Mark Ronson is the British born music producer credited with the midas touch that turned the Bruno Mars track “Uptown Funk” from just another pop song into the global phenomenen there is no doubt it was – but behind the glorious success was months of stress in getting it just right. Stress that triggered a range of unpleasant symptoms, including Mark losing an inch from his hairline.
Mark Ronson grew up on genteel streets in the posh North London enclave of St Johns Wood, sandwiched between Regents Park, home to London Zoo, and Lords Cricket Ground. After his parents divorced his mother remarried Mick Jones, guitarist for Foreigner, which ensured young Mark grew up in a musical environment. At the age of just 8 his family relocated to New York where he enjoyed a privileged upbringing counting Sean Lennon, son of John and Yoko, among his friends.
A Musical Journey
Beginning with DJ’ing for $50 a night while still at New York University he quickly became a sought after DJ known for his eclectic sets which included hip hop and funk but paid homage to his UK rock influences. In 2003 he released his first album, critically acclaimed if commercially underwhelming, shortly before being carelessly dropped by his label Elektra. Undaunted he would go on to great success, more albums followed but his rise to fame was complete when he collaborated with Amy Winehouse on her stunning Back to Black album and with Adele on her crushingly successful first album.
2014 saw unprecedented success with the launch of his collaboration with the production team behind Bruno Mars. From the moment they performed the track on Saturday Night Live it went ballistic… A top ten tune in every country where it charted, No 1 in the US for 14 weeks, 15 in Canada and 7 in the UK. It broke the record for the most streamed tune in the UK with 2.49 million downloads in a single week…. it would go on to win the Brit Award for British Single of the Year.
But his unprecedented success at its release hid a tortuous path to its release. From its genesis as “literally seconds of inspiration” it would take another 6 months and no less than 54 different versions to arrive at the4 finished article. The creative process was debilitating and Ronson exhibited a range of stress related symptoms. This culminated in a restaurant lunch where he collapsed vomiting in the bathroom and had to be carried out… As Ronson tells it this incident occurred just a couple of weeks before he found the guitar that would complete his opus.
This period had seen him suffer anxiety attacks which in turn led to hair loss. He noticed his hairline suddenly retreating, eventually stopping a full inch behind its previous location. This is not an uncommon reaction to stress, or any other significant change in how your body functions. For a young man in the public eye it is easy to imagine how it simply exacurbates the stressful state and makes it even more challenging to recover.
The Good News
For many men, and women of course, this type of stress related hair loss can see a complete recovery once the triggers themselves have been addressed. Though the process can take months it is accelerated with use of FDA approved hair loss products available over the counter… A healthy lifestyle and good dietary choices will also speed up recovery.
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