The 27 Club: A Deeper Dive into a Tragic Phenomenon

This is a heavy topic and might be disturbing or upsetting to some readers, particularly because it involves death, addiction, suicide, and grief.

The “27 Club” refers to celebrities, mostly musicians, who died at the age of 27. This coincidence adds a layer of intrigue and infamy to already tragic events. Members of the club include Kurt Cobain, Brian Jones, Jim Morrison, Amy Winehouse, Robert Johnson, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and more.

This peculiar coincidence has fascinated people for decades and has given rise to numerous speculations and theories. The allure of the 27 Club lies in the remarkable talent and potential these individuals possessed, which was cut short by untimely deaths. Let’s explore the origins of the 27 Club and the famous members who have joined its ranks.

The Origins of the 27 Club

The concept of the 27 Club gained attention after the death of Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana, in 1994. However, the origins of this phenomenon can be traced back to the early 1970s when several iconic musicians passed away within a short span of time. The deaths of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and Brian Jones, all at the age of 27, left a profound impact on the music industry and the collective consciousness of rock fans.

The Significance of the 27 Club

There is an added notoriety, a morbid distinction, in membership—artists that lived decades apart are now assembled in the same group, sometimes curiously imagined together in “Rock and Roll Heaven.” Some people ascribe supernatural influences or conspiracy theories to prove that this is no mere coincidence. People often mythologize these musicians as Rock Gods and Goddesses and sometimes regard their early deaths as somehow inevitable. But that can be misleading and limiting. We should invite readers to look past the “Dead at 27” headlines and appreciate the gifts and struggles of real people living their lives. Also, we should consider how this excludes other brilliant and influential musicians who also died prematurely, just not at the exact age of 27 (for instance: Otis Redding at 26, Jeff Buckley at 30, Prince at 57—were these not tragic losses?). Does it really matter how old they were?

Exploring the Phenomenon

Nevertheless, for better or worse, the 27 Club is a noted and fascinating phenomenon. Using this as a basis for discussion, we have an opportunity to examine how we as a society regard talent, art, fame, death, and legacy. By exploring individual biographies, we give breath and detail to the lives of these talented and troubled human beings. This goes beyond a morbid fascination with notorious rock star deaths and the salacious details and spooky happenstance of a common age at death. We can come to a better understanding of what influenced these artists who became influential and iconic themselves.

The phenomenon known as the “27 Club” has captivated the world with its tragic coincidences and untimely deaths of famous individuals at the age of 27. This club, which gained widespread recognition after the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994, has become a haunting reminder of the fragility of life and the price of fame. In this article, we will delve into the history of the 27 Club and explore some of the notable members who have tragically lost their lives at this young age.

Who are members of the 27 Club?

