Born: 19 January 1943
Died: 4 October 1970 (drug overdose)
Birthplace: Port Arthur, Texas
Best known as: 1960s blues/rock singer of "Me and Bobby McGee"
Janis Joplin was a middle-class white girl who sang the blues with the San Francisco band Big Brother and The Holding Company. A local sensation, they became nationally famous after their performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival (organized by John Phillips). In 1968 they had a hit with "Piece Of My Heart." Joplin died of a heroin overdose in a Los Angeles hotel in 1970, two weeks after the death of fellow rock star Jimi Hendrix. In 1971 her posthumous album Pearl, featuring a new backup band, had a number one hit with "Me And Bobby McGee." She lived fast and died young, an American icon and souvenir of the 1960s.
Extra credit: The 1979 film The Rose starred Bette Midler as a character based on Joplin.
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