So Young To Die!
This is not a comprehensive list - it is a list of rock stars who died infamously at the age of 27. The list includes blues artists such as Robert Johnson, as well as performers of rhythm and blues, since rock ‘n' roll grew from these genres, but does not include artists from other genres such as jazz or country, etc. The list also doesn’t include rockers who died of natural causes or accidents. Lastly, the artists are listed chronologically by the dates of their demise.
1. As the legend goes, blues artist Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads so he could attain virtuosity with the guitar. Well, somehow Johnson got his wish, recording 29 songs - many of them classics - during a short career. Perhaps Johnson’s greatest tunes were “Come on in My Kitchen,” “Sweet Home Chicago” and “Crossroad Blues,” famously covered by the rock group Cream on their double album set Wheels of Fire.
Many consider Johnson the father of modern rock ‘n’ roll. (Incidentally, an actor portrays a Johnson-like character in the movie Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou?) It is generally accepted that Johnson was poisoned – perhaps given some tainted rye moonshine - by a jealous husband or girlfriend while playing at a juke joint near Greenwood, Mississippi. Johnson took days to die and was buried in an unmarked grave. Robert Johnson passed on August 16, 1938.
2. Rudy Lewis, singer in the legendary R&B group the Drifters from 1960 to 1964, sang the lead on such hits as “On Broadway” (a top ten hit) and “Up on the Roof.” Formerly of the Clara Ward Singers, Lewis’ silky sweet voice was compared to that of Ben E. King. Just before the recording of mega hit “Under the Boardwalk,” Lewis was found dead in his apartment, and the cause of death has never been ascertained. Authorities think he died of a drug overdose, though friends think Lewis, a binge-eater, probably choked to death on food. (Why didn’t the cops perform an autopsy? If and when I find out, I’ll let you know.) Rudy Lewis died on May 20, 1964.
3. Brian Jones was a rhythm guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who brought together members of the Rolling Stones, who began performing in 1962. Jones figured prominently in the Rolling Stones' early albums, playing rhythm and slide guitar, harmonica and doing background vocals. Jones’ relationship with other band members became strained when they learned that Jones was actually making more money - £5.00 per week – according to the management contract that Jones had signed for all band members in early 1963. Aside from his musical career, Jones was a man about town who may have fathered as many as five illegitimate children.
But from 1968 onward Jones' contributions to the Rolling Stones diminished steadily, perhaps because of his increasing use of mind-altering substances, and by mid 1969 Jones was expelled from the band. Jones planned to start his own band, but this never happened. Circumstances regarding Jones' death remain cloudy to this day. Jones was found motionless at the bottom of his swimming pool and declared dead by authorities. Friends said that Jones had been drinking and taking pills. The coroner's report showed "death by misadventure." Some think Jones committed suicide; others think he was murdered. Fellow Rolling Stones Mick Jagger and Keith Richards didn't attend Jones' funeral. Brian Jones died on July 3, 1969.
4. Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson was one of the seminal members of Canned Heat, a Sixties blues-revival band. Wilson was a rhythm guitarist, songwriter, vocalist and virtuosic harmonica player. Blues legend John Lee Hooker called Wilson the best harmonica player he had ever seen. Wilson sang the lead on two of Canned Heat’s greatest hits - “Going Up the Country” and “On the Road Again.” Wilson had emotional problems and attempted suicide numerous times. Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson died of a drug overdose - widely considered a suicide - on September 3, 1970.
5. Jimi Hendrix became an overnight sensation after an eruptive performance at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June 1967, where he played his guitar behind his back, with his teeth and later set it aflame and then bashed it into the stage. During Hendrix’s short, three-and-a-half-year recording career, he became rock’s number one guitarist, and is still considered such by many rock purists. In 2003 Rolling Stone voted him the greatest guitarist of all time. Hendrix’s tour de force was the double-album set Electric Ladyland, featuring hits such as “Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” “Still Raining, Still Dreaming” and “House Burning Down.” This album is an exemplar of Hendrix’s inventiveness, guitar genius and versatility. Not bad for a high school dropout who couldn’t read music!
Fortunately, Hendrix toured almost constantly and many of those performances, including an iconic one at Woodstock, were recorded in some fashion. Moreover, Hendrix jammed with just about every notable lead guitarist of the era, except Jimmy Page. What a shame! Jimi Hendrix died of drug complications – mixing alcohol with barbiturates, a very dangerous combination - on September 18, 1970.
