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Dave White

The music of Janis Joplin

By January 10, 2013

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Janis Joplin in 1969

I'm still not used to it. A classic rock artist who died young who, if they hadn't died, would be turning 70. Lennon. Zappa. Hendrix. And now, Joplin. I can't help trying to imagine what they would look like, what more would they have accomplished, whether they would still be performing.

Janis Lyn Joplin was born on January 19, 1943 and had a tragically brief, but remarkable career. The pressures of her career, combined with her drug addiction, led to her death of a heroin overdose in 1970, at the age of 27. She had recorded four studio albums, and several live performances which have been released since her death.

As her career progressed, so did her insecurities, her fears, and her addiction. If you know they were there, you can see and hear them reflected in her music between 1967 when her first album was released, and 1971 when her last one came out a few months after she died.

We'll never know what might have been. But as you watch and listen, you can't help but wonder.

Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images

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