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The untimely deaths of famous musicians at age 27 may be coincidence, but it is tragic coincidence. The mythology of the 27 Club gained prominence with the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994 since he died at the same age as iconic rock musicians, including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison, when they died in the 1970s. The premature death of Amy Winehouse at age 27 in 2011, again renewed interest in the age's apparent curse. This is a list of some of the artists and musicians who died at the far too young age of 27.
Robert Johnson (1911-1938)
Born 100 years ago in rural Mississippi, the blues singer and guitarist Robert Johnson garnered little attention during his lifetime but was rediscovered in the 1960s, influencing numerous rock and roll pioneers. According to legend, Johnson sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his mighty talent, which he demonstrated on street corners throughout the Mississippi Delta and in the 29 songs he recorded between 1936 and 1937. Famously partial to women and whiskey, Johnson was allegedly poisoned by a lover’s jealous boyfriend or husband.
Brian Jones (1942-1969)
A founding member of the Rolling Stones along with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Brian Jones developed a severe substance abuse problem that by the mid-1960s had taken a toll on his health, landed him in jail and alienated him from his bandmates. He was forced out of the group in June 1969. The following month, Jones was found dead at the bottom of his swimming pool; police reported that he had drowned while under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Recently, new evidence has suggested that foul play may have had a hand in his death at age 27.
Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson (1943-1970)
Known as Blind Owl because of his poor vision, Alan Wilson (first on left) headed up the American blues band Canned Heat, which performed at Woodstock in 1969. A songwriter, guitarist and harmonica player, he famously re-taught the aging blues legend Son House, who had been living in obscurity for decades, how to play his own songs. Wilson, who struggled with mental illness and had previously attempted suicide, succumbed to a drug overdose in September 1970, becoming the first of three acclaimed musicians to die at age 27 that year.
Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970)
Remembered as one of the greatest electric guitarists in history, Jimi Hendrix revolutionized rock and roll as both an artist and a producer during his brief four-year career. He died in London in September 1970, asphyxiating on his own vomit while sleeping. His girlfriend claimed that Hendrix, a heavy drug user who was particularly fond of LSD, had washed down a handful of sleeping pills with red wine before going to bed.
Janis Joplin (1943-1970)
Born in Texas, Janis Joplin won over the San Francisco music scene with her bluesy vocals and powerful stage presence, first as the lead singer of Big Brother and the Holding Company and later as a solo artist. Despite multiple attempts to get clean, she became increasingly addicted to heroin and alcohol as her career skyrocketed. She died of a heroin overdose in October 1970, less than three weeks after the death of fellow rock icon Jimi Hendrix.
Jim Morrison (1943-1971)
A poet and avid reader of philosophy, Jim Morrison rose to prominence as the lead singer and lyricist of The Doors, a band he founded with a friend in 1965. By 1969, his drinking had become a problem, making him late for performances and fueling raucous onstage behavior. In July 1971, Morrison died of a heart attack apparently caused by a heroin overdose while living in Paris. It is thought that he mistook the drug for cocaine and snorted a fatal amount.
Ron “Pigpen” McKernan (1945-1973)
A founding member of the Grateful Dead, Ron McKernan, who went by the nickname Pigpen, did not share his bandmates’ predilection for LSD and other psychedelic drugs. However, his heavy drinking caused him to develop cirrhosis in 1970, and by 1972 his health had become so fragile he could no longer tour. He died of an internal hemorrhage in March 1973.
Kurt Cobain (1967-1994)
An icon of the Seattle grunge scene, Kurt Cobain formed Nirvana with a friend in 1985; the band achieved mainstream success in the early 1990s. Under a glaring public spotlight, Cobain struggled with mental illness, chronic health problems and heroin addiction. He committed suicide in April 1994, leaving behind his wife, the musician Courtney Love, and their baby daughter.
Amy Winehouse (1983-2011)
An English singer-songwriter whose powerful voice and unique style won her numerous awards and honors, Amy Winehouse battled drug and alcohol addiction for years. Her substance abuse problems were frequent tabloid fodder and inspired some of her songs, most notably the hit “Rehab.” On July 23, 2011, Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment, becoming the latest musician to have their career cut tragically short at age 27.
Published: 02:24 BST, 20 November 2013 | Updated: 12:02 BST, 20 November 2013
Some of the greatest talents in modern music were cut down in their prime, leaving fans to guess what sort of heart-stopping guitar riffs Jimi Hendrix may have come up with had he lived past 27, or how John Lennon would have continued to shape rock & roll as we know it had he not been gunned down at age 40.
While there's no way to know the genius rock anthems that could have been, thanks to these 12 age-progressed portraits commissioned by Sachs Media we can at least see what our idols might look like today.
John Lennon, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Keith Moon, Elvis Presley, Mama Cass Elliot, Kurt Cobain, Dennis Wilson, Bobby Darin, and Karen Carpenter have all gotten the treatment and the results make for a fascinating trip into a future denied by fate.
