Why artists die at 27

. 2 min read

Before I dive into this, I'd like to mention that while researching the topic, I googled a list of celebrities who have died at the age of 27, and stumbled upon an alarming number of questions on Quora about how to kill yourself most effectively/quickly/painfreely, and I'm a little shook by it.


Even though artists and celebrities don't actually die at 27 more than at other ages, the number has somehow stuck due to some unknown black magic. (Although 27 isn't even a prime number, so what gives.) Kurt Cobain is probably the most famous member of the 27 club, not to mention Amy Winehouse, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix. Most of them either killed themselves intentionally or used some overdosed with a narcotic substance.

Some might argue that because they got too much fame and success too early in their lives, they couldn't handle it without drugs and without the overuse of drugs; that substance use was the only thing allowing them to handle the overwhelming circumstances.

But what if they were suffering from something that isn't a side effect of fame? What if something physical happens to you at the age 27 - a change in your brain that decreases your will to live?

I found this BBC article from 2009. According to it, mental powers start to dwindle at the 27. Reasoning becomes harder, speed of thought slows down... who's to say those don't affect artists ability to create their art as well?

It's easy to imagine someone as brilliant as Kurt Cobain to choose death over the decline of his art.

What's sad is that when a person is suffering from depression, be it a regular Joe or Cobain, it's hard to see how things could ever get better, even if in reality it were possible to beat the blues and create superb art again. If you really believe your life will only go down from here, it's the perfectly dark mindset to start thinking about the alternative.

I don't know how hopeless Cobain really felt during those months leading to his death, but I'd like to think he didn't give up easily.