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Rock & Roll fans know about the eerie legend of the 27 Club – artists who died when they were 27, often due to drug or alcohol abuse, or due to violent means. Statistical studies don’t support anything special about the age – there are spikes at the ages of 25 and 32 also. That said…27 is an awfully young age to die, and the partial list below includes artists who transcend their peers at the time they died.
RIP to these fine artists….
Kurt Cobain – frontman for grunge rock band Nirvana, died in 1994, suicide by gunshot.
Janis Joplin – lead vocalist for Big Brother and the Holding Company and solo blues/rock queen, died in 1970, drug overdose.
Jimi Hendrix – pioneering electric guitarist and frontman for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, died in 1970, asphyxiation in his own vomit.
Amy Winehouse – neo-soul singer, died in 2011, alcohol poisoning.
Jim Morrison – frontman for rock band The Doors, died in 1971, heart failure.
Ron McKernan – founding member of jam rock band The Grateful Dead, died in 1973, gastrointestinal hemorrhage.
Dave Alexander – bassist for Punk Rock band The Stooges, died in 1975, pulmonary edema after pancreatitis, linked to drinking.
Kristen Pfaff – bassist for grunge rock band Hole, died in 1994, heroin overdose.
Pete Ham – frontman for rock band Badfinger, died in 1975, suicide by hanging.
Brian Jones – founding member of The Rolling Stones, died in 1969, drowning “death by misadventure”.
Robert Johnson – influential blues singer, died in 1938, unknown causes, suspected poisoning.
Stretch – rapper and collaborator with Tupac Shakur, died in 1995, murdered in a drive-by shooting.
Pete de Freitas – drummer for alt rock band Echo and the Bunnymen, died in 1989, motorcycle accident.
Gary Thain – bassist for progressive rock band Uriah Heep, died in 1975, heroin overdose.
Linda Jones – soul/gospel singer, died in 1972, complications from diabetes.
Alan Wilson – leader of psychedelic rock band Canned Heat, died in 1970, acute barbiturate intoxication.
Rudy Lewis – vocalist for R&B group The Drifters, died in 1964, drug overdose.
Fredo Santana – rapper, died in 2018, seizure due to epilepsy.
These 18 artists are only a partial list – Wikipedia lists 57 additional musicians, athletes, artists or actors who died at 27.
Enjoy this live performance by Amy Winehouse, Back to Black.