From the outside looking in, being a famous musician may seem like the best job in the world – but the pressures are many.

As made clear by the following list of 22 most successful acts who retired too early, they have to endure the pressure to perform, to succeed, and then to keep succeeding. There are fan expectations and label expectations, too. Then there's the grind of touring, which in this modern age has become the principal way in which musicians make a living.

Even those who enjoy the finest creature comforts on the road, like private jets and luxury suites, are still subject to fatigue, illness or injury. Finally, there are the difficulties involved with having your public (and sometimes private) life entangled with a static group of collaborators. Sometimes, they just can't stand their bandmates any longer.

READ MORE: Final Songs Performed Live by Rock's Biggest Acts

Let's dive into music history to spotlight the most successful musicians who retired too early, shifted to another line of work, or simply decided they'd had enough of the music business. To qualify, musicians had to have officially quit. So, Billy Joel doesn't make the list because he continued to perform on stage long after he stopped recording new albums.

At the same time, the urge to make a special guest appearance or two doesn't disqualify anyone since that's not the same as resuming a career. Here is Stacker's look back at the 22 most successful musicians who retired too early:

The 22 Most Successful Musicians Who Retired Too Early

One became a firefighter, while another went into interior design. A couple of them simply vanished. Stacker looks back at 22 successful musicians who departed too early.

Gallery Credit: Emma Madden

They Hated Their Own Albums

More From 103.7 The Hawk