Janis Lyn Joplin (/ˈdʒɒplɪn/; January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970) was an influential American singer of the 1960s; her raw, powerful and uninhibited singing style, combined with her turbulent and emotional lifestyle, made her one of the biggest female stars in her lifetime. She died of an accidental drug overdose in 1970, aged 27, after releasing three albums. A fourth album, Pearl, was released a little more than three months after her death, reaching number 1 on the charts.
Joplin rose to fame in 1967 during an appearance at Monterey Pop Festival, as the lead singer of the then little-known San Francisco psychedelic rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company. After releasing two albums with the band, she left Big Brother to continue as a solo artist with her own backing groups, first the Kozmic Blues Band and then the Full Tilt Boogie Band. She appeared at the Woodstock festival and the Festival Express train tour. Five singles by Joplin went into the Billboard Top 100, including "Me and Bobby McGee", which reached number 1 in March 1971. Her most popular songs include: "Piece of My Heart"; "Cry Baby"; "Down on Me"; "Ball 'n' Chain"; "Summertime"; and "Mercedes Benz", the final song she recorded.
Joplin, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, was well known for her performing ability. Audiences and critics alike referred to her stage presence as "electric". Rolling Stone ranked Joplin number 46 on its 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and number 28 on its 2008 list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. She remains one of the top-selling musicians in the United States, with Recording Industry Association of America certifications of 15.5 million albums sold in the USA.