The project was made possible by Michigan-based group Phojoe using state-of-the-art specialized technology, the same that is used to create the age-progressed photos used in the search for missing persons.
'Through this series of images, we hope to honor them and evoke some of the magic they brought to millions of their fans,' said Sachs Media's CEO Ron Sachs, who commissioned the project, 'even as we ponder what wonderful new contributions they still could have made.'
Break on through FROM the other side: No, Jon Voight hasn't given up shaving. This is the Lizard King himself - The Doors frontman Jim Morrison - if he'd lived to see the new millennium. Jim would surely be sporting that full head of hair and intense gaze had he not died of heart failure in a Paris bathtub in 1971 at the age of 27, after years of hard living and drug and alcohol abuse. If Morrison were alive today, he would be preparing to turn 70 years old on December 8
Aging in Vain: The man who brought the Caribbean musical genre of reggae to the world, Bob Marley, would today be 68 had he not died tragically from cancer in 1981 at the age of 36. Marley sold an astounding 20 million albums over the course of his career, an unheard of feat for a musician who came from a nation as impoverished as Jamaica. Marley was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994
Born Naomi Cohen in Baltimore in 1941, Cass Elliot - AKA Mama Cass - became an overnight success when she formed the Mamas And The Papas in 1965. Cass's soulful crooning was as much a part of the band's recipe for success as their signature harmonies. Cass embarked on a solo career after the group split in 1971 and in 1974 she was found dead at 32 from a heart attack in a London flat owned by singer Harry Nilsson. Cass would have celebrated her 72nd birthday in September
Smells like 40-something spirit: : Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain joined a dubious club when he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1994. Dead at the age of 27, he'll forever be listed alongside legends Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix who also died tragically at that same age (Amy Winehouse recently joined the 27 Club). Today, Cobain would be 46 and apparently still sporting plaid flannel shirts
Bobby Darin found international success after his goofy song Splish Splash became a worldwide hit. The New York native was hugely popular in the 1960s and even starred in feature films alongside Rock Hudson, Gregory Peck, Tony Curtis and Pat Boone. He even helped catapult another singer, Wayne Newton, to stardom. After years of heart problems, Darin died of heart failure at just 37 years old. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Today, Darin would be a ripe old 77
Yesterday once more: Karen Carpenter's hypnotic voice and drumming skills helped catapult her to stardom alongside her brother Richard as the group The Carpenters in the 1970s. Behind the fame, Richard battled a pill addiction and Karen was starving herself and taking laxatives in an attempt to stay thin. The years of starvation eventually caught up to Carpenter in 1983 when she succumbed to heart failure at the age of 32. Today, she would be 63
Hello, goodbye: Few musical artists are credited with molding rock music as single-handedly and as profoundly as John Lennon. He played a leading role in the musical stylings of he Beatles and, since his death in 1980, few music historians have ceased to wonder what else he would have produced if given the chance. He was murdered at the age of 40 outside his apartment in New York. Today, Lennon would be 73
Moon the loon: Keith Moon joined The Who at just 17 and burned very brightly until his death from a drug overdose in 1978 at the age of 32 (coincidentally, he died in the same Harry Nilsson-owned flat where Cass Elliot had died four years earlier. Understandably, Nilsson sold the flat). Moon was infamous for his erratic behavior, and he all-but invented the now industry-standard art of trashing hotel rooms. All this, and one of the greatest rock drummers to ever live too. He'd be 67 this year
'Time': Janis Joplin's raw, unrestrained vocals made her a force to be reckoned with on stage and her wild child ways made her an attention getter off stage. She would swill bourbon, choke down amphetamines, and use heroin as if it were part of her bluesy, soulful performances. But those crazy ways caught up to Joplin in 1970 when she died of an overdose at 27. Had she somehow conquered her demons and lived to today, Joplin would be 70 years old
The King: Elvis Presley found almost overnight success and became a rock star and feature film actor in the 1950s, thanks to the signature swagger that to this day is his lasting thumbprint on the genre he helped popularize. By the 1970s, though, The King's swag had cooled a bit and he'd become a Las Vegas staple more than anything else. He died in 1977 at the age of 42 of heart failure, having battled a prescription drug addiction. The King would be 78 today.
Happy birthday: Jimi Hendrix's legacy lives on in the continued generations of music lovers still enamored with his guitar prowess. Though he died at 27 after what was ostensibly a short career, he's known today as one of the greatest rock guitarists to ever live. He died in 1970 from complications from drug use. This month, Hendrix would be celebrating his 71st birthday
Would he be Still Cruisin'?: A founding member of the Beach Boys, Dennis Wilson battled years of alcoholism and drug abuse. In a tragic irony, the only Beach Boy who could actually surf drowned at Marina Del Ray in Los Angeles while diving to recover possessions that he had thrown overboard from a yacht. He was 39 years old and today would be preparing to celebrate his 69th birthday in December
The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30Originally by Ranker Music
List Rules The best musicians and singers who didn't make it to thirty
List of the greatest musicians who died before they reached the age of 30. On this list you’ll find all of the musicians who had the misfortune to die before turning 30 — from all time periods and including rock stars who died young and singers from other genres. Some died in horrific ways, others were the victims of unfortunate accidents or genetics, but they all left the world a little too soon, earning them a place on this, the list of the most amazing musicians who died before 30.
