6. The Pearl died just two weeks following the death of Jimi Hendrix
Just sixteen days after the death of Jimi Hendrix in the early autumn of 1970, the world of rock was yet again jolted by the loss – at the age of 27 – of one of its most dynamic performers. Janice Joplin developed an audience with her astonishing vocals with the band Big Brother and the Holding Company, and added to it through live performances which became legendary, including a performance at Woodstock. Long before her musical career took off Janice was known to the law, having been arrested multiple times for drug possession as well as shoplifting and other petty offenses. A known heroin user, Janice used drugs of many types, and her reputation as a heavy drinker was reinforced through her use of alcohol both onstage and off. She was frequently photographed holding a bottle of Southern Comfort, though her intoxicant of choice for many years was methamphetamine, which she preferred to inject.
Janis displayed sexuality onstage as part of her act, emulating and expanding on the pelvic thrusts and grinds once performed by Elvis Presley. Frequently appearing onstage both stoned and drunk, her reputation as a substance abuser was well established when she was found dead of a heroin overdose on the floor of her room in the Landmark Motor Hotel in Hollywood, California on October 4, 1970. It was her death, coming so soon upon the heels of the deaths of Alan Wilson and Jimi Hendrix, all at the age of 27, which first drew the attention of writers, who began printing articles describing the 27 Club, of which she was but the latest member. Her subsequent posthumous record album, entitled Pearl, became the largest seller of her career.