A life of excess, along with a history of personal trauma and the inability to cope with the demands of fame, have been key in the career of the artists who are part of the ’27 club; died prematurely in a tragic way.
Within the musical field, many already speak of a curse around this fateful number .
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What is the club of the 27 It
is known worldwide as the list of singers or musicians of enormous popularity who coincide in the age of their death: 27 years. To be part of this gloomy group, it so happens that many of these deaths have occurred after a long history of excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs , which have led to tragic overdoses or suicides. However, within the club of 27 we also find interpreters who have died murdered or in circumstances that have not been clarified.
What began as a mere coincidence, was gaining popularity among the masses with each new name that was added, until it became one of the most macabre urban legends about the hidden face of the music industry.
To fuel further conjecture, a large part of the deceased from the eternal 27 club died when they were at the height of their respective careers, as if reaching this age marked a turning point in the lives of these key geniuses of the contemporary music.
The history of the 27 club through its most prominent members
Let’s find out who makes up this black chronicle of music and what their fateful biography is like.
1. Robert Johnson (1911 – 1938)
Although there are five “golden members”, it was this guitarist who inaugurated the club of the 27. Source of inspiration for other great guitar prodigies such as Jimmy Hendrix, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton or Keith Richards, the black legend around the figure of Robert Johnson is very murky.
Gossips say that the ability to play this instrument was granted to him after making a pact with the Devil, because until then his skills were rather scarce, coming to be described as “mediocre”, according to his contemporaries. In addition, it is said that Johnson had sworn allegiance to the Evil One because he had renounced his faith in God when, in 1930, his wife died giving birth to his firstborn, who also did not survive.
The sad story of the King of Delta Blues came to an end on August 16, 1938, when his body was found at a crossroads in Greenwood, Mississippi. The causes of death have never been definitive, although the most powerful hypothesis is that he was poisoned by the owner of a venue where he had been playing hours before and from which he had to leave because he felt unwell. According to this version, that man was the scorned husband of a musician’s lover who swore to take revenge for the deception.
The 27 club opened its doors.
2. Brian Jones (1942 – 1969)
He is the one who baptized the Rolling Stones, band that he would found and of which he would become a part playing bass. However, Brian Jones was a born musical talent, with a fine ear for notes and a special gift for learning to play any instrument in a short time, like the Indian sitar that we can hear in the song Paint it, black.
But his tense relationship with Keith Richards and Mick Jagger due to his habitual substance use had plunged him into a depression from which he would not come out. It was in June 1969 when the vocalist and guitarist kicked Jones out of the Stones, something that he willingly accepted, aware of his condition. Just a month after that, the founder of “their Satanic Majesties ” was found dead floating face down in the pool of his housefrom Sussex. The reasons why he could have cost him his life are still being discussed today.
3. Jimi Hendrix (1942 – 1970)
The quintessential guitar wizard of all time, he is one of the premium members of the 27 club. Considered on several occasions to be the best guitarist in history , surpassing other greats like BB King, Jimmy Page or Chuck Berry; Jimi Hendrix managed to create with this instrument electric sounds and distortions with which he experimented in his songs.
The one who was one of the symbols of the debauchery of the hippie era brought together thousands of passionate fans of his music, excited to see him playat festivals like Woodstock. Left-handed as he was, Jimi Hendrix did not always have guitars adapted to his needs, so he played in concerts with a right-handed Fender turned upside down, to which he had changed the position of the strings; another detail that would also become his main hallmark.
Unfortunately, a fateful cocktail of alcohol and nine sleeping pills extinguished his shining star: as reported to the media, Hendrix died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, drowned in his own vomit , since no nurse bothered to tilt his head to prevent fatal choking.
4. Janis Joplin (1943-1970)
Several dates are marked in red throughout the 70s with the deaths of the main singers of the 27 club. A month after Hendrix, in October, one of the most powerful voices ever heard was silenced. Janis Joplin stood out for being the first woman to triumph singing rock, becoming an emblem of the revolutionary spirit of those years thanks to her ragged howls.