This list includes members of The 27 Club — those young and rising stars who died at the age of 27. Tragically, many died of overdose or under drug-related circumstances, including Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and Kurt Cobain. Janis Joplin and Amy Winehouse are among the female singers who have died at 27. Other musicians on this list died from poisoning (Robert Johnson), plane crashes (Otis Redding, Buddy Holly, and the Big Bopper), and even murder (Mia Zapata) . In the hip-hop world, both Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. were killed outright, both having been shot repeatedly. No one knows for certain who murdered the two rap legends, but it is beyond a doubt that the musicians died too young. The two rappers may be gone, but they live on in fans’ memories.
On this list you can find all of the best artists who died young, never reaching the age of 30. The list contains rock musicians, rappers, guitar players, drummers, singers, jazz musicians, and more, but the musical style differences aren’t important. Fans still mourn these great artists, often wondering what might have been had these musicians lived.1
Body And Soul: The Jazz Musicians Who Died Too Young
Life on the road, with all its perils and temptations, coupled with a tendency among some young people to both “push the envelope” and believe they are indestructible, has meant that we have lost too many musicians at a tragically early age. But it is jazz musicians who have perhaps suffered the most… especially during jazz’s heyday during the 40s and 50s.
Disease, murder, accident and bad luck
For all gifted jazz musicians, lingering self-doubt and often driven personalities have played with the mind, meaning that many have dabbled in drugs – only to become hooked. Some managed to deal with their addictions, notably Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, and Sonny Rollins. Others managed to kick hard drugs but replaced them with booze, which played an equally destructive part in their lives.
Having been addicts, their weakened bodies were sometimes attacked by pneumonia and tuberculosis. Antibiotics to treat such illnesses were not readily available, and travelling together in close proximity did nothing to curtail the spread of communicable diseases.
Then again, other jazz musicians were plain unlucky: car and train accidents figure in the early deaths of some prominent jazz musicians. Trumpeter Woody Shaw was one such victim. By the late 80s he was suffering from an incurable degenerative eye disease when, in February 1989, he was hit by a subway train in Brooklyn, New York, which severed his left arm after suffering complications in the hospital, he died of kidney failure on May 10, 1989, at just 44 years old.
Another jazz trumpeter suffered a similar fate, robbing the world of his promise. Clifford Brown received the New Star award in the 1956 Down Beat critics’ poll. Six years earlier, after attending Maryland State University, Brown had been in a serious car accident that delayed his recording debut until 1952. Four years later, just hours before his death, Brown had been playing at a Philadelphia record store and the jam was recorded it featured some of the best music he ever played. The man they called Brownie, who was already being placed in the same league as Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, died aged just 25, in a car accident en route from Philadelphia to Chicago. Also killed in the crash was the young pianist Richie Powell, brother of Bud, and Richie’s wife, who was driving. One of jazz’s great hopes turned into one of jazz’s great what-might-have-beens.
20 Notable People Who Died At 27
The original &ldquo27 club&rdquo was Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison, who died within 2 years of each other in 1969-1971. To these is usually added Kurt Cobain (1994). Many other notable people, some well-known, others less so, also died at the age of 27. I have omitted some other musicians and actors (who would otherwise dominate the list) to make a broader and (hopefully) more interesting list. The &ldquobiographies&rdquo are necessarily short and cannot go into the speculations and conspiracy theories that have arisen around some of the deaths. The list is in approximate order of &ldquowell-knownness&rdquo, but nothing of real importance should be inferred from the order. The top five are in reverse chronological order.
Andrew Phillip Cunanan (31 August 1969 &ndash 23 July 1997). American spree killer.
Committed suicide by gunshot in a Miami houseboat. His killing spree lasted three months and spanned the country, causing the FBI to place him on their &ldquomost wanted&rdquo list. His last victim was Gianni Versace. Cunanan committed suicide eight days later, as the police were closing in.
Andrés Escobar Saldarriaga (13 March 1967 &ndash 2 July 1994). Colombian soccer player.
Shot outside a bar in a suburb of Medellín, Colombia, possibly in retaliation for scoring an own goal in a world cup match, which resulted in Colombia&rsquos elimination from the tournament and caused heavy gambling losses for underworld figures. Humberto Muñoz Castro, a bodyguard, was convicted of Escobar&rsquos murder and sentenced to 43 years in prison, but was released after serving approximately 11 years.
Jonathan Gregory Brandis (13 April 1976 &ndash 12 November 2003). American actor, director and screenwriter.
Committed suicide by hanging in his Los Angeles apartment. Following appearances in The NeverEnding Story II and seaQuest DSV, Brandis&rsquos career had stalled. He did not leave a suicide note, but friends were quoted as saying he was lonely and depressed about his career. One friend admitted that Brandis drank heavily, and had even mentioned that he might kill himself.
