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

The First Lady of Rock’n’Roll was born Janis Lyn Joplin in Port Arthur, Texas. She loved music from an early age but rose to prominence in 1966 as a member of the band Big Brother and the Holding Company. Their debut album, Cheap Thrills was a huge hit. Friction between Joplin and other bandmates soon saw her departing. After a historic performance at a little musical festival known as Woodstock, she released her first solo effort, I Got Dem Ol Kozmic Blues Again Mama! in 1969. With mixed reviews, her second album, Pearl (released a year after her death) proved a huge success.

Always a rebel (well, always as in once she hit puberty and things unraveled a little for her), her hard-partying lifestyle caught up with Joplin on October 4, 1970 when she died of an accidental heroin overdose. Joplin was only 27 years old. The lead single from Pearl was Me and Bobby McGee, written by Kris Kristofferson, a former lover, went to the top of the charts.