6. Janis Joplin started her singing career with the psychedelic rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company. Joplin’s raucous, bluesy voice fit in well with the San Francisco acid rock sound emerging at the time. Like Hendrix, Joplin blew people’s minds at Monterey in 1967, singing such hits as “Down on Me” and “Ball and Chain.” Joplin eventually left Big Brother and formed two more bands. After having given up drugs for awhile - except for perhaps her beloved alcohol - Joplin obtained a potent batch of heroin that hadn’t been cut and died of an overdose on October 4, 1970. (Other junkies died from the same load of H.) Possible biographical movie projects have been in the works for years. The movie, The Rose, starring Bette Midler, is often considered a Joplin biopic. However, Joplin was no pop singer!
7. Arlester “Dyke” Christian formed a soul and funk band in 1966, calling it Dyke and the Blazers, which soon toured with the O’Jays. Arlester played bass but was the lead singer of the Blazers. The first single the band released was titled “Funky Broadway,” a song Arlester had written, which eventually became a big hit by Wilson Pickett in 1967. The Blazers, which changed personnel a number of times over the years, disbanded on March 13, 1971, when Arlester was shot and killed on the streets of Phoenix, Arizona. The authorities considered the shooting an act of self-defense, perhaps brought about by a bad drug deal, although Arlester had no drugs in his system at the time.
8. Jim Morrison, mystic, poet, shaman, filmmaker and, oh yes, lead singer for the rock group the Doors, which splashed upon the music scene in Los Angeles in 1967. Perhaps Morrison’s greatest work came on “The End,” a protracted ode to Greek tragedy laced with obscenities, the singing of which got the band thrown out of their gig at The Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood. Morrison’s risqué antics got the band in trouble many times. Perhaps to avoid jail time for an indecent exposure conviction in Miami, Florida, Morrison moved to Paris in March 1971. One morning at dawn, Morrison began spitting up blood, took a bath and died of an apparent heart attack (an autopsy was never performed.) Since Morrison’s drinking and drugging were legendary, even for the standards of the time, his death probably didn’t surprise many. Some think Morrison faked his death and went to Africa. Jim Morrison died on July 3, 1971 (two years to the day after Brian Jones).
9. Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, keyboardist, singer and harmonica player,was one of the founding members of the Grateful Dead, a prominent San Francisco Bay Area band. McKernan was known for his thick, weathered vocals on such tunes as “Midnight Hour” and “Death Don’t Have No Mercy.” McKernan once had a fling with fellow boozer Janis Joplin and sang with her at some gigs. (According to singer Grace Slick of the Jefferson Airplane, McKernan introduced Joplin to Southern Comfort.) When McKernan’s health began deteriorating, he left the Grateful Dead in 1972. On March 8, 1973 Ron “Pigpen” McKernan was found dead of a stomach hemorrhage brought on by years of heavy drinking.
10. Dave Alexander was the original bass player for The Stooges, a protopunk band led by Iggy Pop and formed in 1967. Essentially a novice bass player at the time, Alexander nevertheless helped The Stooges write, arrange and compose some of the songs on their first two albums, The Stooges and Fun House. Interestingly, per those acid-laced times, Alexander liked to use psychedelic licks in his tunes. But in August 1970 Alexander showed up late and inebriated for a show and was later fired by frontman Iggy Pop. Five years later, Alexander was hospitalized for pancreatitis caused by heavy consumption of alcohol. Alexander developed pulmonary edema, his lungs filling with fluid, and died on February 10, 1975.
11. Peter Ham was a guitarist and songwriter for Badfinger, an early Seventies rock group that some called the new Beatles. Appropriately, Badfinger’s first hit “Come and Get It,” was written by Beatle bassist Paul McCartney. The band continued churning out cutting-edge material, seemingly making lots of money; however, nobody knew where the money was going. Distraught over financial matters, Peter Ham hanged himself on April 23, 1975. Allegedly, Ham left a suicide note that named Stan Polley, his booking agent, as the cause of the suicide. But Polley denied the existence of such a note. Tragically, Badfinger’s Tom Evans, upset regarding what he considered the band’s missing income, also hanged himself in 1983!
12. Bassist and songwriter Gary Thain played with the Keef Hartley Band at Woodstock and later became the third bassist for British rock group Uriah Heep. Primarily a blues and jazz player, Uriah Heep was Thain’s first plunge into rock. Thain also wrote some of Uriah Heep’s material, notably “Chrystal Ball” and “Gary’s Song.” Gary Thain died of a heroin overdose on December 8, 1975.
