Janis

Janis

[jan-is]
Joplin, Janis, 1943-70, American blues-rock singer, b. Port Arthur, Tex. After dropping out of college (1963) and singing folk rock in Texas clubs, she moved (1966) to San Francisco and became lead vocalist of the rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company. The following year the group performed at the Monterey Pop Festival, where the raw intensity of Joplin's voice and stage presence astonished the audience. The band's first major album, Cheap Thrills (1968), which included her iconic performance of "Piece of My Heart," catapulted Joplin to stardom. She left Big Brother in 1968, putting together her own backup group, the Kozmic Blues Band, and scoring a success with a 1969 album. By this time, Joplin was almost as well known for her flamboyant swigging of Southern Comfort, rumored drug use, and unconventional lifestyle as for her gritty, fierce, and sexually charged vocals. She had nearly completed the album Pearl (her nickname) when she died of a heroin overdose. Released in 1971, the record contained such classics as "Mercedes Benz" and "Me and Bobby McGee," her only No. 1 hit. Joplin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.

See memoir by her sister, L. Joplin (1992); biographies by D. Dalton (1971), M. Friedman (rev. ed. 1992, repr. 1999), and A. Echols (1999).

(born Jan. 19, 1943, Port Arthur, Texas, U.S.—died Oct. 4, 1970, Los Angeles, Calif.) U.S. rock and blues singer. Born to a middle-class family, she ran away from home at age 17 and began singing in Austin, Texas, and later in Los Angeles. She joined the band Big Brother and the Holding Company in San Francisco in 1966 and soon became famous for her raw, powerful, emotional blues style. The album Cheap Thrills (1968) contains some of her best-known recordings. After leaving the band, she continued to record hit songs, including “Me and Bobby McGee.” She died from an overdose of heroin at age 27.

Learn more about Joplin, Janis (Lyn) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Jan. 19, 1943, Port Arthur, Texas, U.S.—died Oct. 4, 1970, Los Angeles, Calif.) U.S. rock and blues singer. Born to a middle-class family, she ran away from home at age 17 and began singing in Austin, Texas, and later in Los Angeles. She joined the band Big Brother and the Holding Company in San Francisco in 1966 and soon became famous for her raw, powerful, emotional blues style. The album Cheap Thrills (1968) contains some of her best-known recordings. After leaving the band, she continued to record hit songs, including “Me and Bobby McGee.” She died from an overdose of heroin at age 27.

Learn more about Joplin, Janis (Lyn) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Janis may refer to

  • Janis Joplin (1943-1970), American singer and songwriter
  • Janis Bojars (born 1956), Soviet shot putter
  • Janis Kelly (born 1971), Canadian volleyball player
  • Irving Janis, a social psychologist who pioneered the groupthink theory
  • Jānis, ancient Latvian god, or Jānis, the most popular modern Latvian given name
  • Janis (software), a program by NEA to view nuclear information
  • Janis (film), a 1974 film about Janis Joplin
  • Janis, the name of two different albums by Janis Joplin
  • Elsie Janis (1889-1956), American musical theatre and vaudeville performer
  • Byron Janis (born 1928), American concert pianist. No relation to Conrad Janis.
  • Conrad Janis (born 1928), American actor and jazz musician. No relation to Byron Janis.
  • Janis Ian (born 1951), American songwriter and folksinger.
  • Jaroslav Janiš, Czech auto racing driver

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