Janis Joplin (1943-1970) was an American singer-songwriter who sang rock, soul, and blues music. She was one of the most successful and widely known rock stars of her generation, noted for her powerful mezzo-soprano vocals and “electric” stage presence.

In 1967, Joplin rose to fame following an appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival, where she was the lead singer of the then little-known San Francisco psychedelic rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company. She also performed at the Woodstock Music and Art Festival (August 1969) and was on the Festival Express (1970) train tour across Canada.

In 1995, Joplin as inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, then in 2005, she received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. She was awarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013.

Mezzo-soprano is a type of classical female singing voice whose vocal range lies between the soprano and the contralto voice types.

The mezzo-soprano’s vocal range usually extends from the A below middle C to the A two octaves above scientific pitch notation. The vocal range of the mezzo-soprano voice have a heavier, darker tone than soprano singers.

She died at the early age of 27 of a heroin overdose and after cremation, her ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean. Her death stunned her fans and shocked the music world, especially when coupled with the death just 16 days earlier of another rock icon, Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970), also at the age of 27.

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