery, but tragedy struck again when heroin took his sisters life.

Determined to make something of himself, Avalon moved back to Los Angeles. With the encouragement of ex-MTV VJ, Simon Rex, Avalon pursued his passion for hip-hop.

Avalon quickly established a cult following in Los Angeles nightclubs, and began selling out throughout the city. In 2005, Interscope records signed Avalon to the label and released his first full-length self-titled album.

His honest lyrics inspired by his real-life experiences, combined with his unique rhyming style, have not only landed him gigs alongside the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Travis Barker, Snoop Dogg, and Stephen Marley, but have made him an unlikely hero in the underground hip hop community.

Known for his infectious personality and sarcastic attitude, interviewing Avalon was a pleasure.

Describing his music as “a little bit of country, a little bit of punk”, Avalon insists that music is not his calling, but instead a career choice.

“I don’t consider music my calling, but I discovered it was my job during my 1st show. I started with my back towards the crowd and when I turned around I saw everyone singing along, and I figured I would stick with it.”

Avalon’s past has created a hard demeanor, listing “Outlaws and Criminals” as his greatest inspiration and stating that he doesn’t care how he’s remembered as long as there are “a lot of pretty girls at my funeral”, but it’s obvious that underneath that protective layer is a real softie. Avalon has a very close relationship to his teenage daughter, citing her as his closest friend.

Avalon is not only an inspiration to musicians, but anyone seeking rehabilitation, redemption, and love.

Click over to Page 2 to learn some fun facts about Mickey Avalon!

Related articles: Top 20 under 40, los angeles, mtv, mickey avalon, loaded, red hot chili peppers, rap, hip hop, music, tragedy, jewish
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Top 20 Under 40 Los Angeles- Mickey Avalon

Mickey Avalon’s tragic past inspired him to become the innovative hip hop artist he is today.

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Top 20 Under 40 Los Angeles- Mickey Avalon

Mickey Avalon’s tragic past inspired him to become the innovative hip hop artist he is today.

Lenny Kravitz Cancels Scheduled Israel Concert

The 48-year-old singer/actor was forced to cancel the gig due to scheduling conflicts with a film.

Surprising Phish Fans: Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez

Hollywood’s favorite young couple rocked out at a Long Beach Phish concert

Elvis Presley: An Unlikely ‘Nice Jewish Boy’

Decoding the King of Rock and Roll’s Jewish roots

Lollapalooza Heading to Israel in 2013

The world famous music festival will take place in Tel Aviv next year.

Drake Pays Homage to Toronto with New Tattoo

The rapper is set to perform in his hometown this weekend at the annual OVO Fest.

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