The 27 club is the unofficial name given to describe the phenomenon of famous musicians that die at the age of 27. Notable members of the group include Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Janis Jopling, Jim Morrison and Amy Winehouse alongside many other well known musicians. Almost all of the deaths associated with the 27 club where as a result of drug and alcohol abuse, and each individual case also tends to be surrounded with conspiracy.
If we first consider the cluster of musician deaths between the years of 1970-1971. Jimi Hendrix (1970), passed away after choking on his own vomit, a consequence of his heavy drinking combined with sleeping tablets. Janis Jopling, also passing away in 1970, died due to a fatal combination of heroin and alcohol, whilst Jim Morrison (1971) suffered heart failure due to alleged heroin use, although there is no autopsy report to confirm this. This cluster of rock musicians all passing away within the same year and at the same age, is often highlighted as just one of the strange coincidences that coincides with the idea of the 27 club. 23 years following, musician Kurt Cobain took his own life by shotgun to the head after consuming an almost fatal dosage of heroin. Once again, his death was surrounded by sketchy details and suspicion, with zero witnesses. More recently in 2011, Amy Winehouse was found dead in her flat, after excessive consumption of alcohol. Heartbreakingly if not eerily, several years prior to her death, Winehouse expressed in an interview that she had a fear of dying at the age of 27, like many of the musicians she had been inspired by in her own career.
So what makes 27 such an unlucky number for young musicians? Here are some of the conspiracy theories. The first is based on astrology. Astrologers believe that every 29.4 years in our lives, the planet Saturn returns to the same position it was at during the time of your birth. This movement of the planet signals a new transitory period of your life, which apparently begins at the age of 27. The Illuminati or satanism is another proposed theory to explain the 27 club. Some people believe that musicians may make a deal with the Devil in their quest to become rich and famous, a deal which will expire on their 27th birthday. On the other hand many health professionals point to drug use and its subsequent effects on the body as the cause of these deaths. People who find fame early on in their life, usually in their late teens, are more likely to become involved with drugs and heavy alcohol consumption, and this continues into their twenties where they tend to reach the height of their success in the music industry. By their late 20’s however, frequent drug users have built up a tolerance to drugs and therefore have to consume more to get the same quick out of them. Of course, increasing the amount of drug usage also increases the risk of an overdose and potential death.
What do you think about the 27 club?