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The 27 Club

9 March 2022

Brian Jones (Rolling Stones), Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison were all members of what became known as the 27 Club. They all died at the age of 27 between 1969 and 1971.

The 27 Club is an urban legend based on a perceived statistical spike in the death of popular musicians and other high profile people, often as a result of drug and alcohol abuse or means such as homicide, suicide or car accidents.

The ‘club’ has often been cited in songs and magazine articles, giving some legitimacy to the cultural phenomenon, despite being disproven by research.

The idea of a 27 Club was boosted in public perception with the death in 1994 of Kurt Cobain at age 27.

In 2011, Amy Winehouse died aged 27, prompting a renewed swell of media attention to the ‘club’. Three years earlier, she had expressed a fear of dying at that age.

The 27 Club wasn’t only for musicians. Actors who died at the age include Jonathan Brandis and Anton Yelchin.

There have been many cultural references to the 27 Club, including by Eric Burdon in the song 27 Forever on his 2013 album ‘Til Your River Runs Dry.

Rolling Stone magazine: 20 stars who died at 27
The list includes artists and members of bands featured here on Bang a Gong, including Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Peter Ham (Badfinger), Jim Morrison (The Doors), Brian Jones (The Rolling Stones) and Alan Wilson (Canned Heat).

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