Steven Robert Olin (4 October 1965 &ndash 22 March 1993). American baseball player.
Killed in a boating accident on Little Lake Nellie, Clermont, Florida, during spring training. The boat he was in struck a pier, killing him and another player and seriously injuring a third.
Henry Gwyn Jeffreys Moseley (23 November 1887 &ndash 10 August 1915). English physicist.
Killed in action at Gallipoli, Turkey. Moseley worked with Ernest Rutherford at Manchester University, and his research provided confirmation of the previously theoretical concepts of atomic number and the periodic table of the elements. At the outbreak of World War I he enlisted in the Royal Engineers. He fought at Gallipoli, where he was killed by a sniper in 1915. It is speculated that because of Moseley&rsquos death, the British and other world governments began a policy of no longer allowing their scientists to enlist for combat.
William Henry Lane &ldquoMaster Juba&rdquo (c 1825 &ndash c 1852/1853) American dancer and entertainer
Master Juba was one of the first black performers in the United States to play onstage for white audiences and the only one of the era to tour with a white minstrel group. He may have been seen and written about in 1842 by Charles Dickens, during his tour of the US. After a sensational tour of Britain in 1848 (albeit with &ldquoan element of exploitation&rdquo) he returned to the US, where the critics were less kind. He faded from the limelight and died in 1852 or 1853, likely from overwork and malnutrition. Because of the scarcity of records, he may have been older or younger, or the lives of two or more similar people may have been conflated.
Joseph Carey Merrick (5 August 1862 &ndash 11 April 1890). English sideshow performer and celebrity.
Probably died from the accidental dislocation of his neck while sleeping. The cause of his deformities is still unknown. Elephantiasis, neurofibromatosis type I and Proteus syndrome have all been suggested. In an autobiographical note, Merrick mentioned that his deformity began developing at the age of three with small bumps appearing on the left side of his body. Because of his condition, Merrick was unemployable (in the regular sense) for most of his life. In 1884, he took a job as a sideshow performer, where he was treated decently and earned a considerable sum of money. Later, he came into the care of the physician Frederick Treves, who arranged for him to be housed at the London Hospital. Merrick became something of a celebrity in Victorian high society. Alexandra, then Princess of Wales and later Queen Consort, demonstrated a kindly interest. He eventually became a favourite of Queen Victoria. He was unable to sleep lying down due to the weight of his head, but may have tried to do so in an attempt to imitate normal behaviour, leading to his death. He was portrayed on stage by David Bowie and on film by John Hurt.
Ghazi bin Faisal (21 March 1912 &ndash 4 April 1939). King of Iraq 1933 &ndash 1939.
Ghazi was born in Mecca (now Saudi Arabia) to King Faisal of Iraq. He became king on his father&rsquos death in 1933. He opposed British interests in his country, was rumored to harbor sympathies for Nazi Germany and put forth a claim for Kuwait to be annexed to Iraq. His reign was characterised by tensions between civilians and the army, which sought control of the government. He died in 1939 in a mysterious accident involving a sports car he was driving. Some believe he was killed on the orders of Nuri as-Said, the Iraqi prime minister, who was firmly pro-British.
Robert Gerard Sands (9 March 1954 &ndash 5 May 1981). Irish Republican Army volunteer, prison hunger striker and member of the UK parliament.
Died of self-imposed starvation in HM Prison Maze, also known as Long Kesh. After conviction for firearms possession, Sands became the leader of a hunger strike, part of a campaign by Irish republican prisoners to regain status as political prisoners and to be treated accordingly (ie not as criminal prisoners). Sands began to refuse food on 1 March 1981. Soon after, a Northern Irish member of the UK parliament died and a by-election was called. Sands was nominated as an &ldquoAnti H-Block/Armagh Political Prisoner&rdquo candidate and other nationalist parties withdrew from the contest so as not to split the nationalist vote. He narrowly won the election, but never took his seat in parliament. Three weeks later, he died in the prison hospital after 66 days of his hunger strike. Nine other nationalist prisoners involved in the hunger strike also died.
Andrea Absolonová (aka Lea De Mae and other pseudonyms) (26 December 1976 &ndash 9 December 2004). Czech athlete, model and pornographic actress.
Died from glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. Absolonová was a member of the Czech diving team and injured her spine in an accident while training for the 1996 Olympics. She partially recovered and qualified for the 2000 Olympics, but persistent problems forced her to retire. She was later persuaded by a photographer to pose nude and eventually to participate in the adult film industry. She appeared in over 80 adult films. She was diagnosed with glioblastoma in July 2004. During her battle for life, fans from around the world and fellow porn actors supported a medical fund that had been set up for her in Prague, but she died 17 days short of her 28th birthday.
John XII (Octavius) (c 937 &ndash 14 May 964). Patrician of Rome (954-964) and Pope (955-964).
