Pigpen of the Grateful Dead – Rockers Who Died at Age 27
Keyboardist and vocalist Ron “Pigpen” McKernan of the Grateful Dead died at age 27 on March 8, 1973 from internal hemorrhaging caused by excessive drinking.
Pigpen, who apparently earned his nickname, as you might suspect, from a lack of personal hygiene and a generally unkempt approach to life, is credited with pulling the Dead together in the mid-’60s, and served as their first frontman. After touring with the band for years and performing on several of their important early albums, failing health brought on by his addiction forced him to leave the Dead in 1972. Less than a year later, he passed away.