13. Alexander Bashlachev was a Russian rock guitarist and singer-songwriter. Throughout the 1980s, Bashlachev wrote songs and composed music. He also performed whenever he could, but usually for small audiences, since rock and roll was considered counterrevolutionary in Russia (at that time known as the U.S.S.R.) during the 1970s and ‘80s. In 1985 and again in 1987, Bashlachev played at the Leningrad Rock Festival, a gathering comprising about 600 people. Suffering from depression and alcoholism, Bashlachev died after falling from the balcony of a ninth-floor apartment building. The death was considered a suicide. Bashlachev went to the Promised Land on February 17, 1988.
14. Mia Zapata formed the punk rock band the Gits while attending college in Ohio. Zapata was heavily influenced by blues singers such as Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday. Joan Jett compared Zapata’s talent to that of blues legend Janis Joplin. But Zapata’s singing career didn’t get rolling until 1989 when the group relocated to Seattle, Washington, where “grunge” was slowly gaining nationwide popularity. The Gits first album was Frenching the Bull, released in 1992. Tragically, just when the Gits were finding an audience, Zapata was found dead near the Comet Tavern in Seattle. Zapata had been raped, badly beaten and strangled to death. Using DNA evidence, Zapata’s assailant was eventually apprehended, convicted and then sentenced to 36 years in prison. Mia Zapata died on July 7, 1993.
15. Troubled genius Kurt Cobain formed the grunge group Nirvana in 1986. Led by Cobain’s songwriting, singing and lead guitar, Nirvana’s second album Nevermind hit the top of the charts in 1991, making the band superstars and netting them truckloads of money. But Cobain, a quiet, reclusive fellow, never enjoyed the limelight of celebrity. Nirvana’s mega hit single, “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” is considered one of the greatest rock tunes of all time. In 2007 VH1 voted it the top rock song of the 1990s. The tune is still popular; even college marching bands play it.
As Nirvana gained popularity, Cobain started using heroin in the early 1990s. He may have started taking heroin to relieve pain from chronic back and stomach trouble. Cobain said his stomach pain was so bad at times that he sometimes considered committing suicide. In March of 1994 Cobain attempted suicide by gobbling painkillers washed down with champagne. But on April 5, 1994 Kurt Cobain succeeded in ending his life with a shotgun blast to the head. But some people think Cobain was murdered. They say Cobain couldn’t have used the shotgun to shoot himself because he had a large amount of heroin in his system. Could the heroin have killed him anyway? Experts can only speculate . . . .
16. In 1993 Kristen Pfaff became the bassist for Hole, the band Courtney Love had formed before the death of husband Kurt Cobain. Pfaff played on Live Through This, the only album she recorded with Hole (certainly an ironic title for Pfaff.). As many musicians have done in past decades, Pfaff began using heroin. On June 16, 1994 Kristen Pfaff died of a heroin overdose.
17. Richey Edwards sang, wrote songs and played rhythm guitar for the alternative rock band the Manic Street Preachers. A native of the United Kingdom, Edwards wrote most of the band’s songs and was considered a primary inspiration for their sound. Unfortunately, as well as having a creative bent, Edwards suffered from bouts of depression, anorexia and self-mutilation, once using a razor to carve “4-Real” on his left forearm. Edwards disappeared on February 1, 1995, the cause of which has often been considered a suicide, though many of his friends disagree. The authorities announced in November 2008 that Edwards was still missing and presumed dead.
18. Fat Pat was a hip-hop artist whose birth name was Patrick Lamark Hawkins. Fat Pat was associated with Screwed Up Click and recorded for Wreckshop Records. The first album he performed on was Ghetto Dreams, released in 1998. It featured the hit rap tune, “Tops Drop.” Interestingly, All of Fat Pat’s albums were released posthumously. Fat Pat was shot to death on February 3, 1998. Tragically, his brother “Big Hawk” was also shot to death eight years later.
19. Raymond Rogers, known professionally as Freaky Tah, was a rapper who performed with the hip-hop group Lost Boyz. Other members of the group were Mr. Cheeks, DJ Spigg Nice and Pretty Lou. Tah’s work with Lost Boyz produced two certified gold records, Legal Drug Money and Love, Peace & Nappiness. Freaky Tah was shot in the back of the head and died on March 28, 1999.
