Besides Steph Curry, who do you think is most likely to have made a deal with the devil?

Many musicians believe that Niccolo Paganini, the 19th century Italian violinist, sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his amazing ability to play the violin. His story is actually pretty wild, almost like a tall tale.

According to many, Paganini is one of the greatest to have ever blessed the strings of a violin. He left a big mark on the music world during the early 19th century by awing his contemporaries with his ridiculous violin shredding. Also, Paganini composed many musical works and helped develop various aspects of music composition during that time. Paganini was a phenomenal musician and composer, and his works are still performed and admired today. He was the Eddie Van Halen of the violin; Paganini could SHRED, and he TORE THAT BITCH UP on a regular basis!

Paganini was a child prodigy, and learned to play at a very young age. He was tutored by his father, who was also an exceptional musician himself. By 18, Paganini was already very well known in Europe, as he played violin—as the first chair—for the Republic of Lucca. After his stint playing in Lucca, his reputation skyrocketed after he started touring the many castles and cities of 19th century Europe as a traveling musician, reinforcing his status as a virtuoso, and as a partygoer. And quite frankly, Paganini was not just a normal partygoer, he was a goddamn miscreant. He drank, he gambled, and he womanized nightly; he indulged in the wild debauchery that made up common taverns and whore houses in the 1800's. To those that saw him party, getting drunk and banging broads appeared to be the only thing he's good at. But when that dude picked up his Stradivari and played for a tavern, he would LIGHT THE PLACE ON FIRE! Everyone loved to listen to him shred his Stradivari, because he was such an amazing and talented performer. Paganini's level of skill was unheard of up until his arrival. Legend has it that the phrases "turn up" and "its lit" originate from one of Paganini's tavern jams (let it be known that this is not true at all, even though it wouldn't be too hard to believe). Whores swooned when they watched Paganini perform, and all the men in Europe envied his otherworldly abilities as a violinist, and as a pussy magnet. Some said that they could hear demons dancing on his fingerboard while Paganini ripped his legendary riffs. His bravado and grandiosity showing off his wicked skills stunned kings, commoners, and whores alike. Even the most talented violinists in Europe shed salty, jealous tears when they raveled in Paganini's glory because they knew they would NEVER be able to replicate the musical miracles he pulled off. Paganini could get any crowd on its feet, and he could also bring streams of tears to the cheeks of the most unfeeling of individuals. He was the master of his craft, even though he slept with prostitutes and got plastered nightly. A true legend.

Everyone wanted to know his secret. They wanted answers, bad. Everyone in Europe was constantly pondering the same question: "How the fuck does this guy party so hard yet play so good!!??" I mean, Paganini would perform masterful, tear-jerking Violin Concertos for European royalty that made whole towns collectively shit their pants in admiration, even after drowning himself in a sea of dice, beer, and pussy the night before. The fact he did it almost EVERY NIGHT is beyond incomprehensible. It's supernatural; it's some sort of fucked up miracle. That's just as crazy as some stories about Hall of Fame third baseman Wade Boggs, who would drink close to 70 beers the night before a baseball game, then go 3-4 at the plate the next day. That shit is god-like, just like Paganini. It just goes to show that Paganini was, for lack of a better word, a phenom. Plucking pizzicatos with his left hand, (Paganini's signature; as wild as Jimi Hendrix playing with his teeth), playing concerts without sheet music, and even playing 3 octaves on 4 strings in a ONE HAND SPAN all reinforced the notion that the only reason Paganini was able to do all this crazy shit was because... he sold his soul to the devil!

19th century European commoners weren't always the brightest, and their gossip certainly wasn't either. Superstition and religion still held a special place in hearts of most Europeans, despite the recent transition to a more secular and science-based society during the age of enlightenment. But regardless of all that, Paganini's playing was that of a god. His fingers spawned a skeletal-boardwalk across dimensions of space and time. He was the closest thing the violin has seen to the Devil incarnate (the Charlie Daniels one).

The legend that was Niccolo Paganini died a drawn out and painful death due to internal hemorrhaging in his brain (binge drinking and smoking probably had nothing to with this). Although he was certainly a drunken womanizer, he was also a genius. Paganini revolutionized the way we play violin, and he paved the way for the next generation of violinists. His legacy will be forever remembered by musicians and non-musicians alike. That crazy, souless bastard had an incredible talent as a musician, and it's not to crazy to think that he sold his soul for it. Through wild anecdotes, a unique playing style, and timeless compositions, Paganini left a lasting effect on the world. If there's anyone in history who sold his/her soul to the devil, it's definitely Paganini.

/r/AskReddit Thread