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Top 10 artists who died at the age of 27

By Brad Balicki

The “27 Club” has left its mark in the pop-culture world as a cursed number. This number has been feared by many artists as the age that would soon be the last years of their life whether it be suicide, drug overdose, or even murder. These tragic and mysterious deaths would establish a frightening trend that many still have discussions about to this day.

  1. Kurt Cobain: The lead singer of the band Nirvana, he was one of the many pioneers of the grunge genre. His cause of death was ruled as a suicide on April 5, 1994, but there is speculation even today that his death could be something more sinister, perhaps murder.
  2. Amy Winehouse: As a British R&B singer, she played a huge role in the modern day pop scene during the late 2000´s all the way up to 2011. She had a hard time dealing with her rising fame and would often turn to drugs and alcohol for relief. She sadly passed away in her London estate due to alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011.
  3. Jimi Hendrix: A skilled musician during the 1960´s, he would soon become one of the nation’s most popular and talented guitarists of the time. Playing for his band The Jimi Hendrix Experience, he created a new and innovative psychedelic rock sound that everyone would admire in the years to come. Sadly on Sept. 18, 1970, his cause of death would be ruled as asphyxiation due to sleeping pills that he took that day.
  4. Brian Johnson: A member of the popular rock band The Rolling Stones, Johnson would help pioneer modern rock and roll as we see it today. But his legacy within the band would soon vanish within a blink of an eye. On July 3, 1969, he would pass away due to a deadly cocktail of alcohol and drugs. But The Rolling Stones still speculate today that his cause of death remains unknown.
  5. Jim Morrison: The lead singer for the popular classic rock band The Doors, his musical talent would help create classics like “Light My Fire” and “Hello, I Love You” and lay the groundwork for aspiring artists after him. On July 3, 1971 in his Paris apartment, he was found dead in the bathtub of an apparent heroin overdose.
  6. Janis Joplin: Joplin was a popular female musician throughout the 1960s who inspired many musicians to imitate her innovative rough vocal style that would play a huge role in music. Janis returned to her hotel room after purchasing cigarettes from a cigarette machine in the lobby. She then proceeded to take out her heroin kit and injected herself. Immediately afterwards, she heaved over and bashed her head on a nearby table. She would be found a day later due to blunt force trauma on Oct. 4, 1970.
  7. Ron “Pigpen” McKiernan: One of the members of the legendary psychedelic rock band The Grateful Dead, he and his bandmates would soon help shape the genre into what it is today and inspire many acts after him. On March 8, 1973, he would sadly pass away at the age of 27 in his California home due to a gastrointestinal hemorrhage.
  8. Kristen Pfaff: Bassist for Courtney Love’s band Hole, Pfaff’s story as an artist is lesser known when it comes to grunge, but her legacy helped define the genre and solidify its place in rock and roll. On June 16, 1994, she would sadly die of an accidental heroin overdose in her bathroom. Coincidentally this is also the same way Morrison died.
  9. Jonathan Brandis: Starting at the age of six, he would soon become a child star when it came to television and movies. His most prominent roles to name a few are Stephen King’s It and Harts War. But his spiral downward in terms of his mental health would consume and eventually destroy him. On Nov. 12, 2003, he would take his own life by hanging himself in his home.
  10. Jean-Michel Basquiat: His rise to fame in the art industry would be an unusual direction but soon later pay off due to countless references of the artist by Jay-Z. Basquiat’s specialties were mainly expressed through his graffiti and paintings. But his destructive drug habits would soon deteriorate his physical health and eventually cause his death. On Aug. 12, 1988, he would pass away due to a combination of opioids and cocaine at the age of 27, leaving behind his rising notoriety in the neo-expressionist art community.
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