Divenne nota verso la fine degli anni sessanta come cantante del gruppo Big Brother and the Holding Company, e successivamente per i suoi lavori da solista. La sua carriera continuò fino alla morte per overdose all’età di 27 anni. La rivista statunitense Rolling Stone la pone al 28º posto della lista dei 100 artisti più importanti della storia e al 28º della classifica del 2008 dei 100 cantanti più importanti di tutti i tempi.
Janis Lyn Joplin (/ˈdʒɑːplɪn/; January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970) was an American singer-songwriter who first rose to fame in the late 1960s as the lead singer of thepsychedelic–acid rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company, and later as a solo artist with her own backing groups, The Kozmic Blues Band and The Full Tilt Boogie Band. Her first ever large scale public performance was at the Monterey Pop Festival; this led her to becoming very popular and one of the major attractions at theWoodstock festival and the Festival Express train tour. Joplin charted five singles; other popular songs include: “Down on Me“; “Summertime“; “Piece of My Heart“; “Ball ‘n’ Chain“; “Maybe“; “To Love Somebody“; “Kozmic Blues“; “Work Me, Lord“; “Cry Baby“; “Mercedes Benz“; and her only number one hit, “Me and Bobby McGee“.
Joplin was well known for her performing ability and was a multi instrumentalist. Her fans referred to her stage presence as “electric”; at the height of her career, she was known as “The Queen of Psychedelic Soul”. Known as “Pearl” among her friends, she was also a painter, dancer and music arranger. Rolling Stone ranked Joplin number 46 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time in 2004, and number 28 on its 2008 list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.