Ian Watkins mugshot
(South Wales Police/PA)

You Don’t Hear Lostprophets Anymore for an Unbelievably Harrowing Reason

Recently, people noticed that music from the band Lostprophets has found its way back onto Spotify. It’s not known for sure why it was taken down in the first place—rights issues are one possibility—but chances are that not many people will be listening to the songs anyway.

Recommended Videos

Lostprophets was at the center of one of the most appalling incidents to ever take place in the music industry, and it’s all because of one person: the band’s lead singer, Ian Watkins.

WARNING: This article discusses serious sexual crimes against children.

In December 2012, Watkins was arrested for drug possession and police conducted a search of his home. They found indecent images of children, pornographic material, and enough evidence to mark Watkins out as a prolific and dangerous pedophile.

One year later, in December 2013, Watkins was found guilty of multiple offenses against children, including rape. His youngest victims were just infants. The waves of shock and horror this caused cannot be overstated. There are details online about the case, the depths to which Watkins sank, and his lack of remorse—but reading them is a task that, quite frankly, you would need a heart and stomach of steel for. One of the officers involved in the case, DCI Peter Doyle of South Wales police, told the media that “this investigation has uncovered the most shocking and harrowing child abuse evidence I’ve ever seen.” But in some ways, even “harrowing” doesn’t seem a big enough word for it. Perhaps there simply are no words.

What happened to Ian Watkins?

Watkins was sentenced to 29 years in prison, which doesn’t feel like anywhere near long enough. He’s 46 years old now and will be up for parole in 2031, while his victims will have to live their entire lives with the knowledge of what was done to them.

They will also have to live their entire lives knowing that Watkins could have been caught much sooner if only the South Wales police had been competent. They received reports of abuse by Watkins years before his arrest, starting in 2008, but simply did nothing. Had they taken action, so much suffering could have been prevented.

Watkins himself has been also been suffering, in prison, but you’ll find no sympathy for him. He currently resides in HMP Wakefield in England, a prison nicknamed the “Monster Mansion” by the British press. In August 2022, he was stabbed in his jail cell by other inmates and left fighting for his life.

Should anyone still listen to Lostprophets’ music?

It’s important to note that the other members of Lostprophets—Lee Gaze, Jamie Oliver, Mike Lewis, Stuart Richardson and Luke Johnson—didn’t know about the heinous acts Watkins was committing. “Our personal relationships with [Watkins] had deteriorated in recent years to a point that working together was a constant, miserable challenge. But despite his battles with drugs, his egotistic behavior, and the resulting fractures and frustrations within our band, we never imagined him capable of behavior of the type he has now admitted,” they said in a statement after Watkins pleaded guilty. “We are heartbroken, angry, and disgusted at what has been revealed. This is something that will haunt us for the rest of our lives.”

So it’s probably fair to assume Lostprophets simply don’t care if the music they made with Watkins is ever listened to again. Obviously, nothing is stopping anyone from streaming their songs via Spotify, however, it’ll be very hard to hear them without feeling disgust and distress at what Watkins did.

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Sarah Barrett
Sarah Barrett
Sarah Barrett (she/her) is a freelance writer with The Mary Sue who has been working in journalism since 2014. She loves to write about movies, even the bad ones. (Especially the bad ones.) The Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and the Star Wars prequels changed her life in many interesting ways. She lives in one of the very, very few good parts of England.