Janis Joplin – Bio, Death, Facts, Partner, Family, Career, Religion

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Janis Joplin was an American singer and musician who 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 released two albums with the band before she embarked on her solo career with her own backing groups, first the Kozmic Blues Band and then the Full Tilt Boogie Band. Some of her most popular songs include her cover versions of “Piece of My Heart”, “Cry Baby”, “Down on Me”, “Ball and Chain”, “Summertime”, and her original song “Mercedes Benz”, her final recording. Sadly, she dies at 27 on Sunday evening on 4th October 1970 due to heroin overdoses. A second solo album, “Pearl“, was released in January 1971, just over three months after her death. 

What religion was Janis Joplin?

Janis Joplin was born with the full name of Janis Lyn Joplin on January 19, 1943. She was from Port Arthur, Texas, USA. She is the daughter of Seth Ward Joplin, an engineer, and Dorothy Bonita East, a registrar at a business college. She had two younger siblings namely Michael and Laura. The family attended First Christian Church of Port Arthur, a church belonging to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination. She was a follower of Christianity religion. She held American nationality and her ethnicity was American-white. For the last time, she celebrated her 27th birthday on January 19, 1970. 

Joplin began singing blues and folk music with friends at Thomas Jefferson High School. At age 14, puberty kicked in, due to which she became overweight. She also developed deep scars on her skin due to acne. She was often bullied and ostracized in high school. Other kids would often taunt her and call her names like ‘creep,’ ‘pig,’ ‘nigger lover,’ and ‘freak.’ She later said, “I was a misfit. I read, I painted, I thought. I didn’t hate niggers.” She graduated from high school in 1960 and attended Lamar State College of Technology in Beaumont, Texas, during the summer and later the University of Texas at Austin (UT), though she did not complete her college studies. 

American singer and musician, Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin Music Career

  • Janis’s first song, “What Good Can Drinkin’ Do”, was recorded on tape in December 1962 at the home of a fellow University of Texas student.
  • The session of Joplin along with future Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen included seven tracks: “Typewriter Talk”, “Trouble in Mind”, “Kansas City Blues”, “Hesitation Blues”, “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out”, “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy”, and “Long Black Train Blues” which was released long after Joplin’s death as the bootleg album “The Typewriter Tape.”
  • Janis, in 1996, came to huge fame after she joined the psychedelic rock band “Big Brother and the Holding Company.” The band’s debut studio album, “Big Brother & the Holding Company”, was released by Mainstream Records in August 1967. The band signed several deals and she gave several hits, such as “Down on Me,” “Bye Bye Baby,” and “Call on Me” as the lead vocalist. 
  • “Cheap Thrills”, the band’s second album, became an instant hit and topped the charts in the US. Despite her success, she parted ways with the band in 1968 due to their lack of professionalism. On July 31, 1968, Joplin made her first nationwide television appearance when the band performed on This Morning, an ABC daytime 90-minute variety shows that was hosted by Dick Cavett. 
  • She then formed a backup group called the “Kozmic Blues Band.” Later, she also formed her new band, known for a short time as Main Squeeze, then renamed the Full Tilt Boogie Band. Prior to beginning a summer tour with Full Tilt Boogie, she performed in a reunion with Big Brother at the Fillmore West, in San Francisco, on April 4, 1970. 
  • In 1969, her first solo studio album “I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!” was released. 
  • From June 28 to July 4, 1970, during the Festival Express tour, Joplin and Full Tilt Boogie performed alongside Buddy Guy, the Band, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Ten Years After, the Grateful Dead, Delaney & Bonnie, Eric Andersen, and Ian & Sylvia.
  • Her last public performance with the Full Tilt Boogie Band took place on August 12, 1970, at the Harvard Stadium in Boston.
  • On October 1, 1970, she completed her last recording, “Mercedes Benz”, which was recorded in a single take. 
  • Her second and final solo studio album “Pearl” was released in 1971, after her untimely death. The album held on to its number-one spot on the ‘Billboard 200’ for nine weeks and was certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA. 