Name   Date of Birth      Date of Death    Cause of Death       Reason for Fame
Fredo Santana July 4, 1990 January 20, 2018 Liver failure American rapper
Kim Jong-hyun April 8, 1990 December 18, 2017 Suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning Lead vocalist and lyricist for Shinee
Thomas Fekete July 1, 1988 May 31, 2016 Cancer Guitarist for Surfer Blood
Tomas Lowe December 5, 1988 February 13, 2016 Road accident Bassist for Viola Beach
Slađa Guduraš May 11, 1987 December 10, 2014 Road accident Bosnian pop singer and actress
Soroush “Looloosh” Farazmand October 31, 1985 November 11, 2013 Murdered Guitarist for the Yellow Dogs
Nicole Bogner March 22, 1984 January 6, 2012 Undisclosed illness Singer for Visions of Atlantis
Richard Turner July 30, 1984 August 11, 2011 Cardiac arrest Trumpet player, collaborator with Friendly Fires
Amy Winehouse September 14, 1983 July 23, 2011 Alcohol poisoning Singer-songwriter
Achik Spin July 1, 1982 April 17, 2010 Road accident Member of the Malaysian pop group Spin
Orish Grinstead June 2, 1980 April 20, 2008 Kidney failure Founding member of the R&B group 702
Damien “Damo” Morris May 22, 1980 December 19, 2007 Bus wreck Vocalist of Australian deathcore band the Red Shore
Valentín Elizalde February 1, 1979 November 25, 2006 Murdered Mexican banda singer
Davor “Moskri” Bobić November 24, 1977 August 25, 2005 Drug overdose Original member and lead rapper of Prti Bee Gee
Bryan Ottoson March 18, 1978 April 19, 2005 Drug overdose (prescription medication) Guitarist for American Head Charge
Jeremy Michael Ward May 5, 1976 May 25, 2003 Drug overdose (heroin) The Mars Volta and De Facto sound manipulator
Maria Serrano Serrano November 26, 1973 November 24, 2001 Plane crash (Crossair Flight 3597) Background singer for Passion Fruit
Sean Patrick McCabe November 13, 1972 August 28, 2000 Asphyxiation Lead singer of Ink & Dagger
Rodrigo Bueno May 24, 1973 June 24, 2000 Traffic collision (car) Cuarteto singer
Kami February 1, 1972 June 21, 1999 Subarachnoid hemorrhage Drummer for Malice Mizer
Freaky Tah May 14, 1971 March 28, 1999 Murdered American rapper and member of the hip hop group Lost Boyz
Fat Pat December 4, 1970 February 3, 1998 Murdered American rapper and member of Screwed Up Click
Stretch April 8, 1968 November 30, 1995 Murdered Rapper
Richey Edwards December 22, 1967 February 1, 1995 Disappeared; officially presumed dead November 23, 2008 Lyricist and guitarist for Manic Street Preachers
Kristen Pfaff May 26, 1967 June 16, 1994 Drug overdose (heroin) Bass guitarist for Hole and Janitor Joe
Kurt Cobain February 20, 1967 April 5, 1994 c. Suicide by gunshot Founding member, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for Nirvana
Mia Zapata August 25, 1965 July 7, 1993 Murdered Lead singer of the Gits
Dimitar Voev May 21, 1965 September 5, 1992 Cancer Poet, founder of the Bulgarian new wave band New Generation
Chris Austin February 24, 1964 March 16, 1991 Plane crash Country singer and guitarist/fiddle player for Reba McEntire
Pete de Freitas August 2, 1961 June 14, 1989 Traffic collision (motorcycle) Drummer for Echo & the Bunnymen
Jean-Michel Basquiat December 22, 1960 August 12, 1988 Drug overdose (Speedball) Painter and graffiti artist; formed the band Gray
Alexander Bashlachev May 27, 1960 February 17, 1988 Fall from a height, probable suicide Poet, rock musician and songwriter
D. Boon April 1, 1958 December 22, 1985 Traffic collision (van) Guitarist, lead singer of punk band Minutemen
Jacob Miller May 4, 1952 March 23, 1980 Traffic collision (car) Reggae artist and lead singer for Inner Circle
Zenon De Fleur September 9, 1951 March 17, 1979 Traffic collision (car) and subsequent medical complications Guitarist for the Count Bishops
Chris Bell January 12, 1951 December 27, 1978 Traffic collision (car) Singer-songwriter and guitarist of power pop band Big Star and solo
Helmut Köllen March 2, 1950 May 3, 1977 Poisoning (carbon monoxide) Bassist for 1970s prog rock band Triumvirat
Cecilia October 11, 1948 August 2, 1976 Traffic collision (car) Singer
Gary Thain May 15, 1948 December 8, 1975 Drug overdose (heroin) Former bassist of Uriah Heep and the Keef Hartley Band
Pete Ham April 27, 1947 April 24, 1975 Suicide by hanging Keyboardist and guitarist, leader of Badfinger
Dave Alexander June 3, 1947 February 10, 1975 Pulmonary edema Bassist for the Stooges
Wallace “Wally” Yohn January 12, 1947 August 12, 1974 Plane crash Organ player of Chase
Roger Lee Durham February 14, 1946 July 27, 1973 Fell off a horse and died from the injuries Singer and percussionist of Bloodstone
Ron “Pigpen” McKernan September 8, 1945 March 8, 1973 Gastrointestinal hemorrhage Founding member, keyboardist and singer of the Grateful Dead
Leslie Harvey September 13, 1944 May 3, 1972 Electrocution Guitarist for Stone the Crows and brother of Alex Harvey
Linda Jones December 14, 1944 March 14, 1972 Complications from diabetes Soul singer
Jim Morrison December 8, 1943 July 3, 1971 Heart failure Singer, lyricist, and leader of the Doors
Arlester “Dyke” Christian June 13, 1943 March 13, 1971 Murdered Frontman, vocalist and bassist of Dyke and the Blazers
Janis Joplin January 19, 1943 October 4, 1970 Drug overdose (probably heroin) Lead vocalist and songwriter for Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Kozmic Blues Band and Full Tilt Boogie Band
Jimi Hendrix November 27, 1942 September 18, 1970 Asphyxiation Pioneering electric guitarist, singer and songwriter for the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Band of Gypsys
Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson July 4, 1943 September 3, 1970 Drug overdose (barbiturate), possible suicide Leader, singer and primary composer of Canned Heat
Alexandra May 19, 1942 July 31, 1969 Road accident German schlager vocalist
Brian Jones February 28, 1942 July 3, 1969 Drowning (coroner’s report states “death by misadventure”) Rolling Stones founder, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist
Dickie Pride October 21, 1941 March 26, 1969 Drug overdose (sleeping pills) Rock and roll singer
Malcolm Hale May 17, 1941 October 31, 1968 Poisoning (carbon monoxide) Original member and lead guitarist of Spanky and Our Gang
Joe Henderson April 24, 1937 October 24, 1964 Heart attack R&B and gospel singer
Rudy Lewis August 23, 1936 May 20, 1964 Drug overdose Vocalist of the Drifters
Jesse Belvin December 15, 1932 February 6, 1960 Traffic collision (car) R&B singer, pianist and songwriter
Nat Jaffe January 1, 1918 August 5, 1945 Complications from high blood pressure Swing jazz pianist
Robert Johnson May 8, 1911 August 16, 1938 Poisoning (strychnine) Blues singer and musician
Louis Chauvin March 13, 1881 March 26, 1908 Neurosyphilitic sclerosis Ragtime musician
Alexandre Levy November 10, 1864 January 17, 1892 Unknown Composer, pianist and conductor

Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson
One of the two known photos of Robert Johnson. This portrait was taken by the Hooks Bros. Photography Company in Memphis, Tenn., circa 1935.

Robert Johnson, a Delta blues musician, is often considered one of the founding members of the 27 Club. Known for his influential guitar playing and haunting lyrics, Johnson’s music continues to resonate with audiences to this day. His untimely death in 1938 due to strychnine poisoning and pneumonia left a void in the blues community and set the stage for future members of the 27 Club.

On August 16, 1938, just a few months after his 27th birthday, tragedy struck Robert Johnson. While performing at a roadhouse, he made advances toward the wife of the establishment’s owner. In a twist of fate, he drank from an open bottle of whiskey offered to him. Three days later, Johnson succumbed to strychnine poisoning and pneumonia. He was laid to rest in an unmarked grave in Mississippi, leaving behind a musical legacy that continues to resonate.

Brian Jones

Brian Jones, the founding member of The Rolling Stones, met a tragic end in 1969. His death, officially ruled as drowning in his swimming pool, has remained shrouded in mystery and controversy. Jones’ inclusion in the 27 Club further solidified the notion that this age held a peculiar significance for talented individuals in the music industry.

Jones was found dead in the swimming pool of his country home in Sussex, England. The official cause of death was listed as drowning due to misadventure, as he had mixed alcohol and drugs. However, doubts and questions surrounding his death persist to this day, with some speculating foul play. The mysteries surrounding Brian Jones’ demise have added to the enigma of the 27 Club.

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix, an iconic guitarist, and singer-songwriter, revolutionized the world of rock music with his innovative style and electrifying performances. His sudden death in 1970, attributed to a barbiturate overdose, shocked the music community and left a void that could never be filled.

On September 18, 1970, tragedy struck when Hendrix was found unconscious in his London apartment. He had taken a fatal combination of barbiturates and alcohol, leading to his untimely death. The circumstances surrounding his passing remain the subject of speculation, adding to the allure and mystique of the 27 Club.

Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin, known for her powerful and soulful voice, captivated audiences with her raw and emotional performances. Tragically, her life was cut short in 1970 due to a heroin overdose. Joplin’s impact on the music industry and her inclusion in the 27 Club solidified its connection to talented and troubled artists.

On October 4, 1970, Joplin’s life was tragically cut short. She was found dead in her Hollywood hotel room due to a heroin overdose. The news of her passing sent shockwaves through the music world, leaving fans mourning the loss of a true talent.

Jim Morrison

jim morrison
Jim Morrison passes out on stage during a performance in Amsterdam in September 15, 1968.

Jim Morrison, the enigmatic lead singer of The Doors, was one of the most iconic figures of the 1960s counterculture movement. His death in 1971, attributed to heart failure, further contributed to the mystique surrounding the 27 Club and its association with legendary musicians.

While several eyewitnesses, including Marianne Faithfull, claimed that Morrison’s death resulted from an accidental heroin overdose, the absence of an official autopsy report prevented confirmation of these claims.

The legacy of Jim Morrison lives on through his poetic lyrics, charismatic stage presence, and the enduring popularity of The Doors’ music.

Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain, the frontman of Nirvana, became an emblem of the grunge movement in the 1990s. His suicide in 1994 propelled the 27 Club into the mainstream consciousness, leading to increased scrutiny and fascination with the age of 27 and its association with tragedy.

Prior to his suicide, Kurt Cobain had made previous attempts at self-destruction. One such incident occurred when he overdosed on a combination of Rohypnol and champagne. His wife, Courtney Love, had called the police on March 18, 1994, after he locked himself in a room with a gun, once again attempting to end his life.

It was on April 8, three days after his death, that an electrician discovered Kurt Cobain’s lifeless body at his Lake Washington Boulevard home. The circumstances surrounding his passing and his immense impact on the grunge music scene continue to be subjects of fascination and speculation.

Amy Winehouse

amy winehouse
14 year old Amy Winehouse at her home in London, 1997.

Amy Winehouse, a talented and troubled singer-songwriter, joined the 27 Club in 2011. Her struggles with addiction and personal demons were widely publicized, and her death served as a stark reminder of the toll fame can take on one’s life. Winehouse’s inclusion expanded the scope of the 27 Club to include artists from various genres.

On the day of her death, Amy Winehouse’s bodyguard found her unresponsive and immediately called the police. Sadly, she was declared dead at the scene. Her intimate funeral took place on July 26, 2011, at Edgwarebury Lane Cemetery, where her family and close friends bid her a final farewell.

Amy Winehouse struggled with substance abuse throughout her life and openly admitted to using hard drugs like heroin and crack cocaine. Her battle with addiction, along with her unparalleled talent, made her a symbol of both triumph and tragedy.

Kristen Pfaff

Kristen Pfaff, best known as the bassist for the alternative rock band Hole, contributed to the grunge movement with her distinctive playing style. Born on May 26, 1967, in Buffalo, New York, Pfaff’s musical talent and passion were evident in her performances. Tragically, her life was cut short at the age of 27.

On June 16, 1994, Kristen Pfaff died of acute opiate intoxication. Her passing occurred just two months after the death of Kurt Cobain, a close friend and fellow musician. Pfaff’s contributions to the music world were significant, and her loss was deeply felt by those who knew and admired her.

Other Famous Rock Stars in the 27 Club

The 27 Club encompasses several other famous rock stars who left a lasting impact on the music industry. Some of these notable individuals include:

  1. Helmut Köllen (May 3, 1977)
  2. Alexander Bashlachev (February 17, 1988)
  3. Richey Edwards (February 1, 1995)
  4. Chris Bell (December 27, 1978)
  5. Alan Wilson (September 3, 1970)
  6. D. Boon (December 22, 1985)

Each of these musicians contributed their unique talents to the world of rock music and left an enduring legacy.

The Most Famous 27 Club Member Rappers

The 27 Club is not limited to rock musicians alone; it also includes notable rappers who met untimely deaths at the age of 27. These talented individuals left an impact on the rap genre and continue to be remembered for their contributions. Some of the most famous 27 Club member rappers include:

Fredo Santana

Freaky Tah

Davor “Moskri” Bobić

And more…

Fredo Santana: A Promising Rapper’s Demise

Fredo Santana, born Derrick Coleman on July 4, 1990, in Chicago, Illinois, was a rising star in the world of rap. Known for his unique style and powerful lyrics, Santana gained recognition for his contributions to the drill music scene. However, his life was tragically cut short.

