20 Musicians Who Died At The Age Of 27

Jim Morrison (The Doors)

The iconic frontman for The Doors was found dead in the bathtub of the Paris apartment he shared with his girlfriend, Pamela Courson. No autopsy was performed, leading many to question the circumstances surrounding his death. Courson reportedly claimed Morrison snorted heroin, believing it was cocaine (a tragic mistake immortalized in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction).

Robert Johnson

Some say wandering bluesman Robert Johnson made a deal with the Devil. In exchange for his soul, Johnson would be gifted a breathtaking mastery of the blues. So far, the Prince of Darkness has neither confirmed nor denied this theory. Where Johnson learned to pluck, stomp, and sing with seemingly supernatural skill may never be known. A few grainy photographs and secondhand accounts are the only materials we have to reconstruct the legendary musician’s life. We do know that he died on August 16th, 1938. Speculation about the circumstances of his death abound, with several accounts claiming Johnson was deliberately poisoned.

Pete Ham (Badfinger)

Pete Ham was a founding member of British power pop band Badfinger. In 1975, the band hit a rough patch and Ham became severely despondent. He began to exhibit symptoms of mental illness, such as burning his hands and arms with cigarette butts. He hung himself in his garage on the morning of April 24th, effectively dissolving Badfinger.

Ron “Pigpen” McKernan (The Grateful Dead)

McKernan was the founding member of The Grateful Dead, but much like Brian Jones, took a backseat to the band’s other members. His talents always shone through, however, and he is remembered by Dead Heads for his numerous contributions to the band. In 1973, he was found dead of a gastrointestinal hemorrhage, which may have been the result of chronic alcohol abuse.