27 Club

The 27 Club includes popular musicians, artists, actors, and other celebrities who died at age 27, often as a result of drug and alcohol abuse or violent means such as homicide, suicide, or transportation-related accidents. The “club” has been repeatedly cited in music magazines, journals and the daily press. Several exhibitions have been devoted to the idea, as well as novels, films and stage plays.

The deaths of several 27-year-old popular musicians between 1969 and 1971 led to the belief that deaths are more common at this age. Music biographer Charles R. Cross wrote:

“The number of musicians who died at 27 is truly remarkable by any standard. [Although] humans die regularly at all ages, there is a statistical spike for musicians who die at 27.”

NameDate of birthDate of deathOfficial cause of deathFameAge
Alexandre LevyNovember 10, 1864January 17, 1892UnknownComposer, pianist and conductor27 years, 68 days
Louis ChauvinMarch 13, 1881March 26, 1908Neurosyphilitic sclerosisRagtime musician27 years, 13 days
Rupert BrookeAugust 3, 1887April 23, 1915SepsisPoet27 years, 263 days
Robert JohnsonMay 8, 1911August 16, 1938UnknownBlues singer and musician27 years, 100 days
Nat JaffeJanuary 1, 1918August 5, 1945Complications from high blood pressureSwing jazz pianist27 years, 216 days
Jesse BelvinDecember 15, 1932February 6, 1960Traffic collision (car)R&B singer, pianist and songwriter27 years, 53 days
Rudy LewisAugust 23, 1936May 20, 1964Drug overdoseVocalist of the Drifters27 years, 271 days
Joe HendersonApril 24, 1937October 24, 1964Heart attackR&B and gospel singer27 years, 183 days
Malcolm HaleMay 17, 1941October 30, 1968Poisoning (carbon monoxide)Original member and lead guitarist of Spanky and Our Gang27 years, 166 days
Dickie PrideOctober 21, 1941March 26, 1969Drug overdose (sleeping pills)Rock and roll singer27 years, 156 days
Brian JonesFebruary 28, 1942July 3, 1969Drowned in a swimming pool; coroner’s report states “death by misadventure”[51][52]Rolling Stones founder, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist27 years, 125 days
Alan “Blind Owl” WilsonJuly 4, 1943September 3, 1970Drug overdose (barbiturate)Leader, singer and primary composer of Canned Heat27 years, 61 days
Jimi HendrixNovember 27, 1942September 18, 1970AsphyxiationPioneering electric guitarist, singer and songwriter of the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Band of Gypsys27 years, 295 days
Janis JoplinJanuary 19, 1943October 4, 1970Drug overdose (probably heroin)[55]Lead vocalist and songwriter of Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Kozmic Blues Band and Full Tilt Boogie Band27 years, 258 days
Arlester “Dyke” ChristianJune 13, 1943March 13, 1971MurderedFrontman, vocalist and bassist of Dyke and the Blazers27 years, 273 days
Jim MorrisonDecember 8, 1943July 3, 1971Heart failure[57]Singer, lyricist, and leader of the Doors27 years, 207 days
Leslie HarveySeptember 14, 1944May 3, 1972Electrocution[58]Guitarist in several Scottish bands, most notably Stone the Crows.27 years, 232 days
Ron “Pigpen” McKernanSeptember 8, 1945March 8, 1973Gastrointestinal hemorrhage associated with alcoholismFounding member, keyboardist and singer of the Grateful Dead27 years, 181 days
Roger Lee DurhamFebruary 14, 1946July 27, 1973Fell off a horse and died from the injuriesSinger and percussionist of Bloodstone27 years, 163 days
Pamela CoursonDecember 22, 1946April 25, 1974Heroin overdoseLong-term companion of Jim Morrison and heir to his estate27 years, 124 days
Wallace “Wally” YohnJanuary 12, 1947August 12, 1974Plane crashOrgan player of Chase27 years, 212 days
Dave AlexanderJune 3, 1947February 10, 1975Pulmonary edemaBassist of the Stooges27 years, 252 days
Pete HamApril 27, 1947April 24, 1975Suicide by hangingKeyboardist and guitarist, leader of Badfinger27 years, 362 days
Gary ThainMay 15, 1948December 8, 1975Drug overdose (heroin)Former bassist of Uriah Heep and the Keef Hartley Band27 years, 205 days
CeciliaOctober 11, 1948August 2, 1976Traffic collision (car)Singer27 years, 296 days
Helmut KöllenMarch 2, 1950May 3, 1977Poisoning (carbon monoxide)Bassist of 1970s prog rock band Triumvirat27 years, 62 days
Chris BellJanuary 12, 1951December 27, 1978Traffic collision (car)Singer-songwriter and guitarist of power pop band Big Star and solo27 years, 349 days