Cause of death unknown. Descended from Charlemagne, Octavius became Patrician (de facto civic ruler) of Rome at the age of 17, when his father died, and Pope the following year in a highly dubious election. He took the name Pope John XII and was possibly one of the worst popes ever. (link https://listverse.com/religion/top-10-most-wicked-popes/) He was a coarse, immoral man. The Lateran palace (then the papal residence) was spoken of as a brothel, and the moral corruption in Rome became the subject of general disgrace. He also faced military battles and political intrigue. He was deposed by a council summoned by the king of the Germans and a new pope was elected. John&rsquos followers revolted against the new pope, but the king moved to support him. Before he reached Rome, though, John was dead. His death may have had nothing to do with all this &ndash it was rumoured that he was murdered by a jealous husband who had discovered that his wife had been receiving the John&rsquos sexual affections. (He would probably appreciate being placed next to a porn actress!)
Jean-Michel Basquiat (22 December 1960 &ndash 12 August 1988). American artist.
Died of mixed-drug toxicity (he had been combining cocaine and heroin, known as &ldquospeedballing&rdquo) in his Manhattan loft/studio. In 1982, Basquiat became friends with pop artist Andy Warhol and the two made a number of collaborative works. They also painted together, influencing each others&rsquo work. By 1984, many of Basquiat&rsquos friends were concerned about his excessive drug use and increasingly erratic behavior, including signs of paranoia. Warhol died in 1987 and Basquiat the following year. (In the 1996 film Basquiat, Warhol was played by David Bowie (see no 15).)
Patrick Daniel Tillman (6 November 1976 &ndash 22 April 2004). American football player and soldier.
Killed by &ldquofriendly fire&rdquo in Afghanistan. In May 2002 Tillman turned down a contract offer of $3.6 million over three years from his team and enlisted in the US Army. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan, despite holding views critical of the Iraq war. On 22 April 2004 he was killed, along with an Afghan militiaman, in a &ldquofriendly fire&rdquo incident while on patrol. The specific details of his death and its aftermath are currently being investigated by the US Congress. The Army initially claimed that Tillman and his unit were attacked in an apparent ambush. After a lengthy investigation, the US Department of Defense concluded that the deaths were due to friendly fire aggravated by the intensity of the firefight. A more thorough investigation concluded that no hostile forces were involved in the firefight and that two allied groups fired on each other in confusion after a nearby explosive device was detonated. Claims, counter-claims, accusations (including that he was deliberately targeted (ie murdered)) and investigations continue.
Rupert Chawner Brooke (3 August 1887 &ndash 23 April 1915). English poet, known for his idealistic war sonnets written during the First World War.
Died of sepsis from an infected mosquito bite on a British navy ship off Lemnos in the Aegean Sea, en route to Gallipoli, Turkey. As the expeditionary force had orders to depart immediately, he was buried the same night on Skyros. His most famous line of poetry, perhaps fittingly, is: &ldquoIf I should die, think only this of me: / That there&rsquos some corner of a foreign field / That is for ever England.&rdquo (Australian and New Zealand readers will understand the significance of the date and his destination.)
Robert Leroy Johnson (8 May 1911 &ndash 16 August 1938). American singer and guitarist.
Drank whiskey laced with strychnine at a country crossroads near Greenwood, Mississippi. The details are unknown, and there are a number of accounts and theories. Researcher Mack McCormick claims to have interviewed Johnson&rsquos alleged poisoner in the 1970s, and obtained an implicit admission of guilt. When Johnson was offered an open bottle of whiskey, his friend and fellow blues legend Sonny Boy Williamson knocked it out of his hand, and told him that he should never drink from an open bottle. Johnson allegedly said, &ldquoDon&rsquot ever knock a bottle out of my hand&rdquo. Soon after, he was offered another open bottle and accepted it. That bottle was laced with strychnine. Johnson is reported to have started to feel ill throughout the evening and had to be helped back to his room in the early morning hours. Over the next three days, his condition steadily worsened and witnesses reported that he died in a convulsive state of severe pain&mdashsymptoms which are consistent with strychnine poisoning. Strychnine was readily available at the time as it was a common pesticide and, although it is very bitter-tasting and extremely toxic, a small quantity dissolved in a harsh-tasting solution such as whiskey could possibly have gone unnoticed but still produced the symptoms and eventual death that Johnson experienced.
Kurt Donald Cobain (20 February 1967 &ndash c 5 April 1994). American singer, guitarist, and songwriter.
Committed suicide by gunshot in his home in Seattle. After &ldquoSmells Like Teen Spirit&rdquo, Cobain was referred to as the &ldquospokesman of a generation&rdquo. He was uncomfortable with the attention. In the last years of his life, he struggled with drug addiction and media pressures. Following a meeting with friends and record company executives, arranged by his wife Courtney Love, Cobain had agreed to undergo a detox program, but left the facility the day after arriving. On 8 April, Cobain&rsquos body was discovered at his Lake Washington home by an electrician who had arrived to install a security system. Apart from a minor amount of blood coming out of Cobain&rsquos ear, the electrician reported seeing no visible signs of trauma, and initially believed that Cobain was asleep until he saw the shotgun pointing at his chin. A suicide note was found that said, &ldquoI haven&rsquot felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music, along with really writing &hellip for too many years now&rdquo. A high concentration of heroin and traces of Valium were also found in his body. Cobain&rsquos body had been lying there for days the coroner&rsquos report estimated Cobain to have died on 5 April.
