The 27 club

The 27 Club

If you’re popular with music magazines such as ‘NME’, or at least keep up with music news in general, you might be familiar with the term ‘27 club’. If however, you’ve never heard of it or are curious, then you have come to the right place. Or perhaps you have got nothing better to do with your life. That’s fine too.

What is the 27 club?

The 27 Club is a list of popular musicians that have died at the age of 27, each with various different reasons from drug and alcohol abuse, to suicide. 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. There was no pattern to be found among musicians who died at the age of 27. However they did come to the notion that young adult musicians have a higher death rate that the rest of the young adult population. Thus concluding: “Fame may increase the risk of death among musicians, but this risk is not limited to age 27.”

The term became widely known after Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994. There has even been popular conspiracy theories that Kurt had timed his death so he could join this club, but I’ll leave that one with you. The significant age had already gained suspicion of rock fans back in the 70’s when four popular artists had died within 2 years of each other. These artists were Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Brian Jones. After Kurt, the term came together. Further hype kicked off again in 2011, after the passing of Amy Winehouse.


When I look through all the musicians who have died at this age, they’ve become tired of their career. That fame had eaten them up, or they were just no longer enjoying who they were anymore. Either this, or their deaths still remain a mystery today. Even family members and close friends still question the deaths of their friends at such a young age. So it leaves the conclusion, is it really a coincidence? Or is there more to the members of the 27 club that we can comprehend?

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