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Famous and dead at 27. Celebrities that died at 27

By Edited Mar 1, 2014 3 9

Celebrities that died at 27 years have their own elite club

Not a club I would wish to be in, and I bet some celebrities have a bad thought or two about hitting 27. It is almost like a bad curse for celebrities. Such a young age to go, but we can see why it sometimes happens. Celebrities that have talent are usually deeply troubled by life, if they were not troubled they would probably not be celebrities.

There are many reasons why these celebrities died, not all of them by the way they lived, and all very very untimely,leaving many loved family and fans grieving for them for decades. Some of these celebrities having fans that were not even born when that celebrity died. That does leave one wondering if that untimely death makes an idol or martyr out of them, and are they as good as their post death reputation?

It started much further back than the last few decades though. So let's take a look at who made it in to the club and why.

Alexandre Levy

Alexandre Levy may be very unknown to most, but he is the first musician on our list of dead Celebrities to die at 27. He was a Brazilian Pianist, composer and also a conductor. His cause of death was unknown, but he does not seem to have exactly fitted the "rock and roll" lifestyle that evidently took some others on our list down.

He died on January 17, 1892.


Alexandre Levy, a Brazilian composer

Louis Chauvin

Another gifted pianist and composer, a member of the  American Ragtime. He died from neurosyphilitic sclerosis on March 26, 1908. With a cause of death such as it were, Louis may not have been an angel, as Syphilis is sexually transmitted. Is he the first of our 27 club to die because of the way he lived?

Louis Chauvin

Robert Johnson

Singer, songwriter and guitar player, Robert Johnson was in the genre of Blues. He sadly died from being given a bottle of whiskey that had been laced with strychnine, he died on August 16, 1938. Probably murdered by a jealous husband. 

Robert Johnson, 4th member of the 27Club.

Nat Jaffe

Nat was a swing Jazz musician that played with many people, including the likes of Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday.He was trained in the are of the piano in Berlin, returning to the US in 1932. He unfortunately died on August 5, 1945, due to complications of High blood pressure.

Nat Jaffe, number 5 on the club27 list

Jesse Lorenzo Belvin

Jesse was and R&B siner, the original Rhythm and Blues, not the modern R&B.He was a singer, songwriter and pianist. Unfortunately he made the club 27 by dying in a head on collision, with his wife in the car, who also died. They both died on February 6, 1960.


Jesse Lorenzo Belvin, R&B singer

Rudy Lewis

If you did not know any of the others, I have some idea that you will probably know this gentleman. Yes, Rudy Lewis, was the member of The Drifters. Rudy is definitely a member of club 27, but how he belongs there has a big question mark over it. Quite a few would say that he died of a drug overdose, but people who knew him think he choked to death, as he was a binge eater. He joined the club 27 on May 20, 1964.

Rudy Lewis, from the Drifters

It has taken 72 years to collect the first 6  on our club27 list, but for some reason the pace is set a little higher for our next group of celebrity unfortunates.

Malcolm Hale

Member of Spanky and Our Gang, Malcolm Hale hardly died very rock and roll either. Well, he knew no different, he went to bed completely drunk and was found dead. He had not died from the drink however, but from carbon monoxide poisoning from a heater. He joined the club27 on October 31, 1968.


Malcolm Hale,from Spanky and Our Gang

Dickie Pride

This time we move over to the UK for the next member of club27. Dickie Pride was born Richard Charles Kneller, and was a British rock and roll singer, who caught his break thanks to another performer, pianist Russ Conway. Russ Conway recommended Dickie to Larry Parnes, who signed him up straight away, he was 16 years old. He was found dead on 26 March 1969.

Dickie Pride Rock and Roll star

Lewis Brian Hopkins Jones

One of the leading, original members of the Rolling stones. He ended up with a major drug abuse problem and found dead in his own swimming pool, less than a month from leaving the Rolling Stones. Was he a fool or what? Or was it the rejected feelings of a man who was once the lead of a band, who became shoved out by Mick Jagger?  If only he knew how valuable a life as a Rolling stones member was going to be.Maybe it was all out of his control and he looked towards drugs because of the injustice of being pushed out of a super band that he should have had the glory for? These thoughts and answers died with Brian Jones, and we will never know. He joined the club 27 on 3 July 1969.

