From 1969 to 1971, the music industry lost six 27-year-old superstars. No one connected their deaths until addictions Club 27 gained another young musician in 1994. To date, dozens of talented individuals have died before their prime, including 25 stars who succumbed from the effects of substance abuse. Can you name these musicians/actors who died from substance abuse at the age of 27?
1. Louis Chavin
- The prolific ragtime musician, rumored to have an opium and alcohol addiction, died from syphilis on March 26, 1908.
2. Robert Johnson
- He was a Blues singer, musician, and influential recording artist who died on August 16, 1938 from unknown causes that resembled strychnine poisoning, but could have been caused by poisoned liquor.
3. Rudy Lewis
- The Drifters vocalist died May 20, 1964 from a drug overdose.
4. Malcolm Hale
- Spanky and Our Gang’s lead guitarist and original member drank himself to sleep and died from carbon monoxide poisoning on October 31, 1968.
5. Dickie Pride
- The rock and roll singer died on March 26, 1969 from a sleeping pills overdose.
6. Brian Jones
- The guitarist and multi-instrumentalist founded the Rolling Stones and drowned on July 3, 1969 with an enlarged heart and liver caused by substance abuse.
7. Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson
- Canned Heat primary composer, leader, and singer died from a barbiturate overdose and possible suicide on September 3, 1970.
8. Jimi Hendrix
- The electric guitar pioneer and singer-songwriter for Band of Gypsys and The Jimi Hendrix Experience died on September 18, 1970 from asphyxiation after mixing sleeping pills and red wine.
9. Janis Joplin
- Songwriter and lead vocalist for Big Brother and the Holding Company, Full Tilt Boogie Band and the Kozmic Blues Band died from a heroin overdose on October 4, 1970.
10. Jim Morrison
- The Doors leader, singer and lyricist died on July 3, 1971 from reported heart failure.
11. Ron “Pigpen” McKernan
- The Grateful Dead’s founding member, singer and keyboardist died on March 8, 1973 from gastrointestinal hemorrhage caused by alcohol-induced cirrhosis or Crohn’s disease.
12. Dave Alexander
- The Stooges bassist died on February 10, 1975 from pulmonary edema brought on by excessive drinking.
13. Pete Ham
- With a blood alcohol concentration of 0.27 percent, Badfinger’s guitarist and keyboardist hung himself on April 24, 1975.
14. Gary Thain
- The Keef Hartley Band and Uriah Heep bassist died from a heroin overdose on December 8, 1975.
15. Alexander Bashlachev
- The alcoholic rock musician, poet, and songwriter died from a possible suicide on February 17, 1988 when he fell out of a window.
16. Sean Patrick McCabe
- The lead singer of Ink & Dagger died on August 20, 2000 after asphyxiation because he drank too much.
17. Jean-Michel Basquiat
- He painted, was a graffiti artist, and assembled the band Gray before dying on August 12, 1988 from a speedball overdose.
18. Pete de Freitas
- After previous accidents while under the influence of numerous drugs, the drummer for The Sex Gods and Echo and the Bunnymen died in a car crash on June 14, 1989.
19. Kurt Cobain
- The founding member, songwriter, lead singer and guitarist for Nirvana died on April 5, 1994 from a suicide gunshot wound, and he had heroin in his system.
20. Kristen Pfaff
- The bass guitarist for Janitor Joe and Hole died from a heroin overdose on June 16, 1994.
21. Jeromy Michael Ward
- The sound manipulator for De Facto and The Mars Volta died from a heroin overdose on May 25, 2003.
22. Jonathan Gregory Brandis
- The American actor, screenwriter, and director drank heavily and committed suicide on November 12, 2003.
23. Bryan Ottoson
- The guitarist for American Head Charge died on April 19, 2005 from a prescription drug overdose.
24. Valentín Elizalde
- The Mexican banda singer, caught in crossfire between dueling drug lords, was murdered on November 26, 2006.
25. Amy Winehouse
- The singer-songwriter died from alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011.
Before they were finished making their mark on the world, these 25 artists died from the effects of substance abuse. Don’t suffer the same fate. If you or someone you love struggles with a drug addiction or alcohol addiction, I encourage you to seek help today. Improve your chances of living a long and healthy life as you share your remarkable talents with the world.
Give Morningside Recovery a call at (855) 631-2135 today for more assistance.
By Angela Lambert
Photo by: perishparish (Flickr)