On January 19, 2018, Fredo Santana passed away. The cause of his death was a fatal seizure, aggravated by his pre-existing cardiovascular disease and drug-related issues. Santana’s talent and potential were evident, and his loss was deeply felt within the rap community.

Freaky Tah

Freaky Tah, born Raymond Rogers on May 14, 1971, in New York City, was a member of the rap group Lost Boyz. Known for his energetic performances and charismatic personality, Tah made significant contributions to the rap scene in the 1990s. Unfortunately, his life ended in tragedy.

On March 28, 1999, Freaky Tah was fatally shot after leaving a birthday party. His unexpected death shocked the music community and highlighted the violence that can accompany fame and success.

Davor “Moskri” Bobić

Davor “Moskri” Bobić, a prominent member of the rap group Prti BeeGee, left a lasting impact on the Serbian rap scene. Known for his gritty lyrics and unfiltered expression, Bobić’s music resonated with audiences. However, his life came to a tragic end.

On August 25, 2005, Davor “Moskri” Bobić passed away due to a heroin overdose. His raw and authentic approach to rap music continues to inspire aspiring artists in Serbia and beyond.

Who is in the 27 Club recently?

The 27 Club also includes other notable rappers who tragically lost their lives at the age of 27. These individuals left behind a musical legacy that continues to influence the rap genre. Some of the rappers in the 27 Club include:

  • Stretch (November 30, 1995)
  • Fat Pat (February 3, 1998)
  • Shot (September 21, 2017)
  • Murda Killa (July 13, 2020)
  • Walkie (September 30, 2022)
  • Yung Trappa (February 2, 2023)

The members of the 27 Club left an indelible mark on the music industry, and their legacies continue to influence and inspire new generations of musicians. The tragic circumstances surrounding their deaths have fueled speculation and intrigue, turning them into enduring legends.

While the mysteries of the 27 Club may never be fully resolved, their music lives on, reminding us of their immense talent and the price they paid for their art.

The Enduring Legacy of the 27 Club

The 27 Club has become a symbol of the tragic allure and enduring fascination surrounding young talents lost too soon. The club’s origins can be traced back to the untimely deaths of iconic musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones, Jim Morrison, and Janis Joplin, who passed away between 1969 and 1971, all at the age of 27.

The term gained renewed attention following the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994, as fans drew connections between his passing and the earlier deaths of artists like Hendrix. However, the phenomenon reached new heights of public awareness with the death of Amy Winehouse in 2011.

While the club is primarily associated with musicians, it has expanded over time to include other artists from different disciplines, such as actors. Jonathan Brandis, a television actor who passed away at 27 in 2003, was included as a member by Rolling Stone.

In conclusion, the members of the 27 Club left behind a powerful and enduring legacy. Their immense talent, often accompanied by personal struggles and tragic endings, has solidified their status as immortal legends. Their contributions to the arts continue to inspire and captivate audiences worldwide.


What is the 27 Club?

The 27 Club refers to a group of musicians who tragically passed away at the age of 27. This group includes iconic figures such as Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain, and Jim Morrison.

Why is the age of 27 significant in the music industry?

The age of 27 is significant in the music industry because it marks the untimely deaths of several talented musicians who were at the height of their careers. This phenomenon has given rise to the concept of the 27 Club.

How did Amy Winehouse die?

Amy Winehouse died due to accidental alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011. Her struggle with substance abuse and addiction ultimately led to her tragic demise.

What caused Kurt Cobain’s death?

Kurt Cobain’s death was ruled as suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He tragically took his own life on April 5, 1994.

Who are some other famous members of the 27 Club?

Some other famous members of the 27 Club include Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Kristen Pfaff. These musicians also made significant contributions to their respective genres before their untimely deaths.

Led Zeppelin’s Albums in Chronological Order

Prince Albums in Order: Including Discography and Evolution

Leave a Comment