Have you ever heard the saying “only the good die young”? Well, to some degree it is true. Between 1969 and 1971 there were four notable celebrity deaths (which will be touched on in the following list), all of whom passed away at the age of 27. This began what is now known as the “27 club” and since then, many more remarkable talents have been taken away from us at the young age of 27. The following is a list of young, famous, talented 27-year-olds who were taken far too soon.
Death is an inevitable part of living. Whether you are rich or poor, tall or short, fat or skinny, each and every single one of us will eventually die. What we leave behind is our legacy, our friends, our families and the values that we instill in them, which is why it is so important to be true to yourself. When it comes to the deaths of celebrities, there is no doubt that their legacies will be remembered. It is heartbreaking when a talented person passes away, however it is even harder when that person is young. Most of the following celebrities’ deaths involved the use of drugs and alcohol and many of them were dealing with depression and the pressures of fame. However, the world missed out on many more years of talent from these next ten angels.
16. Andrés Escobar Saldarriaga
Andrés Escobar Saldarriaga was a Colombian soccer player who was born in March of 1967. Colombians are known to get very serious when it comes to soccer. In 1994, Saldarriaga scored an own goal during a world cup game. This resulted in the elimination of the Colombian team from the tournament, causing out roar around the country. Saldarriaga was shot and killed outside a bar in a suburb of Medellín, Colombia and many believe it had to do with that game. Humberto Muñoz Castro was convicted of his murder and sentenced to 43 years in jail; however, he was released after serving only 11 years.
15. Richey Edwards
Richey Edwards was a member of the Manic Street Preachers. The guitarist and lyricist went missing when he was 27 in 1995. There is a tremendous amount a mystery surrounding Richey Edwards and his death. Although his body was never found, the world assumed he passed away. Edwards was extremely smart and talented. He is remembered as a good and loyal friend. Since he was 27 the last time he was seen, it is said that he as well passed away at the ripe age of 27. Some believe Edwards is still alive, living under an alias somewhere.
14. Jonathan Brandis
Jonathan Brandis was an American actor, screenwriter and director, who was in The Never Ending Story II. As Brandis’ career slowed down he began to feel the pressures of the entertainment industry weighing on him. In 2003, Brandis hung himself in his Los Angeles apartment. Sadly, Jonathan Brandis did not leave a suicide note. However his friends and family opened up about his depression and loneliness, which was triggered by his lack of work. It was also revealed that Brandis had been suffering with alcoholism and suicidal thoughts. Unfortunately, the support and love from his friends was not enough and he ended his life at 27.
13. Ron “Pigpen” McKernan
Ever heard of the incredibly influential band The Grateful Dead? Well Ron McKernan is known for adding that touch of Blues element to the band. McKernan was a great talent and known as a great friend, but he was also troubled. McKernan had a problem with alcohol abuse, which began when he was only a teenager. In 1970, at the young age of 24 he was diagnosed with liver damage. When he was forced to quit touring, the band sadly went off without him. He passed away in 1973 at the age of 27 from severe cirrhosis of the liver and a gastrointestinal hemorrhage.
12. Brian Jones
Lewis Brian Hopkin Jones was an English guitarist who helped co-found the legendary group The Rolling Stones. Jones was arrested on two count of marijuana possession and was known as an abusive person with extreme mood swings. Apparently Jones took the news of a new guitarist very hard, and when he found out the band was doing a US tour without him he was devastated. Although he put on a happy front, those who knew him knew he was heartbroken about being replaced. Jones was found dead in his pool at the age of 27. The circumstances of his death are still unknown. However, the coroner did notice that his liver and heart were extremely enlarged due to alcohol and drug abuse.
11. Raymond Rogers aka Freaky Tah
For those of you who don’t know who Freaky Tah is, he was an accomplished hip-hop promoter and hype man. Freaky Tah was a member of the Lost Boyz and was influential in the success of the group. Freaky Tah was on the fast track to success and was beginning to make a mark on the industry. On March 28, 1999 Raymond Rogers was shot at a party and died only a few hours later. Loosing Tah was hard for the group and fans felt the loss. The release of their next album was nowhere near as successful as those Freaky Tah was involved with, making it the final album the group ever released.
10. Peter Ham
Peter Ham was born to be famous. The Badfinger member had numerous hits like “Come and Get it” and “No Matter What”. Peter Ham struggled internally about a lot of things including his financial and managerial problems. He felt like there was no way out and could not escape his dark thoughts. His manager who was ignoring him was the final nail in his coffin and Ham hung himself in his home three days shy of his 28th birthday. In his suicide note he stated, “Stan Polly (his manager) is a soulless bastard. I will take him with me.” Ham left behind friends, family and his pregnant girlfriend. He is credited for forging and connecting a link between British rock and roll and American pop music.
