Friday, November 8, 2013

Janis Joplin Earns a Star

Singer Janis Joplin received a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on November 04, 2013. It's long overdue but I am happy it finally happened! [Note: You can check out a sample of her music at this link]. 

The moving ceremony featured an acoustic performance by Kris Kristofferson, who performed "Me and Bobby McGee," a song he penned that became one of Joplin’s signature hits. 

And a speech by music industry mogul Clive Davis: “…She embodied everything – everything – I was looking for: the innovative and the charismatic, the artist for a new generation. And, of course, it broke my heart when she died. I was angry because she was depriving everyone of her life force." 

Joplin died from a heroin overdose at the Landmark Motor Hotel on Franklin Avenue, Hollywood on October 4, 1970. She was only 27. 

A Texas native, Joplin joined the San Francisco rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company in San Francisco in 1966. She attained fame with the group with the album "Cheap Thrills," before releasing more albums, including "Pearl," her best seller. She performed at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and the Woodstock music festival in 1969. 

In a day and age when stars' looks and images are carefully tended, Joplin cultivated a unique persona that was at once flamboyant (beads, feathers, psychedelic attire) and natural (no makeup and a wild, untamed mane). She came across as a force of nature more than a celebrity. She was sure enough of herself to brazenly rebel against the status quo but young and insecure enough to be hurt when people rejected her because of it. But her voice is her greatest claim to the enduring musical fame that earned her a place among the stars in Hollywood, and she did not spare it. 

"Maybe I won't last as long as other singers, but I think you can destroy your now by worrying about tomorrow," she said in an interview not long before her death. 

Joplin's is the 2,510th star on the Walk of Fame, where entertainment have long been enshrined on a stretch of pavement which attracts millions of tourists ever year. “Janis Joplin is an iconic figure, and her songs will always be remembered by her fans around the world,” said Ana Martinez of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which oversees the famous Tinseltown sidewalk. 

Siblings Michael and Laura Joplin accepted the star on the former’s behalf. Joplin's star is near the corner of Hollywood and Highland, in front of the Musicians Institute. 

Although Joplin is no longer with us, her music is still alive and well – she is enjoying a resurgence thanks to the Broadway musical, "A Night with Janis Joplin." And there’s even a clothing line, Made For Pearl. 

Here’s an interview Janis Joplin gave, just four days before she died:

Yesterday, it was Sunway University Toastmasters’ turn to meet – at our usual venue in Room NE3-4, North Building, Sunway University, I took up the role of Toastmaster-of-the-Evening and like nearly all of our meetings, I continue to be in awe at the quality of our speeches and evaluations. Indeed, we have members with good speaking skills and even better, they are not afraid to push boundaries. 

Honestly, I am so proud to be a member of Sunway University Toastmasters Club. I really am!

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