James Douglas Morrison (8 December 1943 &ndash 3 July 1971). American singer, poet, songwriter, writer and film director.
Died in the bathtub of his Paris apartment. Under French law, no autopsy was performed because the medical examiner claimed to have found no evidence of foul play. The cause of death was officially listed as &ldquoheart failure&rdquo, but heroin use was probably involved, possibly inhaled because he thought it was cocaine. His girlfriend, Pamela Courson, gave numerous contradictory versions of his death. Courson died of a heroin overdose three years later, at the age of &ndash you guessed it &ndash 27.
Janis Lyn Joplin (19 January 1943 &ndash 4 October 1970). American singer, songwriter, and music arranger.
Died in a Los Angeles motel room of a heroin overdose, possibly combined with the effects of alcohol. She had recently become engaged, and was involved in recording her band&rsquos album Pearl. The song &ldquoMercedes Benz&rdquo on the album was the last thing she recorded. (The producer of the album was Paul A Rothchild, who had previously worked with The Doors (no 4) and who would later produce the soundtracks for The Rose (loosely based on Joplin&rsquos life) and The Doors.)
Jimi Hendrix (Johnny Allen Hendrix then James Marshall Hendrix) (27 November 1942 &ndash 18 September 1970). American guitarist, singer, songwriter and record producer.
Died in a London hotel room under circumstances which have never been fully explained. According to the doctor who initially attended to him, Hendrix asphyxiated (literally drowned) in his own vomit, mainly red wine. His girlfriend, Monika Dannemann, claimed that he had taken her prescribed sleeping pills, but her comments about that morning were often contradictory, and there have been suggestions of blame cast on her. In 1996, in the face of legal action, Dannemann committed suicide.
Lewis Brian Hopkin Jones (28 February 1942 &ndash 3 July 1969). English guitarist.
Drowned in the swimming pool of his home in Hartfield, Sussex, England. After a second arrest for marijuana possession, sporadic contributions to the Rolling Stones (which he co-formed), substance abuse and mood swings, Jones was informed by the other members of the band that a new guitarist would be added to the lineup, and that a tour of the US would go ahead without him. The last known photographs show him looking bloated, with deep-set eyes, but other witnesses state that he was &ldquohappier than he had ever been&rdquo and &ldquoexcited about his own plans&rdquo. The circumstances of his death are unknown. The coroner&rsquos report stated &ldquoDeath by misadventure&rdquo, and noted his liver and heart were heavily enlarged by drug and alcohol abuse. There have been theories of suicide and murder. Jimi Hendrix (no 2) dedicated a song to him on US television, and Jim Morrison (no 4) wrote a poem entitled Ode To LA While Thinking Of Brian Jones, Deceased.
This article is licensed under the GFDL because it contains quotations from Wikipedia.
- Age : Dec. at 28 (1943-1971)
- Birthplace : Santa Barbara, California, United States of America
- Profession : Socialite, Model, Actor, Artist
- Cause Of Death : Drug overdose, Barbiturate overdose, Barbiturate
The Notorious B.I.G.
Adger Cowans / Getty Images
Aged: 24 (May 21, 1972–March 9, 1997)
The Notorious B.I.G. (Christopher Wallace) died just six months after 2Pac's murder. Biggie was leaving a VIBE magazine party in the wee hours of March 9, 1997, when a Chevrolet Impala SS pulled up next to his SUV and dumped four shots on the rapper. Three shots were non-fatal, but the fourth bullet struck several vital organs. Biggie was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 1:15 a.m. His murder remains unsolved.
"He's Hot, He's Sexy, and He's Dead," was the headline of the September 17, 1981, Rolling Stone cover story about Jim Morrison. Of course, by that point, the lead singer of the Doors had been gone for over a decade, but you never know how long a rock star's legacy will last beyond their death. As it happens, Morrison may be even more popular now than he was then, both because of his music and because his excesses have been richly detailed in a number of books (not to mention Oliver Stone's 1991 biopic, The Doors.) As such, it's easy to forget that he's no longer walking among us, but despite rumors that have floated around for the past 45 years, he's definitely gone — on July 3, 1971, Morrison was found dead in his bathtub in his Paris apartment, the cause of death listed as heart failure. The fact that no autopsy was performed has led to theories about how he really died, whether he overdosed accidentally, if he was murdered, or if he even died at all. He did, of course, but his legacy still looms so large, it's like he never left.
