On October 4th, 1970, 53 years ago today, singer Janis Joplin was found dead at the Landmark Hotel Hollywood after an accidental heroin overdose. Known as “The Queen of Psychedelic Soul” (and as “Pearl” to her friends), Joplin remains one of the top-selling musicians in the United States, with over 18.5 million albums sold, despite the fact that she only released three albums before her untimely death earned her entry into the Forever 27 Club. Her posthumous fourth album, Pearl, was released three months after her passing. Both Pearl and its cover version of Kris Kristofferson-penned “Me And Bobby McGee” reached number 1 on the charts.

Joplin’s brief but spectacular career made an indelible mark on the music of her era and beyond. The Mamas & the Papas‘ song “Pearl” (1971), from their People Like Us album, was a tribute. Likewise, Leonard Cohen‘s song, “Chelsea Hotel #2” (1974), is about Joplin, and the Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter classic “Bird Song” from Garcia’s first solo album is about Joplin and the end of her suffering through death.

On the 53rd anniversary of Joplin’s death today, we take a look back at some of her most memorable live performances:

Big Brother and the Holding Company – KQED TV, San Francisco – 4/25/67

[Video: Janis Joplin on MV]

Janis Joplin – “Piece Of My Heart” – Germany – 1968

[Video: ender cañizalez]

Janis Joplin – “Work Me Lord” – Woodstock Music & Art Fair – 1969

[Video: Priscila Uirá de Souza]

With one of the most powerful and unique voices in the history of rock and roll, Joplin’s untimely death was truly a tragedy. Rest in peace to the Queen of Psychedelic Soul.

[Originally published 10/4/16]