Janis Joplin was born in Texas, but she got her start singing with the San Francisco-based Big Brother & the Holding Company. After the success of their 1968 album ‘Cheap Thrills,’ Joplin launched a solo career that produced only two albums before her death at the age of 27 in 1970 of a heroin overdose. But the records she left behind (including the posthumous No. 1, ‘Pearl’) have influenced scores of younger artists. Joplin was a big, bluesy singer whose defining rasp allowed her to push the somewhat basic songs she recorded into fiery new territories. With her solo work, she explored more R&B and country paths, with horns and a backing band as big as her voice.
Born: Jan. 19, 1943
Died: Oct. 4, 1970
Selected Discography: 'Cheap Thrills' (1968), 'I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!' (1969), 'Pearl' (1971)
Janis: Little Girl Blue, the new Janis Joplin documentary helmed by Oscar-nominated director Amy Berg, has started its limited theatrical run, which will be followed by airings on PBS' American Masters series.
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