"Don't compromise yourself. You're all you've got." - Janis Joplin
Janis Joplin's voice, intensity, and distinctive look positioned her perfectly to become one of the most recognizable icons of the 1960s musical and social revolution.
Born in Port Arthur, Texas, Janis Joplin's early influences included blues singers like Bessie Smith, Odetta, Big Mama Thornton and Leadbelly.
In her school years, she found herself drawn to the beat poet movement . Like most beat poets, most of her friends explored the jazz and folk music, but Janis gravitated toward the blues, and soon becan experimenting with the styles of her early influences.
After college, Janis moved to San Francisco, getting an apartment in the North Beach district (then, the mecca for beat poets - famous for the City Lights Bookstore, Kerouac, and Ginsberg). It was during this time that Janis first started working as a folk singer. Soon she began attracting attention, as the lead singer of the San Francisco band "Big Brother & the Holding Company".
The album "Cheap Thrills" was released in 1968, and it topped the charts for 8 weeks. "Cheap Thrills" featured the hit single "Piece of My Heart" and also included songs "Ball and Chain" and "Turtle Blues". Janis left Big Brother in 1968 going solo and forming a couple backup groups. Janis Joplin lived hard - her excesses of drugs and alcohol are legendary. In 1970 she died of an overdose at the age of 27.
Her brief but magnificent career made Janis Joplin a celebrity, and time has labelled her a legend of rock music. Her albums have gone gold, platinum, and triple-platinum. She is the subject of numerous films and documentaries, and remains one of the brightest stars of the 1960s.