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Janis Lyn Joplin (Port Arthur (Texas), January 19, 1943 - Los Angeles (California), October 4, 1970) was an American singer.
Joplin's father worked for the Texaco Oil Company and her mother was a clerk. Joplin attended several universities in the early 1960s, but never graduated. The music attracted her more, especially the blues, rock and roll and soul. Big examples for her were Odetta, Lead Belly, Bessie Smith, Big Mama Thornton and Otis Redding. In 1963, Joplin lived in San Francisco for some time, where she became addicted to hard drugs, but she soon returned to Port Arthur to rehab.
In 1966, Joplin returned to San Francisco at the invitation of Big Brother and the Holding Company's agent, Chet Helms.
In the beginning the band was unsuccessful, but the big breakthrough came with the performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. With the album that was released, Cheap Thrills, Joplin established her name as a blues singer.
Canadian poet / singer Leonard Cohen's famous song Chelsea Hotel No 2 was written for Joplin.
At the Woodstock festival in August 1969, Joplin was one of the crowd pullers.
The album Pearl was released posthumously in 1971. One of Joplin's most famous songs, the Kris Kristofferson-written Me and Bobby McGee, she recorded a few days before her death.
Joplin died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27. She was found dead on October 4, 1970 in her Los Angeles hotel room. It is suspected that the heroin that killed her was stronger than usual, as her dealer's other customers also died of an overdose that week.
That Joplin's death was caused by an overdose of drugs came as no surprise. For much of her life she had to deal with a drug problem. As a child she already had the nickname 'speed freak' and that was certainly not for nothing; at her lowest point she weighed only 40 kilos.
Joplin is one of the original members of the 27 club: in a period of two years, four well-known artists died at the age of 27.
Since then, the term 27 club has been widely used for any artist who dies at that age.
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