Janis Joplin (1943–1970) was one of the most popular and influential female singers to emerge from the West Coast "counterculture" that thrived in the mid- to late-1960s. Her amazing stage and recording presence absolutely transcended regional boundaries. Her trademark raucous performing presence, combined with the raw emotion conveyed in her bluesy singing style and her unconventional but trend-setting and completely unique taste in fashion, captivated a national audience who sensed both her toughness and vulnerability and, in turn, embraced her without condition. Joplin, who was wholly given to emotional excess and totally susceptible to unhealthy indulgence, passed away at the height of her fame.
Joplin sang her own style of the blues that was unlike anything that had come before her. Yet in the very short time that her career spans - 1966 to 1970 - she managed to carve out her own unique piece of music history, one that was truly her own.
Janis Joplin was born in Port Arthur, Texas in 1943. Always an outsider she thrived reading about the Beatniks and Jack Kerouac. Living life to the beat of her own drum she began wearing what she wanted and listening to blues greats Bessie Smith and Leadbelly with the few friends that she did have.
By the early 1960s, having had enough of Port Arthur, Joplin made her way to the San Francisco's music and hippie scene. At the June 1967 Monterey Pop Festival she captured national attention with a stunning blues performance of “Ball and Chain.” From that point on, she became a national sensation, and the rest, as they say, is rock and roll history.