Long before Amy Winehouse mesmerized people with her voice, abused alcohol and drugs, and died at a very young age, there was Janis Joplin, to whom Winehouse was often compared. While Joplin only put out three albums during her life (and a few posthumously) and only one Top 40 hit, she still became one of the biggest American music stars of the 1960s, and her music continues to influence musicians today.
Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company first made a name for themselves at the 1967 Monterey Music Festival where she emerged a bright and talented star. Unfortunately, the lifestyle of a hard-partying rock star in the ’60s soon took its toll. Her love of Southern Comfort became as well known as her voice, just like other hard partying bands like Led Zeppelin or eccentric personalities like Ozzy Osbourne. The Janis Joplin death story was a sad end to her tragic life, but underneath her music star persona was a sensitive soul who had been damaged by bullying, hurt by lovers, and wanted to be loved simply because she couldn’t do it herself.