20. Sean Patrick McCabe was the lead singer/song writer for the hard rock band Ink and Dagger. Brought together in 1996, this Philadelphia alternative rock band used vampire shtick in their live performances, developing a large following in Philly’s underground music scene. Their first album was Drive This Seven Inch Wooden Stake Through My Philadelphia Heart. Sean Patrick McCabe choked to death on his own vomit while swilling alcohol on August 28, 2000.
21. Levi Kereama was a contestant on the first season of Australian Idol in 2003, but he only made it to sixth place. Later, Levi, along with his brothers, formed the rhythm and blues group Lethbridge, at times supporting top-rated talent such as Boyz II Men and Shaggy. Levi’s sweet voice brought to mind the crooning of Michael Jackson and Jeffrey Osborne. On October 4, 2008, Levi fell to his death from a 20-story hotel window. Authorities believe his death was a suicide, but family members say it was an accident.
22. Amy Winehouse may have been as well known for her singing prowess as for her party-hardy lifestyle, bad behavior and mental problems. The pop and jazz singer/songwriter won five Grammy Awards in 2008, perhaps her peak year, and her best song at the time may have been “Rehab,” certainly an apt title given her trials in that arena. As with many pop stars over the years, Winehouse often consumed alcohol before a gig, leading to numerous bad performances and reviews.
Winehouse also admitted using hard drugs such as crack cocaine and heroin. And, sadly, her list of confrontations with the police is as lengthy as that of any pop star in recent memory. Amy Winehouse died on July 23, 2011.
In October 2011 the Coroner in London, England stated that Winehouse died of accidental alcohol poisoning; she had five times the legal limit of alcohol in her system at the time of her demise.
23. Soroush Farazmand didn’t exactly have a household name in the United States, and he probably didn’t have one in his native Iran either. Farazmand, a rock guitarist, and the rest of his band, the Yellow Dogs, came to America seeking the freedom to play whatever music they wanted, which they couldn’t do in Iran, a repressive place. Unfortunately, they came to a country with lots of freedom, including one to bear arms. Soroush Farazmand and his brother and bandmate, Arash, were shot and killed by another Iranian musician who was distraught after being kicked out of the Free Keys, another Iranian band. The killer, wielding an assault rifle purchased in the U.S. some years before, killed three people and then committed suicide. Soroush Farazmand died on November 11, 2013.
24. Monkey Black, whose real name was Leonardo Michael Flores Ozuna, started his hip-hop career in 2006. Black produced the popular song “Tienen Miedo” and wrote many others. A Dominican living in Barcelona, Spain, Black, while in a bar, had an argument with two people, who then stabbed him numerous times. Later, Black died at the hospital. Monkey Black passed on May 1, 2014.
25. Kim Jong-Hyun’s singing career was in high gear when he became the lead singer of the South Korean boy band, SHINee, which has released many singles and albums and appeared in numerous movies and TV reality shows. Not surprisingly, the entertainment industry in South Korea is a very stressful business, causing some pop stars or rockers to implode in a tragic way. Kim Jong-Hyun committed suicide on December 18, 2017.
There’s a statistical probability that some young rockers will die at 27, and some of those will die infamously. They have to die sometime and somehow, right? Let’s hope it’s a long time – if ever – before more rockers are added to this tragic list.
Questions & Answers
Question: Does Otis Redding belong to the 27 club?
Answer: Otis Redding was 26 when he died.
Question: Did these rockstars make a deal with the devil?
Answer: No devil was needed - these rockers died young because they made some very bad choices.
Question: Which American rock musicians died in a foreign country?
Answer: Jim Morrison died in Paris, France and Jimi Hendrix died in London, England.
© 2008 Kelley Marks
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on July 19, 2020:
Thanks for the comment, Renee Eckard. When I noticed the age of Elvis' grandson, Benjamin Storm Keough, I wondered if he was a rocker of note, but apparently he was not such a person. Although his death was certainly tragic, and perhaps infamous, he doesn't quality for this list.
Renee Eckard on July 18, 2020:
Will Elvis’s grandson, Benjamin Keough, who died July 12,2020, by self-inflicted gunshot, at the age of 27 be added to the 27 Club? He had recorded a few soundtracks around 2009.
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on December 19, 2019:
Christopher Nowak, what are these obscure clubs you're writing about? Dead at 36? Alive till 100? Huh?...
Christopher Nowak on December 18, 2019:
There are two famous members of THE 36 CLUB.
Who would be the only actor/actress of THE 100+ STILL LIVING CLUB?