9. Steve Olin
Steve Olin was an American baseball player who was a right hand pitcher for the Cleveland Indians from 1989 until 1992. Olin was an extremely talented and well-loved player, which is why his sudden death was so tragic. At the age of 27, Olin was killed in a boating accident in Clermont Florida. The boat he was on struck a pier. The accident lead to the death of two players and left a third seriously injured. The accident happened during his spring training season, leaving the team and the MLB in utter disbelief. To this day the team commemorates this tragedy, never forgetting the two players who lost their lives that day.
8. Andrea Absolonová
For those of you who do not know who Andrea Absolonová was, she was a Czech athlete, model and adult film star. She was a member of the Czech diving team, however injuries lead her to quit. She was then pursued by a photographer to pose for some nude photos which lead her to the adult entertainment industry. Throughout her career she appeared in more than 80 adult films. In 2004 she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma. Sadly this beautiful girl passed away 17 days shy of her 28th birthday, making her part of the group of celebrities who were taken too soon.
7. Jacob Miller
Jacob Miller is known to this day as one of Jamaica’s most distinctive vocalists. His trademark vibrato was used to accent his already incredible performances. He had a close relationship with legendary musician Bob Marley. Miller was extremely young and talented and had been gaining more and more success throughout his last years. Sadly, on March 23 1980, Miller was killed in a car accident in Kingston, Jamaica. One of his sons passed away in the tragic accident as well. Miller’s last album Mixed Up Moods had been recorded before his passing. Jacob Miller’s short life managed to leave an impact on not only the Jamaican music industry but American music as well.
6. Jean-Michel Basquiat
Jean Michel Basquiat is an American who passed away at age 27. He formed a close friendship with the legendary Andy Warhol, which helped put him on the scene in the art world. The pair made numerous pieces of work together and they were known to influence and motivate each other’s creativity. Many of Basquiat’s friends began to worry about his erratic mood swings and extreme drug use as well as his paranoid behavior. Warhol passed away in 1987, and a year later Basquiat followed. Basquiat passed away from a combination of cocaine and heroine also known as “speedballing.” He was found dead in his Manhattan loft, which was also his studio.
5. Janis Joplin
Janis Joplin was a beyond talented singer and songwriter who was known for her incredible performance ability. She had incredible songs such as “Piece of My Heart”, “Bo Diddley”, “Maybe” and “Mercedes Benz”, which ended up being the last thing she recorded before her death. Joplin died of a heroin overdose at the young age of 27. She was found in a Los Angeles motel, which was filled with drugs and booze. The young star was engaged to Seth Morgan at the time. Janis Joplin may have died at a young age but her music is continuing to be loved throughout generations.
4. Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain was known as the spokesman of a generation. He touched numerous people with his music, but he struggled with the fame. In the last years of his life, those close to him began to worry about his drug use and the pressures of society on him. Cobain committed suicide in his Seattle home. A suicide note was found in which he said “I haven’t felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music, along with really writing … for too many years now,” which has now turned into one of the most famous suicide letters of all time. There was a high concentration of heroin and Valium found in his body. Cobain left behind his wife Courtney Love and daughter Frances, as well as all the fans that still adore him.
3. Jim Morrison
Most of you probably know Jim Morrison as the lead singer of The Doors. However, he was much more than that; he was also a songwriter, a poet and film director. The famous musician was found dead in the bathtub of a Paris apartment. According to the laws in Paris, no autopsy was performed because there was no sign of foul play. This left many questioning his death. Some believe Morrison died of a heroin overdose while others believe he must have inhaled cocaine. In August 2014, a woman named Marianne Faithfull came fourth to Mojo Magazine claiming that her dealer boyfriend indirectly killed Morrison. She stated that although it was an accident, the drugs given to him were just too strong.
2. Jimi Hendrix
On September 18, 1970 the world lost one of the most influential and talented guitarists to ever live. Jimi Hendrix passed away at 27 and details of his death have been debated for years. Hendrix spent his final days with his girlfriend, German figure skater Monika Dannemann. She found him that morning unresponsive in her apartment and immediately called for an ambulance. Hendrix was brought to St. Mary Abbot’s Hospital where they attempted to resuscitate him. The attempts were sadly unsuccessful and at 12:45 pm Hendrix was pronounced dead. Post-mortem examinations determined that he aspirated his vomit and died from asphyxiation. There was no evidence of suicide and it is believed that his death was accidental.
1. Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse was said to be the Janis Joplin of our generation. Which is why it is ironic she passed away at 27 as well. The singer was known to battle with drugs – her biggest hit was titled “Rehab”. Winehouse was found dead in her home in London of a drug overdose. Friends and family say that she was past the point of being helped when paramedics showed up to the scene. Two years after her death, her brother came out to the public stating that he believes it was her eating disorder that killed her. Whatever the cause may be, Winehouse was an unbelievable talent who was taken from the world far too soon.