Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain. Besides each of these people being popular musicians, they have another similarity that is both eerie and not immediately obvious: all of them died at the age of 27. These musicians, in addition to a plethora of others, have formed what has become known as “The 27 Club,” comprising of a list of stars gone way too early and with so much more talent left to share with the world.

The young deaths of these musicians and the many others included in the list are almost always supremely tragic, often resulting from suicide, murder or drug overdose. Take the examples of Winehouse, who falls under the latter category, and Hendrix, who died from asphyxiation. Other bizarre circumstances and causes, including a plane crash and carbon monoxide poisoning, also haunt the list with their presence.

Seeing the number of names that belong to this unfortunate club can make one wonder how so many people could not only die so young but also in such terribly unnecessary ways. Perhaps the reasoning is really just the obvious – a lifestyle that becomes all about partying, drugs and alcohol, and a lot less about music. Somewhat twistedly, the music and talent is oftentimes what puts the star in the position of obtaining limitless substances in the first place. Back alley concert venues and meeting not-so-innocent other stars can become easy in one’s rise to the top of the charts.

Perhaps the most devastating fact is that once substance addictions do develop, it becomes a tragedy not only for the person and their loved ones, but for the fans who became admirers when they were still new to the scene and only riding high on the wave of making it big. Those who lose sense of their first passion – whether it be music or something entirely different – at the same time also lose the very thing that at one time made them stand out from everyone else. Sadly, now in the 27 Club, these people belong to one group for a very unfortunate reason. Most people have heard the expression “gone too soon” and all of those who are in the club seem to put a face to this phrase. One only needs to look at what age 27 means for most other people to fully realize this point. For many, their mid-twenties are about landing a dream job, getting married or even having kids. However, for these unforgotten stars, the number seems to represent something different altogether, a tragic ending to a once seemingly promising life.