Brian Jones as was from the Rolling Stones

James Marshall "JimiHendrix

If you don't know this name, where have you been, in a cupboard? His birth name was Johnny Allen Hendrix. A singer songwriter, and up to this date in history, THE best guitarist ever. He was also made to join the Army but did not make much of a soldier at all. He was not the type to follow orders and was dismissed after only a year in service.Not much of a loss for the US Army but a great gain to music.

Hendrix died in what seems an unintended accident. He was not drunk or drugged up illegally, but on 18th September 1970, he took 9 of his girlfriends sleeping pills, not realizing that the dosage was only 0.5 or 1 tablet max.

He choked on his own vomit less than an hour after coming home from an evening out with friends.

Jimi Hendrix The best guitarist dead or alive.

Alan "Blind Owl" Christie Wilson

If you have not heard of Al Wilson, I bet you have heard of a band called "Canned Heat". Well Al Wilson was the vocals, guitarist and harmonica player for that American Blues band. He died from a drug overdose on 3rd September 1970. He had attempted suicide twice before but there is still a debate over whether or not it was suicide or drug misuse. Either way the drugs killed him. 

We have Al Wilson to thank for the song " On the road again", as well as many others. He also starred in the film "Woodstock".

Alan " Blind owl" Christie Wilson, Canned Heat.

Janis Joplin

If you do not think you have ever heard of this lady then you are very likely too young to even be reading this article in the first place. Janis Joplin was mainly known for her singing and songwriting, she was also a painter though.

Janis was a member of a band called Big Brother and the Holding Company, she is more famously known for her solo career however.

Janis Joplin had played with drugs throughout her grown up life, going good periods with out touching them at all. She fell under the beast's spell when she was found dead from a heroin overdose on 4th October 1970. There was only 16 days between the death of this big icon, and the other big icon of the time, Jimi Hendrix.

The beautiful, famous and tragic Janis Joplin

Arlester "Dyke" Christian

Arlester was born in Buffalo and was the lead in the American funk band Dyke and the Blazers. Arlester Christian was shot dead whilst still heavily in to his band, about to do a tour of England, and sing with Barry White, but he never did, as he joined Club27 by being murdered on March 13, 1971. His alleged murderer was cleared,Clarence Daniels escaped conviction because of evidense of self defense.  His most famous single being "Let a woman be a woman,Let a man be a man", and "funky broadway". 

Arlester "Dyke" Christian





Dec 6, 2011 3:53pm
Strange list, no women on it. They must be more sensible (I am sure you agree lol). You promise more lists so, if i may be so bold, I suggest a certain Amy Winehouse for inclusion in your next 10 x 27. Lest I forget, this is an excellent article!
Dec 6, 2011 4:52pm
Oh the whole list will be in the sequels. I promise to get a move on. Thank you for reading and leaving me such a lovely comment.x
Dec 6, 2011 5:04pm
i'm impressed at how early you went back! fun to read--
Dec 7, 2011 3:52am
Thank you moanasaves, hope you enjoyed it.
Dec 7, 2011 5:05am
Sorry, all these folks died before I was ever born!. But nothing wrong with learning a little bit of history!.
Dec 7, 2011 6:40am
Mosilager, hopefully the next episode will have people that you recognise in it. There are over 40 people in total, so I have chosen to split it into seperate articles.
Dec 15, 2011 2:13pm
Very nice article. There are a few names that I didn't know.
Dec 20, 2011 3:23am
Thank you Aurora. I had to look up some of the older ones, as I am unfamiliar with those. I thoroughly enjoyed reading up for this article.
Dec 29, 2011 9:15am
Interesting list! I didn't realize Hendrix and Joplin were both 27.
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