Zenon De FleurSeptember 9, 1951March 17, 1979Traffic collision (car) and subsequent medical complicationsGuitarist of the Count Bishops27 years, 189 days
D. BoonApril 1, 1958December 22, 1985Traffic collision (van)Guitarist, lead singer of punk band Minutemen27 years, 266 days
Alexander BashlachevMay 27, 1960February 17, 1988Fall from a height, probable suicidePoet, rock musician and songwriter27 years, 266 days
Amar Singh ChamkilaJuly 21, 1960March 8, 1988MurderedSinger, songwriter, musician, and composer27 years, 231 days
Jean-Michel BasquiatDecember 22, 1960August 12, 1988Drug overdose (Speedball)Painter and graffiti artist; formed the band Gray27 years, 234 days
Pete de FreitasAugust 2, 1961June 14, 1989Traffic collision (motorcycle)Drummer of Echo & the Bunnymen27 years, 316 days
Finbarr DonnellyApril 25, 1962June 18, 1989Drowning accidentSinger of Five Go Down to the Sea?27 years, 50 days
Chris AustinFebruary 24, 1964March 16, 1991Plane crashCountry singer and guitarist/fiddle player for Reba McEntire27 years, 20 days
Dimitar VoevMay 21, 1965September 5, 1992CancerPoet, founder of the Bulgarian new wave band New Generation27 years, 107 days
Mia ZapataAugust 25, 1965July 7, 1993MurderedLead singer of the Gits27 years, 316 days
Kurt CobainFebruary 20, 1967April 5, 1994 c.Suicide by gunshot[68]Founding member, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter of Nirvana27 years, 44 days c.
Kristen PfaffMay 26, 1967June 16, 1994Drug overdose (heroin)Bass guitarist of Hole and Janitor Joe27 years, 21 days
Richey EdwardsDecember 22, 1967February 1, 1995Disappeared near a common suicide site; later presumed deadLyricist and guitarist of Manic Street Preachers27 years, 41 days
StretchApril 8, 1968November 30, 1995MurderedRapper27 years, 236 days
Fat PatDecember 4, 1970February 3, 1998MurderedAmerican rapper and member of Screwed Up Click27 years, 61 days
Freaky TahMay 14, 1971March 28, 1999MurderedAmerican rapper and member of the hip hop group Lost Boyz27 years, 318 days
KamiFebruary 1, 1972June 21, 1999Subarachnoid hemorrhageDrummer of Malice Mizer27 years, 140 days
Rodrigo BuenoMay 24, 1973June 24, 2000Traffic collision (car)Cuarteto singer27 years, 31 days
Sean Patrick McCabeNovember 13, 1972August 28, 2000AsphyxiationLead singer of Ink & Dagger27 years, 289 days
Maria Serrano SerranoNovember 26, 1973November 24, 2001Plane crash (Crossair Flight 3597)Singer of Passion Fruit27 years, 363 days
Rico YanMarch 14, 1975March 29, 2002Acute Hemorrhagic PancreatitisFilipino actor27 years, 15 days
Jonathan BrandisApril 13, 1976November 12, 2003Suicide by hangingAmerican actor27 years, 213 days
Jeremy WardMay 5, 1976May 25, 2003Drug overdose (heroin)The Mars Volta and De Facto sound manipulator27 years, 20 days
Bryan OttosonMarch 18, 1978April 19, 2005Drug overdose (prescription medication)Guitarist of American Head Charge27 years, 32 days
Valentín ElizaldeFebruary 1, 1979November 25, 2006MurderedMexican banda singer27 years, 297 days
Damien “Damo” MorrisMay 22, 1980December 19, 2007Traffic collision (bus)Member of Australian deathcore band the Red Shore27 years, 211 days
Orish GrinsteadJune 2, 1980April 20, 2008Kidney failureFounding member of the R&B group 70227 years, 323 days
Jade GoodyJune 5, 1981March 22, 2009Cervical cancerReality-television personality27 years, 290 days
Dash SnowJuly 27, 1981July 13, 2009Drug overdoseArtist27 years, 351 days
Amy WinehouseSeptember 14, 1983July 23, 2011Alcohol poisoning[76]Singer-songwriter27 years, 312 days
Richard TurnerJuly 30, 1984August 11, 2011Cardiac arrestTrumpet player, collaborator with Friendly Fires27 years, 12 days
Anton YelchinMarch 11, 1989June 19, 2016Accidental blunt traumatic asphyxia[79]Actor, Chekov in the Star Trek reboot series27 years, 100 days
Thomas FeketeJuly 1, 1988May 31, 2016CancerGuitarist of Surfer Blood27 years, 335 days
Kim Jong-hyunApril 8, 1990December 18, 2017Suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning[81]Vocalist and lyricist of Shinee27 years, 254 days
Fredo SantanaJuly 4, 1990January 19, 2018Cardiovascular disease and idiopathic epilepsy[83]American rapper27 years, 199 days
Tyler SkaggsJuly 13, 1991July 1, 2019AsphyxiationAmerican professional baseball starting pitcher27 years, 353 days
Benjamin KeoughOctober 21, 1992July 12, 2020Suicide by gunshotElvis Presley‘s grandson and son of Lisa Marie Presley and brother of Riley Keough27 years, 265 days
Yoo Joo EunMay 3, 1995August 29, 2022SuicideKorean actress27 years, 118 days