Kosmo Kelley on September 11, 2018:
By no stretch of the imagination was Basquiat a rock star, so he doesn't belong here.
leahharmony on September 07, 2018:
jean michael basquat - 27 - heroin overdose.
basquiat is everywhere, even today. he was an art calamity and phenomenon, dated madonna, painted with warhol, he also a continued to perform musically albeit as a secondary career. i think he belongs :)
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on July 08, 2018:
Alex Fuentes, thanks for telling me about Dave Alexander!...
alex fuentes on July 05, 2018:
Where's Dave Alexander of Stooges fame? He developed pancreatitis due to alcohol and drug abuse and died of pulmonary edema. The fact that he was 27 qualifies it for me as being a "tragic death". Furthermore, Iggy and the Stooges/the Stooges were/are hugely influential whereas a portion of the artists mentioned in this article---finishing 6th on American Idol? For real?
Kosmo Kelley on April 23, 2018:
Duane Allman was 24 when he died in a motorcycle accident.
lala on April 20, 2018:
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on January 08, 2018:
Thanks for the comment, Vicki Wood! This is the first hub I ever wrote and perhaps my most successful. Anyway, I just added a new member to the list last month. The beat goes on, so to speak. Later!
Vicki Wood from Eldon, Missouri on January 06, 2018:
great review of the 27 club. I didnt know about Badfinger or that Paul McCartney wrote a song for them. A list of all the songs McCartney wrote for other people that are hits would be cool.
Kosmo on October 23, 2017:
Duane Allman was 24 when he died. Sorry, he doesn't belong on this list.
Bob on October 23, 2017:
Thaddeus Buttmunch, MD on October 05, 2017:
Isn't it a coincidence that they All died at 27, and the number 27 is three to the third power??
Nicola on September 02, 2017:
I believe Tim Buckley and his son Jeff Buckley also died at 27. It is a sad list indeed.
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on April 30, 2017:
Thanks for the comment, Sharon. I'm sure most people appreciate the great music and performances of the artists on this list and disregard the rest, for people tend to die when their time is up, don't they?...
Sharon on April 28, 2017:
There are so many great performers out here today who will never receive the attention these so-called tragic still get. I am referring to the ones who died from drugs/alcohol abuse. People speak of their legacy, but the main topic when one thinks of them is the way they died. When I hear Amy Winehouses name, what comes to my mind is all the scandal surrounding her before her death. I mean no disrespect to her, or any of the others, I just don't get it. Your legacy shouldn't be your tragic death, but the way you lived your life and fought the good fight.
RANDY WIGGINS on January 22, 2017:
ALAN "BLIND OWL" WILSON MAY YOU REST IN PEACE.
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on January 17, 2015:
Hey, Nick, D. Boon and Chris Bell died in car accidents. These wouldn't be "infamous" deaths unless they were DUI at the time of death. Only rockers who die of drug overdoses, murder or suicide or some other infamous act are included on this list. But, someday I may change the rules. Later!
Nick on January 15, 2015:
D. Boon and Chris Bell both should be on here...
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on October 01, 2014:
Hey, Gregg, I'll bet you couldn't find as many infamous deaths at 28, 32, 34 or whatever. If you think your theory is true, prove it. I dare you. Later!
Gregg on September 30, 2014:
Please. If one were to look hard enough, one could find just as many "infamous" musical deaths at age 28, or 22, or 33, or 42, or any other age. Quit wasting people's time.
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on April 17, 2014:
Thanks for the comment, bat115. I've always loved this story, my first hub, in fact. Others have liked it too, and at least one other person liked it enough to steal it. Later!
Tim from Los Angeles, CA on April 15, 2014:
Nice overview of the 27 club!
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on March 30, 2014:
Thanks for the comment, Shinkicker. I haven't heard from you in a long time. Later!
Shinkicker from Scotland on March 30, 2014:
So sad that they all died so young. With all that talent. But they left their mark and we are all glad they did.
grungeplunge on March 23, 2014:
Oh, I am sooooo using this for my report. This is perfect. c':
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on March 04, 2014:
Thanks for the comment, pjay1980. I don't know about the good dying young. At any rate, this list certainly represents lots of wasted talent. Later!
Paul Jellicoe from Neston, UK on March 04, 2014:
'Only the good die young' Never a truer word spoke!
J.L. on December 17, 2013:
Amy Winehouse's music will live on for generations to come. Long live the Queen of Camden Town.
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on December 12, 2013:
Thanks for the comment, redfive. I will keep writing about rock and roll, and I'll continue adding rockers to this list as well. Later!
