The 27 Club

October 27, 2020

The 27 Club is a list of young, well-known musicians, actors and athletes that have passed away at the age of 27. The 27 Club has existed before it was given a label; the list began in 1938 starting with musician Robert Johnson, to recent musician Amy Winehouse, who died in 2011 of alcohol poisoning. April 5th, 1994 was the day Kurt Cobain, Nirvana’s frontman, killed himself. This affected many supporters and brought the 27 Club to the spotlight. This group of mysteriously deceased celebrities has been referred to as The 27 curse or Forever 27 club. There is no certain data to prove being 27 years old enhances the risk of death, the 27 Club and curse is likely to be a creepy coincidence. For the curse to be real, statistics would need to increase with the age of 27. 


Sadly, many talented individuals have passed away at a young age. Most were due to unnatural causes that varied in violence, poisoning, drugs and alcohol abuse. Robert Johnson was a gifted American Blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He had passed away on August 13th, 1938, Johnson was intentionally poisoned. Legends and tales say Robert Johnson had no musical talent, so he sold his soul to the devil for skill and mastery of guitar in return. Johnson’s grandson, Steven Johnson, said in an interview,

“I suggest that people step outside of the myth and try to understand the talent.”

Before Kurt Cobain committed suicide, he had struggled with depression and drug addiction. Cobain told his wife, Courtney Love, that he wanted to quit Nirvana to work with Michael Stipe, an alternative rock performer in the band, R.E.M. (Rapid Eye Movement).


Countless conspiracies connect to fame, theories say famous people sell their souls to the devil for a career. In return, they get a simple, temporary path to success. The industry has promoted unhealthy habits, causing artists to put contract demands before other necessities. Record deal managements have received millions of dollars while the musicians get a small portion of the money. Artists can easily become trapped in a contract for years; this causes celebrities to fight for independence and happiness. Sophomore Joshua Sindelar expressed his opinion,

“It’s horrible. It proves that the industry doesn’t care about anything but money.”

The legend of the White Lighter Curse began with its connection to the 27 Club. White lighters are a symbol of bad luck in similar ways people view shattered mirrors, Friday the 13th, ouija boards and 666 as things to avoid. 27 Club members Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison all passed away with a white lighter in their pocket.


Musicians, actors and other influencers struggle to maintain their personal life when mental health is being interfered with. It takes effort to maintain a quality image that goes with a contract. Mac Miller is an artist that never wanted to join the 27 Club. In his song “Brand Name” he rapped,

“I’m hoping not to join the 27 Club.”

He passed away four months before his 27th birthday of an accidental overdose. Miller is an example of how artists struggle to keep up with a healthy life no matter the fame and success. Famous people may appear to be living the perfect dream life, but in reality, it is all an illusion. Everyone hides their tears beneath happy smiles whether it is public or private.

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