It doesn’t seem possible. On October 4, 1970, rock singer Janis Joplin died of an accidental heroin overdose. That’s 47 years ago today.
Joplin’s raw vocalizations, uninhibited performances, and fringe lifestyle characterized the hippie generation of the Woodstock era. The native of southeastern Texas dropped out of college in 1963 to sing fold music in Texas clubs. Her hard-rock, bluesy vocals landed her a gig as lead singer of the band Big Brother and the Holding Company. Big Brother’s first album for Columbia Records was Cheap Thrills. In 1968, when the album went to number one, Joplin had completed her transformation to a strong-willed, sexually aggressive rock icon. In 1969, she performed at Woodstock with her own group, the Kozmic Blues Band, and contributed to rock history by continuing to break conventions and cross barriers as a high-intensity female performer. Joplin was inducted posthumously into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.
Posthumously. That means what she accomplished was not fully recognized until after her death.
On a much bigger scale, a man did something else 2,000 years ago that won him the greatest “posthumously” recognition of all time. Jesus, after his death, did something even more significant than anything he ever did in life. He was resurrected the third day. And that changed everything.
Jesus was the greatest man who ever lived – and died – and rose again. Janis Joplin is worthy of our recognition. But only Jesus Christ is worthy of our praise.