Featuring rock stars, singers, and musicians who died at 27, this list of 27 Club members includes some of the greatest musicians who died before 30. “The 27 Club” or “Club 27” is the colloquial name given to a group of influential rock musicians who died at the young age of 27. There are a few “members” who are always listed in “27 Club” groupings—such as Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and Kurt Cobain—and members to come later like Amy Winehouse. However, there’s plenty of other less-notable musicians who were 27 at the time of their death, but you’ll find them all here. Of course, not every one in the 27 Club list were musicians, such as renowned artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Though the official causes of death for these famous people vary between the different musicians—from suicide to overdoses on sleeping pills to, yes, choking to death on vomit—drug and alcohol abuse is often cited as a primary cause behind many of these deaths. Everyone on this list will never turn 28 – they will be forever 27.
Check the list of 27 Club “members” below.
Janis Joplin, the legendary singer-songwriter who started with the psychedelic-acid rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company and would later go on to perform as a solo act with her own backing groups, died of an assumed heroin overdose on October 4, 1970.
The OD, influenced by alcohol and what is thought to be a particularly potent batch of heroin that incited several other overdoses, felled the singer in her Hollywood house.
Though an official police report depicts Doors frontman as having died in a bathtub of a heroin overdose, myriad other versions of the singer’s death exist, including accounts that he accidentally snorted some of girlfriend Pamela Courson’s heroin- having mistaken it for cocaine- and died from this accidental ingestion.
Regardless of the exact method, Morrison died on July 3, 1971.
One of the original founders of The Rolling Stones, frontman Brian Jones was quickly overshadowed by the team of Keith Richards and Mick Jagger and subsequently developed a drug problem that would lead to his dismissal from the group in June 1969.
Less than a month later on July 3, Jones was found in the bottom of his pool and his death was entered as a drowning “death by misadventure”.
Fat Pat was an influential rapper from Houston, and a member of Screwed Up Click, which included his brother, Big Hawk, and friend DJ Screw, who invented the chopped and screwed technique. He was murdered in 1998.
Big Hawk was similarly shot to death in 2006, and DJ Screw died of a codeine overdose in 2000.
The K-pop singer and vocalist of boy group SHINee, Jonghyun Kim committed suicide by burning coal in an apartment studio. He was rushed to the hospital in a state of cardiac arrest, but was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Jeremy Michael Ward
One of the most famous missing people of all time, Richey Edwards, writer and guitar player for the Manic Street Preachers, went missing of February 1, 1995, the day he was meant to leave the UK for America on a promotional tour.
While sightings of the musician were reported for years to follow, Edwards has yet to be found and was declared legally dead on November 23, 2008.
On January 19, 2018, Fredo Santana died of a fatal seizure at his Los Angeles home, most likely due to the liver and kidney problems caused by his heavy use of lean.
Pete de Freitas
Ron “Pigpen” McKernan
A founding member of The Grateful Dead, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan contributed on harmonica, percussion, organ, vocals, and guitar until congenital biliary cirrhosis prompted doctors to recommend McKernan stop touring in August 1971.
On March 8, 1973, McKernan was found dead in his Corte Madera, CA home of a gastrointestinal hemorrhage.
Drummer for the Japanese rock band Malice Mizer, Kami died in 1999 of a subarachnoid hemorrhage in his sleep.