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Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix is considered the greatest instrumentalist in rock music. Born on November 27, 1942, in Seattle, Hendrix was the son of violent, alcoholic parents. He was bullied at school, and also suffered sexual abuse. Taking refuge in music — rock and roll, the blues, jazz and soul — he taught himself to play a ukelele he found in the street.

He soon started playing the guitar professionally, performing with Little Richard. He then moved to New York to play in clubs. An English music agent there persuaded him to play some concerts in London. Hendrix arrived in London in September 1966 and immediately formed a band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience. His reputation growing, Hendrix released the iconic single, Hey Joe. He then recorded an album, Are You Experienced, one of the most popular rock LPs of all time.

The guitarist’s life ended after two iconic concerts, Woodstock in the US in August 1969, and the Isle of Wight in the UK in 1970. Hendrix’s electrifying performance of The Star-Spangled Banner at Woodstock allowed him to “forget everything, even the pain.” On September 18, 1970, he went to bed after consuming large quantities of wine, barbiturates and sleeping pills.