Updated: July 25, 2011 18:11 IST

Amy Winehouse joins “Club 27”

Hasan Suroor
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Amy Winehouse. File photo
Amy Winehouse. File photo

Named after a group of influential pop music artistes who died at 27

British singer Amy Winehouse, who died here on Saturday at the age of 27 after a long struggle with drug and drink addiction, joins the so-called “Club 27” or “Forever 27” named after a group of influential pop music artistes who died at 27.

Unnatural causes

Most died of unnatural causes such as suicide or were victims of freak accidents including drowning and road accidents. Many, like Ms. Winehouse, succumbed to problems with drugs.

Over the years, a cult has grown around the “Club 27” spawning a series of myths and apocryphal claims. The family of one such artiste claimed that as a kid he often said he wanted to join the “Club 27.” The name of another was added later by some of his friends in order, it is alleged, to “buy him fame.”

There is even a book, The 27s: The Greatest Myth of Rock and Roll, detailing the history of the “27” phenomenon.

Statistical spike

Prominent members of the “Club 27” include Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison and Brian Jones. Hendrix's biographer Charles R. Cross wrote: “The number of musicians who died at 27 is truly remarkable by any standard. Humans die regularly at all ages...there is a statistical spike for musicians who die at 27.”

According to broadcaster Robert Smith, stars who died at 27 “changed the way we look at rock music.”

The family of Amy Winehouse said it had been left “bereft” by her death, as tributes to one of Britain's most flamboyant and promising singers poured in.


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