The rock world lost Janis Joplin at far too young an age. She succumbed to a drug overdose at the age of 27 on October 4, 1970.
But her talent was so exceptional, and her stage presence was so strikingly powerful, her few short years in the spotlight laid the groundwork for entire generations of singers, male or female, to follow.
One can almost make a legitimate “they don’t make them like that anymore” argument with Janis, whose weathered voice combined with her electrifying live performances to create a show that transcended live music. She is not a rock icon because she lived hard and died young; she is an icon because of what she could do with a microphone and a stage.
These eight clips below lay out some strong evidence that there’s never been another performer quite like Janis. Her many TV appearances, and her legendary performances at Woodstock and the Monterey Pop Festival, cemented her legacy permanently as not just one of rock’s greatest female singers, but one of its greatest singers, period.
Dare you to find another singer whose mere presence electrifies the entire room like Janis does in these videos…
“To Love Somebody” on the Dick Cavett Show in 1969
“Ball and Chain” at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967
“Try” at Woodstock in 1969
“Maybe” on the The Music Scene in 1969
“Little Girl Blue” on This Is Tom Jones in 1969
“Get It While You Can” on the Dick Cavett Show in 1970
“Piece Of My Heart” in Germany in 1969
“Cry Baby” in Canada in 1970
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