3:39 PM PDT 4/19/2012 by Sophie Schillaci, Kyleen James
Aside from superstar levels of fame and unprecedented talent, the lives of Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain and Janice Joplin have one tragic commonality: They ended too soon. As members of a morbid club, these six artists tragically lost their lives at age 27, but leave behind lasting legacies of musical influence.
British crooner Amy Winehouse, the most recent addition to the 27 Club, died suddenly on July 23, 2011. Several months later, the coroner determined that Winehouse died from accidental alcohol poisoning after weeks of abstinence. At her time of death, Winehouse's blood alcohol content was more than five times the British driving limit.
Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones was the first in a string of 27 Club deaths. Jones died on July 3, 1969, as a result of drowning in his swimming pool, though the coroner's report noted that Jones' liver and heart were enlarged from drug and alcohol use.
Janis Joplin was found dead in the Landmark Hotel on October 4, 1970, the result of a heroin overdose. She died just 16 days after fellow music icon, Jimi Hendrix.
Three months after her death, the biggest album of Joplin's career was released. Pearl, which includes Joplin's version of "Me and Bobby McGee," topped the album chart in 1971, and has sold nearly 8 million copies in the years since.
Jim Morrison was found dead in his bathtub on July 3, 1971, while living in Paris. Though no autopsy was performed, The Doors frontman's cause of death was ruled as heart failure. In 2007, one supposed witness and Parisian nightclub owner came forward to claim that Morrison had actually died in the bathroom of his club from an apparent heroin overdose. In his book, The End: Jim Morrison, Sam Bernett claims that two drug dealers returned Morrison's body to his apartment.
Kurt Cobain tragically took his own life by gunshot on April 5, 1994, leaving behind wife Courtney Love and daughter Frances Bean Cobain.
Following his death, Nirvana was awarded another No. 1 album with MTV Unplugged in New York. The live acoustic album was recorded in late 1993 and included the tracks "About a Girl," "All Apologies" and "Come as You Are," as well as covers of the Vaselines and David Bowie. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in 1994 and sold five million copies in the next three years.
Jimi Hendrix died after a night of partying in London on Sept. 18, 1970. Hendrix's girlfriend claimed that he had taken nine sleeping pills prior to his death. According to doctors, Hendrix had asphyxiated on his own vomit.
The guitar legend was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and was named the top guitarist of all time in Rolling Stone's 2003 ranking.
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