Is 27 A Strange Phenomenon Or An Unlucky Number?


Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse Photo Source: Creative Commons

Is 27 A Strange Phenomenon Or An Unlucky Number?


Picture yourself in the ending months of 1970. You are either watching television or cranking your radio up to listen to the groovy Jimi Hendrix. As you are listening to the magnificent Hendrix, you think how unfortunate it was that you were not able to see Hendrix in Woodstock. You wanted to feel liberated there as the music elevated you into peace, but Hendrix’s silky voice is too enjoyable to let those blue thoughts destroy your mood. Your thoughts lost this time, but your ears were overthrown with haze as an unfortunate event cried out loud. You turned off the radio and stayed silent. Your grand hero Jimi Hendrix passed to another world. He was only 27 years old. 


Sixteen days pass after Hendrix’s departure, and you decide to watch television. You are still saddened by Hendrix’s death, but you know that is how life is. People come and go. You think of your other hero Janis Joplin. You would have also loved to see her in Woodstock. You then begin to recall your aunt Layla’s words of how great Janis was in Woodstock. Aunt Layla said that Janis really did shake the spirit of soul into your body. You already knew that from when you would listen to her voice on the radio or on your record player, but you wanted to experience that live. Despite those gloomy thoughts of yours, you were still happy that your aunt Layla got to see Janis. Even if you were feeling happy, that happiness would be shredded with breaking news that caved a hole in your heart. Janis was now with Hendrix. She was only 27 years old. 


Two admired musicians died in the same year and at the same age? Coincidence? Most likely. But, what if that “coincidence” of dying at the same age kept happening afterwards with other admired musicians? What if it happened before Hendrix and Janis? 


Oh, people are now in frantics because of some freaky coincidence that is taking people’s favorite musicians away. What can be done to prevent it? Well, nothing. 




You heard correctly. At the end of the day, it is just a strange phenomenon that stands below the coincidence umbrella. If you want to think that 27 is some unlucky number after reading this ‘ article, you are in the right to do so. You might head into that direction once you hear about Amy Winehouse, but that will be introduced further down the line. Stay tuned to arrive at your own conclusions because anything is possible in this world. 


Now presenting, here are several musicians who died at the age of 27. This is the “27 Club.” ”


Robert Johnson 


Born in Hazlehurst, Mississippi on May 8th, 1911, Robert Johnson was a blues singer and guitarist that would be the starting leader of the “27 Club.” According to History and the Rolling Stone,  Johnson lived in the shadows when he stepped on the grounds of Earth. He recorded 29 songs from 1936 to 1937, and those songs are known as “chilling, folkloric” that alluded to the devil. Due to the references of the devil in his songs, it was perceived that he sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his talent. Because of that conspiracy, his death on August 16th, 1938 was an overall mystery. Three days prior to his death, Johnson enlightened a roadhouse with his tunes. He also took his shot once he was there by letting the wife of the owner of the roadhouse know that he fancied her. Johnson enjoyed some booze, and that would be the alleged cause of his death because his attempt of fun turned deadly. After drinking from an open bottle of whiskey that he was offered, Johnson died at the age of 27 from strychnine poisoning and pneumonia. He now resides in an unmarked grave in Mississippi, and although he received little attention during his lifetime, he became a pioneer in the 1960s. 


Brian Jones


Born in Cheltenham, United Kingdom on February 28th, 1942, Brian Jones was one of the founding members of the worldwide known band Rolling Stones. Influenced by Robert Johnson, Jones became one of the first musicians in Britain to play slide guitar. According to History and the Rolling Stone, Jones battled an addiction with substance abuse. Because of Jones’ addiction, his health declined, and he became difficult to work with. Despite his seven years with the Rolling Stones, the tension would not diminish and would merely become worse like his addiction. According to Biography, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards asked Jones to leave the band. On July 3rd, 1969, Jones was found dead at the bottom of his swimming pool at the age of 27. It was reported by the police that Jones drowned while he was under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Despite that report, there are many people who question the police report and want to know the official version. 


Keith Richards said, “And still the mystery of his death hasn’t been solved. I don’t know what happened, but there was some nasty business going on.”


Alan Wilson


Born in Arlington, Massachusetts on July 4th, 1943, Alan Wilson was co-founder, guitarist, harmonica player, and occasional vocalist of the American blues band Canned Heat. Growing up, he was a reserved child who passed his time with records and books. It was not until his teenage years that he began playing the guitar and developed a fondness for jazz. His preference for jazz would transition to blues when a friend of his gave him a Muddy Waters record. According to History, Wilson was known as“Blind Owl” because of his poor vision. With his band Canned Heat, Wilson performed at Woodstock in 1969. He truly did fit into the scenery of Woodstock because Wilson was connected with nature and would frequently sleep outdoors. Unfortunately, Wilson struggled with mental illness, and he had previously tried to take his own life. On September 3rd, 1970 in Topanga, California, Wilson was tragically found dead at the age of 27 from a barbiturates overdose. Although Wilson’s cause of death was ruled as an accidental overdose of barbiturates, drummer Fito de la Parra thinks Wilson took his own life. Therefore, Wilson’s cause of death still remains in question for some. 


