Janis Joplin rose to fame quickly as the lead singer of Big Brother and the Holding Company. Her bluesy, powerful voice made a unique pairing with the rock band, and she gained enough success to begin a solo career in December 1968. She performed at Woodstock fourteen months before she died of a heroin overdose. Joplin's success lasted past her death, and her only number one hit happened after she died. Janis Joplin is a rock legend for her music as well as her legacy for being a woman of her time, who desired freedom, equality, and peace.

19 Jan 1943 1
Port Arthur, Texas 1
04 Oct 1970 1

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Personal Details

Full Name:
Janis Lyn Joplin 1
19 Jan 1943 1
Port Arthur, Texas 1
Female 1
04 Oct 1970 1
Cause: Heroin Overdose 1
Mother: Dorothy Joplin 1
Father: Seth Joplin 1
Musician 1
Album "Pearl" released:
27 Feb 1971 2
Debut album by Big Brother and the Holding Company:
12 Aug 1967 2
Debuts with Big Brother and the Holding Company:
11 Jun 1965 2
Headlines the First Annual Tribal Stomp:
01 Feb 1966 2
Janis performs as Woodstock with Kozmic Blues Band:
August 15-17, 1969 2
Joplin debuts a new band, Full-Tilt Boogie:
12 Jun 1970 2
Joplin is found dead in her hotel room:
04 Oct 1970 2
Joplin performs for last time with Big Brother:
07 Dec 1968 2
Joplin’s first solo album is released.:
18 Sep 1969 2
Me and Bobby McGee,” only Top Forty hit reaches #1:
14 Mar 1971 2
Performs at Monterey International Pop Festival:
17 Jun 1967 2
Performs at the Trips Festival:
January 21-23, 1966 2
The album “Cheap Thrills,” is released:
12 Aug 1968 2
‘Janis Joplin’s Greatest Hits’ released:
14 Jul 1973 2

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“[Janis Joplin] perfectly expressed the feelings and yearnings of the girls of the electric generation – to be all woman, yet equal with men; to be free, yet a slave to real love; to [reject] every outdated convention, and yet get back to the basics of life.”--Lillian Roxon

Added by Clio

“It wasn’t only her voice that thrilled, with its amazing range and strength and awesome wails. To see her was to be sucked into a maelstrom of feeling that words can barely suggest.”--Myra Friedman, Biographer

Added by Clio

Janis Joplin & Ronald “Pigpen” McKernan

Janis Joplin Stamp

Groundbreaking singer Janis Joplin (1943-1970), an icon of the 1960s whose bluesy voice propelled her to the pinnacle of rock stardom, appears on this stamp in the Music Icons series.

The artwork for this stamp features a photo of Janis Joplin taken by David Gahr in June 1970. The original black and white photograph is rendered in shades of blue, with Joplin’s trademark round sunglasses tinted a shade of pink. With her wild mane of hair decorated with a feathered accessory, wrists decked out in bangle bracelets, and expressive smile, it’s a joyful image of this iconic singer. The words “Janis Joplin,” along with the “Forever” denomination and “USA” appear in psychedelic-style script reminiscent of the 1960s, in shades of gold, orange, and pink. Daniel Pelavin designed the lettering. Small blue stars pop out from the stamp’s dark blue background. Text below the stamps briefly describes Joplin’s musical legacy.

Joplin broke onto the national music scene with an explosive performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. Known for her rebellious public persona, Joplin roared and wailed her way through uninhibited, soulful performances. Her time at the top, however, was brief. She recorded three hit albums and performed at Woodstock, but in October 1970, just three years after she became a star, she died at the age of 27 of a drug overdose. The album she was recording at the time of her death, Pearl, went on to cement her reputation as one of the greatest rock singers of all time. “Me and Bobby McGee,” written by Kris Kristofferson, became a number one hit.

As the years passed, Joplin’s legacy was increasingly recognized by critics. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. Rolling Stone included Joplin on its list of 100 Greatest Artists. Some of her most popular songs include “Piece of My Heart,” “Ball and Chain,” and “Cry Baby.”


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