The 27 Club: 10 Greatest Musicians Who Died at 27
The sinister Hall Of Fame was recently set ablaze yet again with singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse being one of latest names to be added to the infamous 27 Club. This list also includes classic rock musicians like Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison.
While skeptics attribute it to pure coincidence that nearly 50 musicians have fallen victim to the 27th birthday curse and died, there are many myths about the ‘reality’ behind these deaths. A psychological interpretation calls it the result of a quarter-life crisis in the lives of the live fast, die young stars.
Here’s a list of the top 10 musicians who died at the age of 27 to continue the legacy of the 27 Club:
1. Brian Jones (28 February 1942 – 3 July 1969)
Founder and guitarist of the rock n’ roll band Rolling Stones, was found dead in a swimming pool a month after he was kicked out of the band. While he reportedly died from drowning, the police reports also disclosed that his heart and liver were swollen due to heavy drug and alcohol abuse.
2. Jimi Hendrix (27 November 1942 – 18 September 1970)
Legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix died of asphyxiating on his own vomit as he overdosed on red wine and sleeping pills, although the cause of his death is still debated. Some people blame Monika Donneman, his girlfriend, as she gave contradictory statements the day after his body was found in the swimming pool.
3. Janis Joplin (19 January 1943 – 4 October 1970)
The singer/songwriter and Woodstock Queen Janis Joplin was found dead in an LA motel room. She overdosed on heroin and alcohol.
4. Jim Morrison (8 December 1943 – 3 July 1971)
Although he is suspected to have died of a heroin overdose which he mistakenly inhaled thinking it was cocaine, the outrageous lizard king died under mysterious circumstances in the bath of his Paris apartment. Morrison’s girlfriend Pamela Courson, the only witness at the time of his death gave various contradictory versions in her statement.
5. Ron “Pigpen” McKernan (8 September 1945 – 8 March 1973)
Founding member and multi-instrumentalist from the band The Grateful Dead died of internal bleeding of his digestive system due to massive alcohol abuse. He’s known to have been a heavy drinker of alcohol since his teenage years.
6. Dave Alexander (3 June 1947 – 10 February 1975)
Bassist of the protopunk band The Stooges reportedly died of pulmonary edema, a condition which resulted from his heavy drinking. He was hospitalized for pancreatitis which he couldn’t survive.
7. Pete Ham (27 April 1947 – 24 April 1975)
One of the facilitators of the power-pop genre of music in the 70s, Badfinger vocalist Pete Ham killed himself out of depression. He had financial, managerial and emotional problems which he wished to get rid of, and therefore hung himself. In his suicide note, he addresses his band manager Stan Polley calling him a ‘soulless bastard’.
8. Kurt Cobain (20 February 1967 – 5 April 1994)
The grunge genius Kurt Cobain died of a suicide attempt when he shot himself dead at his house in Seattle. Although he always talked about his icon Jimi Hendrix dying young, and how he wanted to join the club, there are also speculations of him dying of a heroin overdose. Heroin was found in his system and could have been the possible cause of death. However foul play was never ruled out.
9. Richey Edwards ( 22 December 1967, disappeared 1 February 1995 )
Guitarist of the alternative rock band Manic Street Preachers was known to have occasional bouts of depression accompanied by anorexia and self-mutilation. He disappeared in the winter of 1995 and was presumed dead by the authorities as he never returned. There have been reports of his sightings in the hippie market of Goa, India.
10. Amy Winehouse ( 14 September 1983 – 23 July 2011 )
The exceptional singer/songwriter inflicted her body with heavy episodic drinking after she left abusing illicit drugs. According to the reports, fatal levels of alcohol consumption was the cause of her misadventure.