The combination of changing tastes and a decrease in inspiration, or any number of other factors, can often result in the decline of a musician's career. Many never recover. But the dozen artists in the gallery below have all defied the odds and gone on to have productive second -- and sometimes more -- acts.

With a couple of exceptions, we differentiate between a reunion -- when a band gets back together, usually with as many classic-lineup members as possible -- and a real comeback, when artist returns into the limelight, due to a creatively fallow period or a self-imposed hiatus. So bands like Van Halen or Kiss, who've retained high levels of popularity through several lineup changes, are nowhere to be found here.

While some of these artists may follow a predictable pattern, a few stand out for distinct reasons. Bob Dylan, for example, is the undisputed King of the Comeback, having been counted out on at least five occasions, only to reemerge as strong as ever. Johnny Cash has also notched a few. And in one case, a change in frontman not only resulted in a rebirth for his band, but also for the singer when he embarked (at the moon) on a solo career.

We also found three artists who died shortly after they returned into the spotlight. Check them all out below.