What is the 27 club?

Have you heard of the 27 Club? This is one club that you don’t want to join. The 27 Club comprises famous people who died at the young age of 27. Most of the 27 Club members are musicians, but the list also includes actors, comedians, and other performers. There’s just something about that age that seems to have a haunting quality that leads to the untimely passing of these talented people. Of course, drugs or alcohol are often involved when joining the 27 Club. Why is 27 the magic age? Who are the most famous 27 Club members? Read on to learn more.

Brief History of the 27 Club

People started talking about the 27 Club after four famous musicians died at age 27 between 1969 and 1971. All four were talented and renowned musicians – Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison. They all indeed had countless years of fame and fortune ahead of them when they died. 

However, they are not the true first members of the 27 Club. Once the term was coined, people looked back further to find other examples of members. The first member of the 27 Club is considered to be blues musician and songwriter Robert Johnson, who died at age 27 in 1938.

Who is in the 27 Club?

Since the untimely deaths of those listed above, many more famous people have joined the 27 Club. The number of people in the 27 Club is always increasing, and any 27 Club death is noted by the press. Today, there are at least 50 known 27 Club musicians who died at the age of 27, and there are even more famous people in the club from other performance professions.

Not all people in the 27 Club died from drug or alcohol use, though. Some died from suicide, accidents, or other health issues like cancer, epilepsy, kidney failure, or other problems.

Although there are many people on the list of 27 Club members today, some of the most famous continue to be well-known many years after their death. It makes one wonder what they might have achieved had they lived.

Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning at age 27 in 2009. No one is sure what caused Jim Morrison’s death at 27 in 1971, but some believe it was heroin. Artist and musician Jean-Michel Basquiat died at age 27 from a heroin overdose in 1988. Janis Joplin died of a heroin overdose at age 27 in 1970. Jimi Hendrix’s death was likely an overdose of sleeping pills that he took at age 27 in 1970. Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, founding member of The Grateful Dead, died from complications from alcoholism in 1973 at age 27.

These are just a few of the many talented people who lost their lives at age 27 and eternally entered the 27 Club.

Analysis of Commonalities Among the Members

What do all these people have in common? Other than being 27, it’s hard to say. They come from all different backgrounds and ethnicities. It almost seems like becoming a 27 Club member can happen to anyone.

Of course, for the members who died from drug use, it does seem like a rather unsurprising age in some ways. These young people all became famous in a very short time – starting likely not much earlier in most cases than the age of 20. A lot can happen in seven years. People can start using drugs and alcohol in their teens or early twenties and that use can escalate tremendously in a decade or less. Plus, with fame comes large sums of money and temptation – and also stress. All of these factors may have played a part in these 27 Club members’ demise.

For others in the club who did not die of drug or alcohol use or abuse, it may have just been bad luck. A meteoric rise to fame leads to everyone knowing your name by the age of 27, yet a death at that young age is still so tragic that it’s notable and memorable for all. With that in mind, it may just seem to us that the 27 Club is a trend when truly, an equal number of talented people die at all ages.

Addiction and the 27 Club

It seems that addiction plays a part in the 27 Club, at least to some extent. Although there are many people in the 27 Club who died of illnesses or accidents, or suicide, those who died from drugs or alcohol use at such a young age certainly stand out. It seems so tragic to outsiders when they see that these people threw away their young lives and so much talent in exchange for a drink or a drug. If only they had chosen another path – or got help when they needed it most. Sadly, these famous addicts will always be remembered as people who struggled with addiction first and then as talented people second. 

Influence of the 27 Club on Popular Culture

So many stars who died at 27 who were members of the 27 Club have become well known even after their deaths due to the tragic nature of their passing and the fact they died so young. As a result, the concept of the 27 Club has become accepted in popular culture. Amy Winehouse, one of the more recently inducted members of the club, even told her friends that she thought she might end up a member of the 27 Club someday – and she was right.

Unfortunately, many people look at these tragedies simply as the death of an addict and nothing more than that; they dismiss the passing of these talented young people as if they were nothing. On the flip side, some young musicians embrace the “live fast and die young” attitude that led to these untimely deaths. Although musicians and drugs do historically tend to go hand in hand to some extent, it doesn’t have to be that way. We can only imagine what great accomplishments these people may have achieved if they had never begun to use drugs or alcohol, to begin with. Joining the 27 Club should never be anyone’s goal.

If you’re someone who is creative or who seeks fame or is neither of those things, and you have a problem with drugs or alcohol, now is the time to seek help and break free from your addictions. For every member of the 27 Club who died from drug or alcohol use, there are countless others who are in recovery from addiction and who are leading happy, healthy, successful, drug and alcohol-free lives while they continue to perfect their craft. You can do it, too. Call for help today.

At Clear Sky Recovery, we are waiting for your call. At our facility in Cancun, Mexico, you can count on our experienced staff to help you break free from your dependencies on drugs or alcohol or both with the help of our innovative ibogaine treatment. It can help you get to the root of your problem and can thereby help you start fresh and free. Give us a call today. We can’t wait to hear from you.