Did Janis Joplin have a partner?

Janis Joplin was never married but she had been in a relationship with men and women during her lifetime. Her relationships with men included ones with Peter de Blanc, Country Joe McDonald (who wrote the song “Janis” at Joplin’s request), David (George) Niehaus, Kris Kristofferson, and Seth Morgan (from July 1970 until her death, at which time they were allegedly engaged). She also had relationships with women. She met and briefly lived with Jae Whitaker in 1963, a woman whom she had met while playing pool at the bar Gino & Carlo in North Beach.

Her girlfriend, Whitaker broke off their relationship because of Joplin’s hard drug use and sexual relationships with other people. After that, she had an on-again-off-again romantic relationship with Peggy Caserta. They first met in November 1966 when Big Brother performed at a San Francisco venue called The Matrix. Later, they split. Her sexuality was bisexual. 

What caused Janis Joplin’s death?

On October 4, 1970, Joplin was found dead on the floor of her room at the Landmark Motor Hotel by her road manager and close friend John Byrne Cooke. She dies at 27. Alcohol was present in the room. Newspapers reported that no other drugs or paraphernalia were present. It was said that she died due to an overdose of heroin, possibly compounded by alcohol. She was cremated at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park and Mortuary in Los Angeles, and her ashes were scattered from a plane into the Pacific Ocean. 

Music historian Tom Moon wrote that Joplin had “a devastatingly original voice,” music columnist Jon Pareles of The New York Times wrote that Joplin as an artist was “overpowering and deeply vulnerable” and author Megan Terry said that Joplin was the female version of Elvis Presley in her ability to captivate an audience. 

What is Janis Joplin worth?

Janis Joplin was a talented singer-songwriter whose net worth was estimated to have been $250,000 (£219,000) at the time of her death in 1970, roughly $ 1.7 million (£ 1.4 million) today after adjusting for inflation. Her main source of wealth was the music industry and she was making an annual salary in thousands of dollars from her professional career. In 1975 and 1995, The Richest reported Joplin’s earnings to be the same at $750,000 (£659,000) while the sale of some of her personal items has generated millions in more recent years. Her fortune is believed to have grown to $ 5 million (£ 4.3 million) since her death. After a year of her death, ‘The Richest’ calculates her record sales to be $6 million (£ 5.2 million) for her second solo album Pearl which was released three months after she died.

Singer, Janis Joplin Dies At 27

After her death, more albums would be released comprising of live shows and greatest hit compositions, and 1973 became the highest-earning year of her career as her Greatest Hits album reportedly earned $ 10.5 million (£ 9.2 million). It was reported that her iconic vehicle was expected to sell for between $400,000 (£351,000) and $600,000 (£527,000) but instead broke records at the RM Sothebys auction. Likewise, she had painted the car herself, utilizing her artistic talents to depict landscapes, animals, mushrooms, eyeballs, and skull-like faces from bumper to bumper. The sale was, at the time, the highest price for any Porsche 356 at auction, beating the previous record by over $200,000 (£175,000). The Porsche model would usually sell for a top auction price of $341,000 (£299,000).

After her death, Joplin left ownership of the car to her siblings, Michael and Laura Joplin, who reportedly shared the vehicle for 30 years and labored to preserve their sister’s work on the car.  Celebrity Net Worth noted that Joplin’s will directed that her fortune and future royalties would be split with half going to her parents and each of her siblings receiving a quarter. She lived a lavish lifestyle from her earnings. 

How tall was Janis Joplin?

Janis Joplin was a beautiful lady with amazing vocals. She had a height of 5 feet 5 inches and her body weight was 135 lbs or 61 Kg as per her passport. Her hair color was dark brown and her eye color was also dark brown. Her body size was 33-24-35 in (breast-waist-hips). Her body type was slim. 

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