The 27 Club: Music's Most Tragic
Although she released only two albums (Frank in 2003 and Back to Black in 2007) Amy Winehouse's career was as dazzling as it was brief. Widely credited with opening the door for a whole new generation of female singer-songwriters, ranging from Adele to Florence Welch, Amy's big, dark voice and fusion of jazz, blues and soul won her legions of fans and a raft of major awards. Following her death yesterday (23 July) she joins the entertainment industry's most tragic ‘club’. Known as ‘The 27 Club’, its members are the troubled uber talents whose lives were also cut short at the young age of 27.
Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain was one such ill-fated star. His mother was quoted at the time as saying, “he’s gone and joined that stupid club”. Amy also joins music legends Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Brian Jones and Janis Joplin. See our pictures paying tribute to some of these talented and troubled stars who didn't get to see 28...
Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970)
Singer, songwriter and guitar legend Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) was famous for stage antics that included setting his guitar on fire. However, his legacy to rock music is unmatched, with his innovative guitar-playing on hit songs such as All Along the Watchtower and Purple Haze still having an influence on musicians today.
Janis Joplin (1943-1970)
Texas-born Janis Joplin (1943-1970) was a leading light on the 1960s psychedelic scene before bursting to international stardom with hits including Try (Just a Little Bit Harder) and the self-penned Down On Me, as well as heart-rending covers of standards such as George Gershwin's Summertime. Her raspy, 'broken' voice and bluesy rock style spoke volumes about her own emotional torture.
Brian Jones (1942-1969)
A talented blues guitarist, Brian Jones (1942-1969) co-founded The Rolling Stones in 1962 and is credited with inventing the band's name. Replaced as a band member in early 1969 due to his addiction problems, Brian began to get his life back on track. However, in July 1969 he was found drowned in his own swimming pool.
Richey Edwards (1967-presumed deceased 1995)
Richey Edwards was the rhythm guitarist and lyricist of the Welsh alternative rock band Manic Street Preachers. Initially a roadie for the band, his talent for lyrics and key role in creating the band's gained him acceptance as its fourth member. Known to suffer from severe depression, he vanished in February 1995 and was declared officially dead 13 years later.
Kurt Cobain (1967-1994)
As the front man of grunge-rock band Nirvana, Seattle-born Kurt Cobain helped define the sound of the 1990s. A fan of The Beatles as a child, he was influenced by such 1970s rock giants as Led Zeppelin and captivated by The Sex Pistols, drawing together all of these strands to create a string of hits following the 1991 breakthrough, Smells Like Teen Spirit. Married to fellow musician Courtney Love, he committed suicide in April 1994.
Jim Morrison (1943-1971)
The lead singer and principal songwriter of The Doors, Jim Morrison (1943-1971) was a poet as much as a musician, even improvising poetry during the band's live performances. His often angst-filled lyrics and smooth, honeyed voice combined to create anthems that defined the late '60s hippie era, from Light My Fire to Riders On The Storm.