A soulful voice that grabbed the hearts of her generation, Janis Joplin was made for greatness. Sadly, her stellar career and life were cut short and she infamously joined The 27 Club (a list of celebrities who died at the age of 27 and includes the likes of Kurt Cobain, Jimmy Hendrix, Jim Morrison and most recently Amy Winehouse).
Janis was always a misfit and big attention seeker, as noted by her relatives and those who knew the young girl who was picked on at school and dropped out in college. Her college bulletin had even written an article on her titled She Dares To Be Different and included the coverage: “She goes barefooted when she feels like it, wears Levi’s to class because they’re more comfortable, and carries her Autoharp with her everywhere she goes so that in case she gets the urge to break into song, it will be handy. Her name is Janis Joplin.”
The majority of her short-lived life was about two of her loves – the Blues and drugs. The former brought her happiness, solace and a place of belonging, where she said she always felt like herself, especially when she performed at intimate locations for fans. The latter, unfortunately, caused a rocky life with like-minded friends, health issues and finally, a tragic death due to an overdose, just 16 days after another legend, Jimi Hendrix passed away at the same age and of the same causes.
No matter her troubled life, she will always be celebrated as one of the most powerful female performers of all time and an inspiration for so many artistes after her. She was known as an electrical phenomenon whenever she performed live on stage and was one of the pioneers of the hippie movement, having been a headliner for one of the earliest Woodstock festivals. The songs she wrote and sang for are classical hits and every time you hear the one-of-a-kind ethereal vocals, you can’t help but let your heart break a little for a wonderful soul and human being who may have been shunned in her early life, but is still celebrated long after she left us.