Levy Tate from California, USA on December 11, 2013:
I've always been intrigued by the 27 club -- so, massive thanks for writing this hub -- AND PLEASE KEEP WRITING MUSIC HUBS! Voted up ;-)
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on November 13, 2013:
Tupac was 25 when he died and Biggie was 24. Sorry, they can't be here. Later!
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on November 08, 2013:
Thanks for the comment, avinesHP. This is my oldest and most successful hub. What a deal! Later!
Avinesh Prahladi from Chandigarh on November 07, 2013:
As I am a huge fan of music, I can read such hubs over and over again. Really enjoyed reading this hub, thanks for the hub.
Keep up the good work !!
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on November 03, 2013:
Ya know, Nelson, I haven't put rappers on this list, and there are two that "qualify." But maybe I should - whatdoya think? Later!
Nelson on November 02, 2013:
gsurvivor on July 25, 2013:
Ah the infamous Club 27, always a fun topic to read about. I somehow thought that you might miss Robert Johnson, glad to see you didn't. Loved the hub, a vote up from here:)
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on July 21, 2013:
Thanks for the comment, Ali Torabi. Believe it or not, this is my very first story with Hubpages. Later!
Ali Torabi from NY on July 21, 2013:
That was very useful for me.
Anonymous on April 01, 2013:
I just watched Amy Winehouse's performance of "Love Is A Losing Game" at the Mercury Prize Awards, and I couldn't stop the tears from rolling down my face. A voice like hers will never be forgotten.
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on December 12, 2012:
Thanks for the comment, KenWu. You're right - nobody should mix alcohol with downers. When will they learn? Later!
KenWu from Malaysia on December 11, 2012:
Man, I coulde never understand why most famous people indulging in drugs and alcohol! I hope they all can find peace now.
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on November 20, 2012:
Hey, AlexDrinkH2o, thanks for telling me about Frankie Lymon and Johnny Ace, both of whom died infamously - Lymon a heroin overdose and Ace a suicide - but both were also only 25. Darn, I was ready to add them ASAP. Maybe next time. Later!
AlexDrinkH2O from Southern New England, USA on November 20, 2012:
How about Frankie Lymon, and Johnny Ace?
Anonymous on June 12, 2012:
The truth: Would you care to elaborate?
The Truth on June 11, 2012:
God saves no one who commits suicide no matter how famous
Anonymous on May 16, 2012:
Stars shine brightest in the dark.
Kassapi on May 16, 2012:
I feel truly honored to have lived in the same era as Amy Winehouse and her legacy will without a doubt live on through her music. She changed my life, and for that I am forever grateful. May God rest her beautiful soul.
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on May 01, 2012:
Thanks for the comment, Catfish33. This one was my first hub produced. Later!
Jeffrey Yelton from Maryland on April 29, 2012:
I enjoyed reading this very much. Good job!
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on March 23, 2012:
Thanks for the comment, Lizzi. Some 27-year-old rockers have died in accidents or of natural causes. I could include them on this list, but I won't. Other Internet lists includes them, and that's good enough for me. However, I will check out Jacob Miller, and if his death seems infamous, you'll see him here very soon. Later!
Lizzi on March 23, 2012:
I think Jacob Miller - Jamaican reggae artist should be on there. He died at 27 in a car crash - still infamous circumstances. I think you should include accidents as well as drug overdoses - that is an accident too?
Shannon S on December 31, 2011:
Um Jeff Buckley died at the age of 30 NOT 27 and Freddie Mercury was 45!! DUH!
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on December 19, 2011:
Thanks for the comment, princesswithapen. Many writers have covered the rockers dead at 27 story. Later!
princesswithapen on December 18, 2011:
I remember reading a similar article about this dreaded number when Amy WInehouse earlier this year. This hub too, made for an interesting read.
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on November 28, 2011:
Hey, somethingblue, I like the idea of God singing the universe into being. Such a theory is even better than the Big Bang. Thanks for checking out this hub - my very first one and the most successful. Later!
somethgblue from Shelbyville, Tennessee on November 25, 2011:
I saw a book one time called the The Murder of Rock n roll or something like that and was going to buy it but didn't for some reason anyway, I think it was about all the the great musicians that have died under mysterious circumstances.
The Criminals In Action were primarily to blame as, the premise of the book is related to The Infinite Harmony a book that had been censored from America for a long time, but I believe now can be purchased, the cheapest copy I could find was 200 dollars.