Juice WRLD: the unapologetic rapper who helped define a new sound
J arad Higgins’ career was a corrective. Growing up, the rapper and singer best known as Juice WRLD listened to hip-hop like everyone else in his hometown of Homewood, Illinois (albeit behind his religious mother’s back). Though the music thrilled him, as a depression-prone teenager, he couldn’t connect to the lyrics about luxury, fast cars and mansions. So when Higgins started recording demos on his iPhone while still in high school, his aim was to fill that void. His songs, he decided, would be impassioned blood-lettings full of frankness and vulnerability that listeners battling similar emotional storms might be able to find comfort in. “Everybody’s got pain,” he said when I interviewed him for the Guardian earlier this year. “Depression, addiction, heartbreak: these are human characteristics.”
Higgins released two albums, two mixtapes and multiple EPs that interrogated those characteristics before his death from a reported seizure in Chicago this weekend. In 2017, the breakout anthems All Girls Are the Same and the Sting-sampling Lucid Dreams propelled him to the pinnacle of emo-rap, a sub-genre he helped tailor into one of the decade’s defining new sounds. Born on SoundCloud, it infused hip-hop with 00s rock heartache: two genres that Higgins, who grew up idolising Kurt Cobain as much as Kanye West, knew intimately. He found the angst he couldn’t see in rap in bands such as Fall Out Boy and Panic! at the Disco: Higgins was perfectly placed to join the likes of Philadelphia rapper Lil Uzi Vert in making emo-rap infamous.
Juice WRLD: All Girls Are the Same – video
As the popularity of emo-rap rose, so did Higgins, to the brink of genuine superstardom. He found himself entertaining arenas with Nicki Minaj and recording collaborative projects with Future – A-listers whose ranks Higgins seemed primed to join. Death Race for Love, his second album, hit No 1 in the US following its release in March. The album struck a chord with its tormented Auto-Tuned melodies and immersive melancholy moods. The planetary part of his stage name always seemed appropriate: on fan-favourite tracks such as Robbery and Empty, he constructed fraught, fragile other-worlds of knife-edge anxiety and sensitivity.
Death Race’s success sparked something of a referendum on emo-rap’s influence on America’s youth. Some saw Higgins, Lil Uzi Vert and co as offering a positive outlet for young male listeners, often hesitant to share their mental health troubles. To others, tracks like Numb the Pain, full of allusions to self-harm and using narcotics as coping mechanisms, were guilty of deepening existing problems among his target demographic. In 2018, emo-rap was accused of “glorifying” drugs such as fentanyl and Xanax by the US Drug Enforcement Agency following the death of the Long Beach rapper Lil Peep and troubling increases in opioid use by teenagers, allegations that Higgins objected to when it came to his own music. “It’s therapy,” he told me – catharsis for both himself and those who listen. I came away from my interview with Higgins struck by his earnestness and family values. He was surrounded by his long-term girlfriend, a gang of friends and, endearingly, his mum, who helped him factcheck details about his childhood.
In the aftermath of his death, some outlets have been quick to run stories positing that Higgins “predicted” his own death: “What’s the 27 club? / We ain’t making it past 21,” he rapped on 2018 track Legends. But that overlooks not only Higgins’ repeated, poetic confrontation of mortality in his songs (“Lay me down to sleep with my casket closed,” he rapped on Death Race track Rider) but also his evident hunger to build a long-lasting and boundary-busting career. When we met, he lit up when talking about the hardcore album he hoped to make and how he had been studying screaming tutorials on YouTube in preparation. He also talked about finding new ways of reaching people who might benefit from his message: that there’s no shame in vulnerability and nothing to be gained from pushing your feelings down.
Higgins’ death cuts short a career that was just gathering momentum – a depressingly familiar story in recent years for young rap fans. The loss of Juice WRLD follows the losses of fellow rappers Nipsey Hussle, Mac Miller and the aforementioned Lil Peep, as well as the controversial XXXtentacion. For fans of Higgins’ unapologetically emotive sound – heartbroken anthems that trembled with trauma and reached millions – it will hurt to never know the heights he might have scaled.
59 Famous People Who Died Before Age 40
Dying young is truly tragic, but at least these people made their mark on society before checking out early. Below is our list of 59 famous people who died before the age of 40.
