Thirty-one years ago today, Jean-Michel Basquiat passed away of a drug overdose. It was a shock to the art world and although he was well known while he was alive, he is now iconic in his death. Sadly, the Brooklyn native joined what is called The 27 Club — musicians and artists who died at 27.
The 27 Club began with blues guitarist Robert Johnson. He allegedly took his guitar to a crossroads near a Mississippi plantation, and the devil tuned his guitar in exchange for his soul. He was soon known as King of the Delta Blues but in 1938, at the age of 27, Johnson died of strychnine poisoning. See the photo below of Johnson:
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Today is the 108th anniversary of Robert Johnson’s birth 🙏🏽 The greatest lie that’s ever been told is that a man has the right to sell his soul. Give this man some credit on his born day anniversary for a talent that bears fruit for over a century ✨✨✨ . . . #RobertJohnson #DeltaBluesman #BluesMan #MississippiDelta #Hazlehurst #DeltaBlues #HarlemSlimsHeroes
The devil has supposedly carried out the 27 Club curse ever since. While this clearly a pop culture myth, there are a list of people we lost the young age of 27.
The rock star from Seattle captured the hearts of many with his singing as the front-man for the legendary band Nirvana. He sold 25 million albums in the U.S, and over 50 million world-wide. During the last years of his life, Cobain struggled with heroin addiction and depression. He died on April 8, 1994 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
The greatest electric-guitarist of all-time, Jimi Hendrix, still stands to this day as one of the most influential musicians in history. But despite the influence he had on the lives of many with his music, he struggled with an addiction to prescription pills. The night of his death, September 18,1970, it was reported that he took 9 Vesparax pills.
The British born soul singer warmed the hearts of many with her powerful voice and eclectic mix of jazz, soul, and R&B. The singer struggled with drugs and alcohol. She died on July 23, 2011 of alcohol poisoning.
Basquiat was an American artist who lives on in the memories of many from the hip-hop world to the high-art world. Basquiat died of a heroin overdose in 1988. He made his name in New York City with his neo-expressionism paintings.
Many consider Janis Joplin to be one of the first blue-eyed soul singers. She was known as the “Queen of Psychedelic Soul.” Joplin used heroin and died October 4, 1970.
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Sexy lizard 🖤 #LizardKing #Lizard #King #JimMorrison #Jim #Morrison #TheDoors #LightMyFire #Handsome #Hot #Leather #BornForTheStage #Rock #RockNRoll #Stage #Microphone #60s #60sRock #Psychedelic60s #27 #27Club #The27Club #GoneTooSoon #RestInPeace #Controversy #Scandalous #PeopleAreStrange
He was the frontman of the 1960s rock band the Doors, which was known for songs like “Light My Fire” and “Break On Through.” He died of heart failure in Paris, France on July 3, 1971.
Rest in peace.