Anyway the idea is that great musicians learn the truth about the true nature of mankind from their connection to music and tend to awaken quicker than the sheeple and that is dangerous and could prevent the mind control of the masses.
I believe that God sung the Universe into creation, so perhaps there is some truth to it?!
Jeff on November 24, 2011:
Robert Johnson is considered the father of modern rock and roll and was the first. He infamously is known for selling his soul to Satan, "down at the crossroads". All of these people were not just drug and alcohol users but where very anti-Christ and some even involved in the occult. Now you can blow me off as a religious whack but these are facts. Check out a documentary called "They Sold Their Souls for Rock and Roll". It's older and loaded with Bible scripture but is also loaded with admissions by the artists themselves of being open to demonic spirits. It's pretty freaky. Here is the link about Robert Johnson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxoaV9ebESA&fea...
Dr Rockpile from USA on September 29, 2011:
So many I hadn't heard of. Sad.
luke on September 06, 2011:
Mia Zapata was raped and murdered! is she a 'junk ball' that deserved to die... idiot.
Jimbo on August 31, 2011:
So if 27 is the 'cycle' for saturns return, then wouldn't it also make sense for a bunch of infamous deaths at age 54? or the Club Double-27? Just curious what that list may look like?
JasonPLittleton on August 22, 2011:
Sad to hear they died young.Glad to know 'bout them.
Vernie on August 06, 2011:
Dont know if you are aware, but when a person reaches the age of 27, the planets have come around to the same position they were in when that individual was born- it's called 'saturns return'. It's considered to be a time of destiny (u meet who u need to meet (soulmates or potential partners, opportunities arise...). Due to the great mass of the planets taking there own sweet time to keep on moving, for those who live, that period of 'chaos' and 'intense change' goes on till about 32, and doesn't reappear for another 27 years. All so very interconnected.......
Guest on July 29, 2011:
And Michael Hutchence died at 37, he got ten extra years. And man he was sexy. I notice that no musicians passed away during the 80s at 27 (at least not on this list).
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on July 25, 2011:
Hey, Liz, Jason Thirsk was 28 when he died. Sorry, but not close enough to join the Forever 27 club. Later!
liz on July 25, 2011:
You forgot Jason Thirsk from Pennywise. Shot himself in the stomach 7/29/96 at the ripe old age of 27.
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on July 25, 2011:
Hey, dude, James Honeymoon Scott was 25 when he passed. Thanks for the comment. Later!
steve on July 24, 2011:
you forgot james honeymoon scott of the Pretenders
archimedes1971 on July 24, 2011:
If you believe in numerology, 9 stands for the end as 1 stands for the beginning. As previously mentioned, the sum of 27 is 9. I myself almost went at 27 in a car crash, drunk and depressed. I got a second chance somehow. The name should be changed from 'the 27 club' to 'the stupid club'. To all you out there, MAN UP!
Simon Cook from NJ, USA on July 24, 2011:
Wow! I was going to write a hub based on the same theme! I didn't know there were so many who died at 27 - so much waste!
ValerieA. on July 24, 2011:
In reference to Greeno's claim that abusing drugs & alcohol for 10 years will, according to most doctors, kill most people ... I beg to differ. I am 49 and started shooting dope and coke and taking anything I could get my hands on when I was around 17. I kept it up until I hit 30, stopped for a bit, and don't tell anyone but I still do a little (or a lot) quite frequently - I have slowed down significantly. I don't have the money most of these people had and I didn't have fans and sycophants handing me free stuff but any addict who wants money will get it. As for the question about the number of 60 year old addicts? I know too many to even count. I wouldn't recommend this way of life but the truth is that death is random in most cases (except suicide) and if you are careful and clean, it's possible to live a long, often miserable, life as an addict. Alcohol, by the way, is by far the worse substance of abuse - if effects every single organ from the skin on in so why is that the legal one? I hope the list ends now and people both famous and not accept the fact that life is all about suffering and every moment of true happiness and wonder should be valued. Enough babbling from me ...
raxit02 from Amsterdam, The Netherlands on July 24, 2011:
It's a case of suicide--that Amy choose much before. A big shock to the entertainment world. I regret as we loose such a great performing artist.
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on July 24, 2011:
Thanks for the comment, tony0724, Winehouse certainly seemed to be headed for an early demise, as did many others on this list. Thanks for the comment. Later!
tony0724 from san diego calif on July 24, 2011:
Kosmo I do not know what it is about the number 27. But it sure does seem like the most creative minds in music seem to have a proclivity towards their own self destruction. Amy Winehouse was not a matter of if but when. To bad because she could sing really well. Nice job here.