1. Jessica Dubroff (7)
2. Heather O'Rourke (12)
Child actor -- Bowel obstruction -- 1988
3. Anne Frank (15)
Dutch-Jewish author -- Typhus in concentration camp -- 1945
4. Ritchie Valens (17)
Rock 'n' roll singer -- Plane crash -- 1959
5. Eddie Cochran (21)
Rockabilly musician -- Auto accident -- 1960
6. Aaliyah (22)
R&B singer -- Plane crash -- 2001
7. Buddy Holly (22)
Rock 'n' roll singer -- Plane crash -- 1959
8. Freddie Prinze (22)
Comedian/actor -- Suicide -- 1977
9. River Phoenix (23)
Actor -- Drug overdose -- 1993
10. Selena (23)
Mexican-American singer -- Homicide -- 1995
11. James Dean (24)
Actor -- Auto accident -- 1955
12. Otis Redding (26)
Soul singer -- Plane crash -- 1967
13. Brian Jones (27)
British rock guitarist -- Drug-related drowning, possibly homicide -- 1969
14. Janis Joplin (27)
Rock/soul singer -- Heroin overdose -- 1970
15. Jim Morrison (27)
Rock singer -- Heart attack, possibly due to drug overdose -- 1971
16. Jimi Hendrix (27)
Rock guitarist/singer -- Asphyxiation from sleeping pill overdose -- 1970
17. Kurt Cobain (27)
Grunge rock singer/guitarist -- Gunshot and lethal dose of heroin, presumed suicide -- 1994
18. Reggie Lewis (27)
Basketball player -- Heart attack -- 1993
19. Brandon Lee (28)
Actor -- Accidental shooting on the set of The Crow -- 1993
20. Shannon Hoon (28)
Rock singer -- Drug overdose -- 1995
21. Hank Williams (29)
Country musician -- Heart attack, possibly due to an accidental overdose of morphine and alcohol -- 1953
22. Andy Gibb (30)
Singer -- Heart failure due to cocaine abuse -- 1988
23. Jim Croce (30)
Singer/songwriter -- Plane crash -- 1973
24. Patsy Cline (30)
Country music singer -- Plane crash -- 1963
Find more of our list of famous people who died before the age of 40 on the next page.
While you can browse through hundreds of fascinating lists at Extraordinary Lists, here are 5 lists that we feel are certain to amaze and entertain:
Famous People Who Died Before Age 40, 25-59
Here is the rest of our list of 59 famous people who died before the age of 40, starting with Sylvia Plath.
25. Sylvia Plath (30)
Poet and author -- Suicide -- 1963
26. Brian Epstein (32)
Beatles manager -- Drug overdose -- 1967
27. Bruce Lee (32)
Martial arts actor -- Possible allergic reaction -- 1973
28. Cass Elliot (32)
Singer -- Heart attack brought on by obesity -- 1974
29. Karen Carpenter (32)
Singer and musician -- Cardiac arrest from anorexia nervosa -- 1983
30. Keith Moon (32)
Rock drummer -- Overdose of medication -- 1978
31. Carole Lombard (33)
32. Chris Farley (33)
Comedian/actor -- Overdose of cocaine and heroin -- 1997
33. Darryl Kile (33)
Major League Baseball pitcher -- Coronary heart disease -- 2002
34. Jesus Christ (33)
Founder of Christianity -- Crucifixion -- A.D. 30
35. John Belushi (33)
Comedian/actor -- Overdose of cocaine and heroin -- 1982
36. Sam Cooke (33)
Soul musician -- Homicide -- 1964
37. Charlie Parker (34)
Jazz saxophonist -- Pneumonia and ulcer, brought on by drug abuse -- 1955
38. Dana Plato (34)
Actor -- Prescription drug overdose -- 1999
39. Jayne Mansfield (34)
Actor -- Auto accident -- 1967
40. Andy Kaufman (35)
Comedian/actor -- Lung cancer -- 1984
41. Josh Gibson (35)
Negro League baseball player -- Stroke -- 1947
42. Stevie Ray Vaughan (35)
Blues guitarist -- Helicopter crash -- 1990
43. Bob Marley (36)
Reggae musician -- Melanoma that metastasized into lung and brain cancer -- 1981
44. Diana, Princess of Wales (36)
British royal -- Auto accident -- 1997
45. Marilyn Monroe (36)
Actor -- Barbiturate overdose -- 1962
46. Bobby Darin (37)
Singer/actor -- Complications during heart surgery -- 1973
47. Lou Gehrig (37)
Major League Baseball player -- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) -- 1941
48. Michael Hutchence (37)
Rock singer -- Hanged, possibly suicide -- 1997
49. Sal Mineo (37)
50. Florence Griffith Joyner (38)
Olympian/sprinter -- Possible asphyxiation during epileptic seizure -- 1998
51. George Gershwin (38)
Composer -- Brain tumor -- 1937
52. Harry Chapin (38)
Singer/songwriter -- Auto accident -- 1981
53. John F. Kennedy, Jr. (38)
Journalist/publisher -- Plane crash -- 1999
54. Roberto Clemente (38)
Major League Baseball player -- Plane crash -- 1972
55. Sam Kinison (38)
Comedian -- Auto accident caused by drunk driver -- 1992
56. Anna Nicole Smith (39)
Model/actor -- Accidental prescription drug overdose -- 2007
57. Dennis Wilson (39)
Rock 'n' roll drummer -- Drowning due to intoxication -- 1983
58. Malcolm X (39)
Militant civil rights leader -- Assassination -- 1965
59. Martin Luther King, Jr. (39)
Civil rights activist/minister -- Assassination -- 1968
Helen Davies, Marjorie Dorfman, Mary Fons, Deborah Hawkins, Martin Hintz, Linnea Lundgren, David Priess, Julia Clark Robinson, Paul Seaburn, Heidi Stevens, and Steve Theunissen
While you can browse through hundreds of fascinating lists at Extraordinary Lists, here are 5 lists that we feel are certain to amaze and entertain: