Janis Joplin’s star burned brightly but briefly. From the time she first caught the public’s attention as the lead singer of Big Brother and the Holding Company in the mid-60s, it was obvious that she would become an icon. Big Brother was a mainstay of the emerging San Francisco rock scene that included the Jefferson Airplane, Country Joe and the Fish, the Grateful Dead and many other young bands knocking at fame’s door, but Janis stood out because her powerful, uninhibited version of the blues and R&B was unique, compelling and popular across genres and categories. Her star turns at the Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock made her a household name among young people all over the world. When like Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison she died at the age of 27, she left a void no other performer could fill. She wasn’t inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame until 1995, but it was clear from the beginning of her career that she belonged there.
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