Amy Winehouse And The Sad Story Of The 27s

Amy Winehouse. (Universal)
Amy Winehouse. (Universal)

We lost Amy Winehouse today — another talented, troubled musician who happened to die at age 27. As I write this, Ann Powers is putting together her thoughts on Winehouse for NPR Music, and in the meantime, you can read more about the singer's life and death here.

But when I saw that Winehouse was 27, chills went through my body. What is it about the age of 27? My generation lost Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Brian Jones at that exact age. Kurt Cobain died at 27, and so did Badfinger's Pete Ham, Robert Johnson and Big Star's Chris Bell.

There's a book called The 27s: The Greatest Myth of Rock & Roll, by Eric Segalstad, with many more names and stories. You can hear Segalstad interviewed about his book on All Things Considered.

Is there anything to the curse of 27? Is it just a number — a coincidence — or is there something about being 27 that's just a game-changer in people's lives? Is there anything universal about that particular age? And, of course, please feel free to share your thoughts on Winehouse and her legacy.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright NPR. View this article on