Amy Winehouese joins inconic stars who died aged 27


The death of singer Amy Winehouse, after her long battle with drink and drugs, means the Londoner joins a significant number of troubled musicians to die at the age of 27. The list of stars who have died at this early stage in their life covers a range of eras and styles but one thing they have in common is that they had a huge influence on music during their short careers. The ultimate rock ‘n’ roll expression “live fast, die young” – which actually dates from the 1949 Humphrey Bogart movie “Knock On Any Door” – is often quoted in the cases of six other musicians who left their fans wanting more at the age of 27.
Brian Jones (1942-1969)
One of the founding members of The Rolling Stones, he was best known for his guitar and harmonica playing in the band. He had also initially doubled up as the business manager of the group – earning more than the other members. But when Andrew Loog Oldham was appointed as manager, Jones became renowned as much for his heavy drug use as for his musical contribution to the band. When in June 1969, the other members decided that they needed a reliable lead guitarist for their upcoming tour, the 27-year-old was replaced in the band by Mick Taylor. Less than a month later, the star was found dead in the swimming pool at his home at Cotchford Farm, in Hartfield, Sussex. A coroner ruled his death was caused by “misadventure” and also noted that Jones’s liver and heart were heavily enlarged by drug and alcohol abuse. A film, Stoned, released in 2005, claimed Jones was killed by his builder, Frank Thorogood, to whom he owed money. Mr Thorogood was also said to have made a deathbed confession in 1993. But despite a police review of the case, no further action was taken.
Janis Joplin (1943-1970)
At the height of her career, the singer was known as the Queen of Rock and Roll and the Queen of Psychedelic Soul. Joplin’s body was discovered by her road manager John Cooke at the Landmark Motor Hotel in Los Angeles. The singer had a heavy addiction to heroin and it was claimed she would inject up to $200 worth of the drug per day. It was the drug that eventually killed her, according to the official coroner’s report. Cooke has always maintained that Joplin died from a dose of heroin stronger than normal, as several of her dealer’s other customers also overdosed that week.
Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970)
Widely regarded as one of the greatest electric guitarists in musical history, Hendrix was also well known for his sense of style. The official post-mortem examination report stated that he had choked on his own vomit. In 2009, Animals roadie James Wright – also known as Tappy – wrote a book claiming Hendrix has been murdered. He suggested that Hendrix’s manager Mike Jeffery had admitted that the star had been killed because he had wanted to end his management contract. But Mr Jeffery’s assistant manager later said the story was made up to boost sales of the book.
Jim Morrison (1943-1971)
The Doors frontman, who would often improvise poems while on stage, was found dead in a bathtub in a Paris flat. No official post-mortem examination was carried out because the medic who was called to the scene claimed there was no evidence of foul play and ruled that heart failure was the cause of death. Since then, much has been written about his death with friends of the star claiming he died of a drug overdose. Some believed the musician, who suffered from asthma, had been suffering from a respiratory condition which led to him coughing up blood and choking on it.
Kurt Cobain (1967-1994)
The US songwriter was best known as the lead singer in grunge band Nirvana. His heroin addiction and battle with depression was well documented. In 1994 an electrician, who had arrived to install a security system at Cobain’s house, discovered the star’s body. A shotgun was found lying on his chest and the coroner ruled he had died from a gun wound to his head and concluded the death to be a suicide. Conspiracy theories surrounding his death began to surface after a private investigator, employed by Cobain’s wife Courtney Love, suggested it had been murder.
Richey Edwards (1967 – 1995)
Best known for playing with the Welsh rock band the Manic Street Preachers, Edwards went missing in February 1995. He had been due to fly to the US to take part in a promotional tour. A fortnight after his disappearance, his car was discovered at a service station near the Severn Bridge. It was widely believed that he had taken his own life by jumping from the bridge, while many of his friends and family have always insisted he would never have contemplated suicide. Since then there have been reported sightings of him all over the world, but nothing has ever been confirmed. In 2008 he was officially pronounced dead.


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