Joplin joked on occasion with the idea of what would happen if she also died, something that left her closest friends and followers baffled. He even wondered if her supposed death would mean a loss similar to that of Hendrix, a question that she answered by saying that she was even more famous than the Woodstock guitarist. Weeks later, Janis Joplin died from an overdose of alcohol and heroin while she was recording her fourth album.
What has surprised the researchers the most is that no evidence was ever found that the singer inoculated herself with the drug , since there was no syringe or instrument at the place of her death.
5. Jim Morrison (1943-1971)
The lead singer of the psychedelic rock group The Doors embodied the archetype of a charismatic and attractive leader for the general public, thanks to his incomparable torrent of voice and enormous presence that filled any stage he stepped on . A known user of LSD, cannabis and peyote, Morrison allegedly refused heroin due to his phobia of needles.
However, after his girlfriend at the time found the artist’s body in the bathtub, the medical report stated that the cause of death was due to heart failure multiplied by excessive alcohol consumption. Now, dark clouds hover over the death of this honorary member of the 27 club, since an autopsy was not performed on the body due to the lack of signs of violence .
Perhaps Morrison died of a heroin overdose administered by a French drug dealer, Jean de Breteuil, boyfriend of singer Marianne Faithful. Unfortunately, this information could not be corroborated because de Breteuil would die a year later.
6. Kurt Cobain (1967 – 1994)
It took 23 years for a new artist who had fallen on hard times to become part of the 27 club. This time it was the turn of the icon of the grunge movement. The possible explanations about what could motivate him to end his life in such a drastic way have always been focused on his opposition to becoming one more consumer product of music marketing , something he had always rowed against and made clear in the lyrics of his songs.
Thirty days after a failed suicide attempt (Cobain was undergoing treatment for depression as a result of laryngitis that had caused his temporary withdrawal), his lifeless body was found lying on the ground, in a pool of blood and next to a shotgun. with which, apparently, he had shot himself in the head. Kurt Cobain had left a farewell note in which he asked his wife to take care of his daughter, only a few years old, for his sake.
Apparently, as a teenager, Cobain admitted to having a strange fascination with the 27 club, although his mother had never taken it seriously enough to care.
Other members of the 27 club
In addition to these giants of contemporary music, there were other stars who, although they shone less brightly, their deaths represented a huge loss and contributed to fueling the myth of the infamous 27’s club.
7. Mia Zapata (1965 – 1993)
The Gits was a punk group from the city of Seattle, to which Mia Zapata gave voice. Regulars of the nightclubs where they debuted, the band soon began to gain international fame. With a tour of the United States and Europe planned, the rape and murder of the singer marked the end of The Gits .
Almost 10 years had to pass until the case was not fully clarified and the culprit was arrested thanks to a saliva sample that made it possible to answer the enigma.
8. Freaky Tah (1971 – 1999)
One of the members of The Lost Boyz was also killed, this time by a shot to the neck, outside a hotel in the neighborhood of Queens, New York. His attacker fled the scene by car, and he was sentenced to 7 years in prison.
That of Raymond Rogers (the real name of the ex-Lost Boy) was the third murder of a rapper in just three years , after those of Tupac Shakur (September 1996) and Notorious BIG (March 1997).
9. Amy Winehouse (1983 – 2011)
The young heiress of soul, who promised so much in her origins, is probably the incorporation to the club of the 27 that most saw coming, despite the multitude of awards she accumulated and the enormous talent that he demonstrated to achieve a voice record that had rarely been heard.
Unfortunately, an unhealthy addiction to alcohol and drugs that was on the rise, made the media echo Amy Winehouse for her scandals and problems with the law. In one of her last public appearances, the free-falling diva had to cancel an embarrassing concert in Belgrade, after appearing in such a drunken state that she was barely able to stand up.
Weeks later, Winehouse was found dead in her London home De Ella. She had a blood alcohol level of 416 mg / dl, when the amount of risk is stipulated at 350 mg / dl.
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