Club 27, also known as the 27 Club or Forever 27 Club, refers to a group of influential musicians and artists who all died at the age of 27. The Club includes some of the most iconic musicians in history such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse, among others.
The phenomenon of the Club 27 began to gain notoriety in the late 1960s after the death of Brian Jones, the founding member of the Rolling Stones, who drowned in his swimming pool at the age of 27. This was followed by the deaths of other prominent musicians, all of whom died at the same age, leading to the suggestion that there was a curse associated with being a musician and reaching the age of 27.
While there is no scientific evidence to support the idea of a curse, the tragic deaths of these talented artists have left a lasting impact on the music industry and on popular culture. The idea of Club 27 has also served as a reminder of the dangers of substance abuse and the importance of mental health in the creative industries.
The Club 27 includes many iconic musicians, but here are ten of the most well-known and influential artists who tragically died at the age of 27:
Jimi Hendrix – American guitarist and singer-songwriter, widely regarded as one of the greatest guitarists in music history. Jimi Hendrix died on September 18, 1970, from asphyxia due to barbiturate overdose.
Janis Joplin – American singer-songwriter, known for her powerful bluesy voice and her role in the counterculture movement of the 1960s. Janis Joplin died on October 4, 1970, from a heroin overdose.
Jim Morrison – American singer-songwriter and poet, lead vocalist of the rock band The Doors. Jim Morrison died on July 3, 1971, from heart failure, but the exact cause of his death remains disputed.
Kurt Cobain – American musician and songwriter, lead vocalist and guitarist of the grunge band Nirvana. Kurt Cobain died on April 5, 1994, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Brian Jones – English musician and founding member of the Rolling Stones. Brian Jones died on July 3, 1969, from drowning in his swimming pool while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Amy Winehouse – English singer-songwriter known for her soulful voice and unique style. Amy Winehouse died on July 23, 2011, from alcohol poisoning.
Robert Johnson – American blues guitarist and singer-songwriter, known for his distinctive voice and innovative guitar playing. Robert Johnson died on August 16, 1938, from unknown causes, although it is speculated that he may have been poisoned.
Ron “Pigpen” McKernan – American musician and founding member of the Grateful Dead. Ron “Pigpen” McKernan died on March 8, 1973, from a gastrointestinal hemorrhage caused by alcoholism.
Jean-Michel Basquiat – American artist and painter, known for his graffiti-inspired artwork. Jean-Michel Basquiat died on August 12, 1988, from a heroin overdose.
Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson – American musician and founding member of the blues-rock band Canned Heat. Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson died on September 3, 1970, from barbiturate overdose.
It is worth noting, however, that not all musicians who died at the age of 27 are necessarily considered part of Club 27. The term is generally reserved for those who achieved a significant level of fame and influence during their lifetime, and whose deaths had a profound impact on the music world.