ByMarlon McDonald, writer at
Umm... are you going to drink that Skooma?
Marlon McDonald

There have been a multitude of talented and wonderful celebrities that have been taken from, or have chosen to leave the planet far too early. But what is the deal with 'The 27 Club,' and why does it have so many members?!

If you're not sure of what The 27 Club is, it refers to a term used to group young celebrities that all died at the tender age of 27, usually from overdoses, suicide and some via more violent means.

The creepiest fact of this list is that Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Alan Wilson and Jimi Hendrix all passed within a few years of each other!

Come, have a look for yourself:

Notable Members of the 27 Club

1. Robert Johnson (May 8, 1911 – August 16, 1938)

Cause of death: Poisoning

Blues pioneer Robert Johnson's death has been heavily disputed for decades now, but the main blame lies upon the supposed actions of a jealous husband. Johnson was reportedly dancing with a married woman, and was handed a bottle of whiskey marred with strychnine, which later went on to kill the legend very slowly.

2. Rudy Lewis (August 23, 1936 – May 20, 1964)

Cause of death: Drug overdose

The Drifters lead vocalist Rudy Lewis was found dead in his Harlem hotel room from a suspected overdose, the night before he and his band were meant to record their single "Under The Boardwalk." Although no autopsy was carried out, he was suspected to have died from an overdose, heart attack and asphyxiation.

3. Brian Jones (28 February 1942 – 3 July 1969)

Cause of death: Drowning

One of the founding members of The Rolling Stones, Jones was found in dead in his pool by his Swedish girlfriend Anna Wohlin. Even though she was convinced that Jones still had a pulse after he was removed from the pool, the emergency services were, unfortunately, too late.

4. Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson (July 4, 1943 – September 3, 1970)

Cause of death: Drug overdose

The leader, main composer and co-founder of Canned Heat, was found behind the house of his band mate Bob "The Bear" Hite. The ridiculously talented blues musician died from an accidental acute barbiturate intoxication, a few months after attempting to commit suicide by driving off a freeway in Los Angeles.

5. Jimi Hendrix (November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970)

Cause of death: Asphyxiation

Details of the legendary axeman's death are incredibly varied and disputed, but the common notion is that Hendrix ascended back to the mothership after aspirating on his own vomit and choking, whilst intoxicated with barbiturates.

6. Janis Joplin (January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970)

Cause of death: Drug overdose

After Joplin failed to show for a recording session, road manager John Cooke drove to her hotel room and found her lying dead beside the bed. The official cause of death was said to be a heroin overdose mixed with alcohol.

7. Jim Morrison (December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971)

Cause of death: Alleged drug overdose

The Doors lead singer was found dead in a bathtub in a Parisian hotel after a supposed heroin overdose. Another rather heavily debated death, due to French law no autopsy was carried out due to the authorities stating that there was no evidence of foul play.

8. Ron “Pigpen” McKernan (September 8, 1945 – March 8, 1973)

Cause of death: Gastrointestinal hemorrhage

One of the founding members of The Grateful Dead, McKernan was found dead in his home in California. In 1971, he was hospitalized for congenital biliary cirrhosis and was told to stop touring for good. Which didn't last long, as his last performance was at the Hollywood Bowl in 1972.

9. Dave Alexander (June 3, 1947 – February 10, 1975)

Cause of death: Pulmonary edema

The original bassist for The Stooges, Alexander died of a pulmonary edema after being hospitalized for pancreatitis, which was directly linked to his drinking.

10. D. Boon (April 1, 1958 – December 22, 1985)

Cause of death: Traffic collision

The guitarist and vocalist of The Minutemen, D. Boon died after being thrown from the back of a van after it veered from a road in the Arizona desert.

11. Jean-Michel Basquiat (December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988)

Cause of death: Drug overdose

The seminal and brilliant Basquiat became reclusive after the death of his friend and mentor Andy Warhol. His heroin usage, as well as his depression were out of control. Eventually he passed from an overdose at his art studio in Manhattan.

12. Kurt Cobain (February 20, 1967 – April 5, 1994)

Cause of death: Suicide by gunshot

The legendary singer-songwriter was growing increasingly uncomfortable with his moniker "spokesman of a generation," so after a few botched suicide attempts and an intervention from family, friends and record execs, Cobain escaped the institution and was found dead by an electrician, after shooting himself in the head with a shotgun.

13. Jeremy Michael Ward (May 5, 1976 – May 25, 2003)

Cause of death: Drug overdose

The talented artist, sound technician and guitarist for The Mars Volta, was found dead of an heroin overdose in his Los Angeles home by his roommate. He died a month after TMV's inaugural album De-Loused in the Comatorium was released.

14. Jonathan Brandis (April 13, 1976 – November 12, 2003)

Cause of death: Suicide by hanging

The former child model, famous for his role as teen heart-throb Lucas Wolenczak in seaQuest DSV, died from injuries sustained from hanging. He was said to have become increasingly depressed over the state of his career. He left no note.

Here's a clip of Brandis in action:

15. Amy Winehouse (14 September 1983 – 23 July 2011)

Cause of death: Alcohol poisoning

The iconic and wonderful British singer-songwriter was found dead from alcohol poisoning by her bodyguard, who had earlier found her relaxing and watching TV. Her blood alcohol content was said to be five times over the driving limit (416 mg per 100ml).

She is to be the subject of a documentary called Amy, which will be released in theaters this July. Here's its fantastic trailer:

(Sources: Wiki, Listverse)


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