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on July 24, 2011:
Hey, Stef, since I've never seen Kristen Pfaff, I simply used a photo that was supposed to be of her. Auf der Maur, another bassist, certainly could have been in that photo - both pretty white ladies, ya know. So I changed Pfaff's photo. Kewl? Later!
Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on July 24, 2011:
The word "infamous" in the title refers to the way these rockers "died." Infamous essentially means famous but for negative reasons. Dying of a drug overdose or committing suicide is therefore dying infamously, as far as I'm concerned anyway. So, Boon in the Minutemen wouldn't qualify since he died in a car accident - an accident that wasn't caused by him. If he'd caused the accident, I probably would have put him on this list. Also, if the cause of death is listed as unknown, I tend to put them on the list anyway. As for Mia Zapata, she was murdered. Does that mean she died infamously. You tell me. Hey, since I'm my own editor, I get to do what I want in these articles - for better or worse. Thanks for the comments. Later!
Flaps on July 24, 2011:
Elvis was 42
DD on July 24, 2011:
Slightly odd title to your article - I don't consider any of these musicians to be 'infamous'
having an extremely bad reputation: an infamous city.
deserving of or causing an evil reputation; shamefully malign; detestable: an infamous deed.
Stef on July 24, 2011:
The picture of Kristen Pfaff is not her... That's Melissa Auf der Maur just saying...
chico mccarthy on July 23, 2011:
if you really want to count the deaths of musicians you have to go back to 19o8 45 artist have died at 27 all these artist were 27 not 26 and 360 days not 28 . devil lore i guess
Lol on July 23, 2011:
Justin has 10 more years
JC on July 23, 2011:
how old is justin bieber??
Drewseff on July 23, 2011:
D. Boooooooooooooooon! Don't let Mike Watt see this list.
Juda on July 23, 2011:
That is not actually the confirmed cause of death for Sean McCabe. The cause of death is actually still unknown.
Jesse on July 23, 2011:
Dennes Dale Boon of Minutemen rocks anyone on this list, with maybe the exception of Hendrix! I'm shocked he ain't on here!
Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on July 23, 2011:
Wow! Outstanding hub, Kosmo - sadly updated rather recently. . .
Kim on July 23, 2011:
D. Boon from the Minutemen should absolutely be included on this list! The Minutemen were one of the most brilliant and distinctive punk bands in music history. He was only 27 when he was tragically killed in a car accident.
MeganTheKat on July 23, 2011:
Zackski: Sid Vicious, although I adore him, doesn't belong on this list ('57-'79).
Matty on July 23, 2011:
How could you exclude D. Boon, vocalist/guitarist from The Minutemen?
Seriously, watch the 'We Jam Econo' DVD if you're unconvinced of his worth.
Sarah on July 23, 2011:
Jeff Buckley was 30. Sid Vicious was only 21. Thanks for the article & recent update.
Curt on July 23, 2011:
I believe Tommy Bolin of James Gang and Deep Purple fame was also 27 when he died of a herion overdose.
Farley on July 23, 2011:
Shannon Hoon (Blind Melon) was 28. But close enough.
zackski on July 23, 2011:
Sorry to add another to the list:Sid Vicious
Tes on July 23, 2011:
FYI, that picture of Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Miles is not from Woodstock. Buddy didn't play drums for Jimi at Woodstock; Mitch Mitchell did. Also he wasn't wearing that blue outfit at Woodstock, he was wearing a Daniel Boone style leather jacket with tassels.
Greeno on July 23, 2011:
It´s not a coincidence... must rockstars drop out from school at 17 or 18... they take alcohol and drugs daily for ten years and they die or start feeling like crap and kill themselves. Ask any doctor you can´t take drugs and alcohol for ten years... and most of them don´t even eat. How many 60 year old drunk, consumer of meth, coke, pot, prostitutes... I was an anorexic person for ten years and the doctor told me i was gonna crack if I didn´t start to eat... 29 and still breathing!!!!
bnshfr on July 23, 2011:
No Jeff Buckley? You must be kidding me.
paula on July 23, 2011:
There was an episode about this very subject years ago on VH1. It was on a show called VH1 Confidential. It was about coincidences, etc. concerning singers. I really liked the show, wish they would bring it back.
GrenReaper on July 23, 2011:
The original Paul McCartney supposedly died at 27 as well. Turn me on, dead man....