The 27 Club – 7 Major Musicians Who Died At Age 27
The 27 Club is a group of several famous and influential musicians who all died at the age of 27. The 27 Club is also sometimes referred to as the Forever 27 Club, Club 27, or the Curse of 27.
Robert Johnson was an American blues singer in the 1930's. Johnson was known for a set of recordings completed between 1936-1937. The recordings were later released in 1990 as The Complete Recordings, which won the Best Historical Album Grammy that same year. Johnson's death is shrouded in mystery, with the cause of death listed as strychnine poisoning. The most accepted story is that he was poisoned by the husband of a woman that Johnson was flirting with.
Lewis, known as Brian Jones, was a founding member of The Rolling Stones. Jones was known for his guitar and harmonica play, but he also played several other instruments including the sitar and marimba. Jones was originally the leader of The Stones, but later he was removed from the limelight in place of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Jones left The Rolling Stones in 1969 after developing a severe substance abuse program which slowly eroded any creative roll he had in the band. Jones drowned in his pool less than a month after leaving the band.
Jimi Hendrix is often considered the greatest electric guitarist in history. The psychedelic rocker was known for his technique of guitar amplifier feedback and pioneered a whole new sound for Rock N' Roll. Hendrix leaped to fame after his performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, he also headlined 1969's Woodstock Festival and the 1970 Isle of Wright Festival. Hendrix died on September 18, 1970 in a London hotel room due to asphyxiation from his own vomit.
Janis Joplin rose to fame as the lead singer of Big Brother and the Holding Company in the late 1960's. Janis later branched out as a solo artist and became known as 'The Queen of Rock and Roll' and 'The Queen of Psychedelic Soul'. Like Hendrix, Joplin, also played at the iconic 1969 Woodstock Festival. Joplin supposedly shot heroin and was drinking heavily before her performance, but none the less she still left the crowd cheering for an encore. Janis died October 4, 1970 from a heroin overdose in her Landmark Motor Hotel room.
Jim Morrison was a definitive songwriter and poet of the counter culture in the 1960's. Morrison was the lead singer and lyricist for The Doors in the late 60's and early 70's. While with The Doors, Morrison developed a alcohol and drug dependence which would eventually be the reason for his death. Morrison was found in a deceased in bath tub in a Paris apartment. Their is still controversy behind his death, no autopsy was conducted. The suspected reason for death was a heroin overdose.
Kurt Cobain was the lead singer for the grunge band Nirvana, which rose to fame in the early 90's. As Nirvana exploded onto the pop music scene, Cobain began to show signs of drug use and depression. By early 1994 Cobain's drug use and depression was spiraling out of control. Cobain ended his life on April 5, 1994 from a gunshot to the chest. Cobain's wife, Courtney Love, claimed that this wasn't his first suicide attempt and that he had shown suicidal tendencies for several months. Cobain's suicide note was addressed to his childhood imaginary friend “Boddah”. An excerpt from the note read: “I haven't felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music, along with really writing . . . for too many years now”.
Amy Winehouse is the most recent addition to the tragic 27 Club. Winehouse was a singer-songwriter with a R&B, soul, and jazz background. She rose to fame in England in 2003 after her album Frank was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Winehouse became recognized in the states after her album Back to Black raked in 5 Grammy Awards in 2006. Amy developed a drug problem a midst her career, and was regularly in the tabloids from 2007 until her death. Winehouse was found dead on July 23, 2011 in her London home. It is still unknown as to her cause of death. A drug overdose was suspected.