Jimi Hendrix 


Born on November 27th, 1942 in Seattle, Washington, Jimi Hendrix changed the world of rock and roll forever. Referred to as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, his distinctive voice accompanied his groovy tunes that added to the psychedelic aesthetic of the 1960s. With his dazzling name taking over the music industry, his death would shock the world. According to Rolling Stone, it was on the morning of September 18th, 1970 that Hendrix was found dead at his girlfriend’s house in London at the age of 27. According to Hendrix’s girlfriend, Hendrix took Vesparax. Half a tablet alone is enough to place a person in a sleep of eight hours, but Hendrix took to what is believed nine. Since Hendrix was also drinking, that would not help the situation. Hendrix’s girlfriend called an ambulance in hopes to save Hendrix, but he was, unfortunately, pronounced dead at 11:45 in the morning. His cause of death was ruled as asphyxiating on his own vomit when sleeping.


Despite his departure, Hendrix is considered “the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music” by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame


Janis Joplin


Born on January 19th, 1943 in Port Arthur, Texas, Janis Joplin conquered the San Francisco scenery with her raspy and powerful voice. She brought soul into music, pouring her heart into lyrics that would not withstand without her. According to Biography, Janis was inspired by artists such as Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith. From there, she became the lead singer of Big Brother and the Holding Company in 1966. After a set of conflicts between Janis and the band, she pursued a career as a solo artist. At that point, everything was thought to be going smoothly. Janis even performed at Woodstock in 1969, uplifting the crowd with her soulful voice and music. Even if everything was thought to be going smoothly, the opposite was occurring. Janis’s addiction to heroin and alcohol became stronger as time passed by. Despite multiple attempts to get her addiction controlled, those attempts failed. On October 4th, 1970, Janis was found dead at the age of 27 at Hollywood’s Landmark Hotel. Her cause of death was ruled as a heroin overdose. 


Despite her tragic death, she is still remembered as one of the greatest females to enter the music industry, taking control with her unique voice that was meant to live only through her.  


Jim Morrison


Born on December 8th, 1943 in Melbourne, Florida, Jim Morrison was singer and songwriter for the famous rock band the Doors. According to Biography, Morrison met his band members when he was studying film at UCLA. Formed in 1965, the Doors began their musical journey. As a poet and avid reader of philosophy, Morrison wrote some of those most powerful and dark lyrics in the music industry. With continuous success, Morrison’s private life and persona were taking a toll on him. His addiction to alcohol and drugs entered a dire state, and Morrison would gain a reputation of having violent outbursts at concerts. One of those incidents would meet negative matters on December 9th, 1969 in New Haven, Connecticut when a highly intoxicated Morrison was arrested for saying profanities onstage that would eventually lead to riots. Tragically, Morrison died of a heart attack on July 3rd, 1971 at the age of 27 from a heroin overdose. 


Despite his tragic death, it is without a doubt that Morrison is one of the greatest lyricists to have lived. 


Kurt Cobain


Born on February 20th, 1967 in Aberdeen, Washington, Kurt Cobain changed the sound of music forever. His raspy voice set the world into the grunge scene, and Seattle was the derivative. According to the official Nirvana website, Kurt formed Nirvana with his friend Krist Novoselic in 1987 after playing in various bands. It was not until 1990 when Dave Ghrol joined along, and that is when Nirvana began taking over the charts. It all seemed to be happening too quickly, and that took a toll on Kurt. According to History, Kurt suffered from depression, chronic stomach problems, and heroin addiction.  


In an interview, Kurt said, “My body is damaged from music in two ways. I have a red irritation in my stomach. It’s psychosomatic, caused by all the anger and the screaming. I have scoliosis, where the curvature of your spine is bent, and the weight of my guitar has made it worse. I’m always in pain, and that adds to the anger in our music.”


On April 5th, 1994, Kurt took his own life at the age of 27 in his home in Seattle, Washington. But, if you were to ask a group of people how Kurt Cobain died, the answers would be divided into suicide and murder. For those answering murder, the reason for that suspicion is because in Kurt’s suicide note, there are inconsistencies in the writing. The top half of the note is interpreted as Kurt intending to leave the music business, and the bottom half of the note consists of mentions of Kurt’s wife and daughter. 


No matter the cause of death, the world lost a great human being that changed the world forever. 


Amy Winehouse 


Born on September 14th, 1983 in the United Kingdom, Amy Winehouse grew up in a family who loved jazz. That love for jazz would transfer to Winehouse, and that transfer was a life-changing moment for everyone who would hear Winehouse’s voice. According to Biography, Winehouse entered the music industry at 16 years old when a classmate gave her a demo tape to record a label. From there, she signed her first record deal as an official jazz vocalist, and her music became widely known. Winehouse accomplished a goal of winning five Grammy awards that connected to her 2006 album Back to Black. Despite her success, Winehouse suffered from drug and alcohol addiction for various years. According to History, some of Winehouse’s songs such as “Rehab” were inspired by her addiction. On July 23rd, 2011 in her London apartment, Winehouse was found dead at the age of 27. Her cause of death was ruled as accidental alcohol poisoning. 


A frightening aspect of Winehouse’s case is that she was afraid of joining the “27 Club.” 


Alex Haines, Winehouse’s former personal assistant, said, “She reckoned she would join the 27 Club of rock stars who died at that age. She told me, ‘I have a feeling I’m gonna die young.'”


Unfortunately, she is another great musician who was tragically lost at the age of 27.


The conclusion. 


Whether you believe in the “27 Club” or not, it is undeniable that some of the most amazing musicians died in tragic ways at the age of 27. They had an entire life to fulfill, but their paths were cut short. 27 was their end time. 


As mentioned at the beginning of the article, do you believe in the “27 Club” after hearing about Amy Winehouse? She was aware of the “27 Club” and had a fear of it, and her fear came true when she died at 27. Therefore, what does that make you believe? 


Is 27 a strange phenomenon or an unlucky number?