Updated: Feb 25, 2022
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James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American musician, singer, and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music".
Born in Seattle, Washington, Hendrix began playing guitar at the age of 15. In 1961, he enlisted in the US Army, but was discharged the following year. Soon afterward, he moved to Clarksville then Nashville, Tennessee, and began playing gigs on the chitlin' circuit, earning a place in the Isley Brothers' backing band and later with Little Richard, with whom he continued to work through mid-1965. He then played with Curtis Knight and the Squiresbefore moving to England in late 1966 after bassist Chas Chandler of the Animals became his manager. Within months, Hendrix had earned three UK top ten hits with the Jimi Hendrix Experience: "Hey Joe", "Purple Haze", and "The Wind Cries Mary". He achieved fame in the US after his performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, and in 1968 his third and final studio album, Electric Ladyland, reached number one in the US. The double LP was Hendrix's most commercially successful release and his first and only number one album. The world's highest-paid performer, he headlined the Woodstock Festival in 1969 and the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 before his accidental death in London from barbiturate-related asphyxia on September 18, 1970.
Hendrix was inspired by American rock and roll and electric blues. He favored overdriven amplifiers with high volume and gain, and was instrumental in popularizing the previously undesirable sounds caused by guitar amplifier feedback. He was also one of the first guitarists to make extensive use of tone-altering effects units in mainstream rock, such as fuzz distortion, Octavia, wah-wah, and Uni-Vibe. He was the first musician to use stereophonic phasing effects in recordings. Holly George-Warren of Rolling Stone commented: "Hendrix pioneered the use of the instrument as an electronic sound source. Players before him had experimented with feedback and distortion, but Hendrix turned those effects and others into a controlled, fluid vocabulary every bit as personal as the blues with which he began."
Hendrix was the recipient of several music awards during his lifetime and posthumously. In 1967, readers of Melody Maker voted him the Pop Musician of the Year and in 1968, Billboard named him the Artist of the Year and Rolling Stone declared him the Performer of the Year. Disc and Music Echo honored him with the World Top Musician of 1969 and in 1970, Guitar Player named him the Rock Guitarist of the Year. The Jimi Hendrix Experience was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. Rolling Stone ranked the band's three studio albums, Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love, and Electric Ladyland, among the 100 greatest albums of all time, and they ranked Hendrix as the greatest guitarist and the sixth greatest artist of all time.
Jimi Hendrix estate sues bandmates’ heirs after alleged royalties and copyright threat
Estate claims families of Hendrix’s bassist and drummer threatened them with a copyright infringement case over ‘millions of pounds’ of unpaid royalties
The Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1967 …
(L-R) David Noel Redding, Jimi Hendrix, ‘Mitch’ Mitchell.Photograph: Express/Getty Images
Laura Snapes Thu 20 Jan 2022 09.27 EST
The estate of Jimi Hendrix is suing the heirs of the trailblazing guitarist’s former bandmates after they allegedly threatened to sue for “millions of pounds” in unpaid royalties dating back decades, Billboard reports. In December, Lawrence Abramson, a British lawyer representing the families of the Jimi Hendrix Experience bassist David Noel Redding and drummer John Graham “Mitch” Mitchell, sent a cease-and-desist letter that claimed they owned a stake in Hendrix’s music and threatened to sue for infringement.
The Hendrix estate and Sony said that the settlements “specifically” concerned the band’s recordings and that there had been no claim by Redding and Mitchell or their successors “for almost half a century … concerning the copyright ownership, exploitation of these recordings by plaintiffs or payments of royalties”.
Advertisement Hendrix and Sony are not suing for damages, but a ruling that exonerates them of the claims made by representatives for Redding and Mitchell. The Guardian contacted representatives for Redding and Mitchell’s estates, who said they could not yet comment. In the cease-and-desist letter, representatives for the Redding and Mitchell estates argued that the agreements reached in 1970 were unenforceable and that they were owed millions in royalties dating back to 1973. 'Colourful, vibrant, sensual!' Stars on Jimi Hendrix, 50 years gone Read moreHendrix formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1966. They scored hits, particularly in the UK, with songs such as their cover of All Along the Watchtower and originals Voodoo Chile and Purple Haze. The group broke up in 1969 after Redding’s departure. Hendrix died in September 1970 at the age of 27. Redding died in 2003 and Mitchell in 2008. Lawyers for the group’s rhythm section claim that “both died in relative poverty having never received their true entitlement from their works, performances and founding membership of the Jimi Hendrix Experience”.
Jimi Hendrix: 15 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know
Iconic musician Jimi Hendrix will always be known as one of the talented artists of all time, but there are some little-known facts about this rock star that might surprise you. Here, PPcorn present 15 facts you didn’t know about Jimi Hendrix.
Number Fifteen: He Wasn’t Always JimiHendrix
“Jimi” was actually born Johnny Allen Hendrix. Jimi’s mother and father did not have a very good relationship, so when Jimi went to live with his father after he gained custody, he father renamed him James Marshall Hendrix. He didn’t actually spell his name “Jimi” until 1966.
Number Fourteen: He Played the Broomstick
Before Jimi got his first guitar, he would pretend he knew how to play guitar using just an old broom. He was even rumored to have brought the broomstick to school with him, and he would often dance with it.
Number Thirteen: He Also Played the Ukulele
Though you could argue his first instrument was the broomstick, his first real instrument was the ukulele. However, it was a special ukulele – he found it in the trash, and it only had one string.
Number Twelve: Dropped Out of High School
Though Hendrix went on to become wildly famous and successful, he never even finished high school. He dropped out before he enlisted in the military.
Number Eleven: He Used the Military to Avoid Prison
Speaking of the military, the only reason Hendrix enlisted was to avoid prison. Hendrix was caught in stolen cars on two occasions when he was growing up. He had to choose jail or the military, and he made his choice.
Number Ten: There Are Numerous Conspiracy Theories About His Death
One conspiracy theory, in particular, alleges that Hendrix was actually murdered. The conspiracy theory states that his girlfriend at the time, Monika Dannemann, made him overdose.
Number Nine: He Belongs to the 27 Club
Also related to his death, Hendrix is a member of the 27 Club, the group of famous artists who died at the age of exactly 27. Other members of this club include Amy Winehouse and Jim Morrison.
Number Eight: His Childhood Wasn’t Easy
Hendrix had a very tumultuous relationship with his mother. Many people think this is because his mother was an alcoholic.
Number Seven: He Used Music as a Religion
Hendrix classified the music he played as part of the “electric church.” According to him, he wanted his music to be part of a safe place that anyone could access and experience his music in a sort of religious way. He liked the idea of music bringing people together without judgments.
Number Six: He Was an Autodidact
Did you know Hendrix taught himself how to play guitar? He first learned on the one-string ukulele we mentioned in part one, but he then realized he could teach himself even more on an actual guitar. He had never taken a single guitar lesson in his life.
Number Five: He Couldn’t Actually Read Music
Speaking of guitar lessons, Jimi Hendrix never learned how to read music. He learned how to play by ear, rather than by reading notes on a page.
Number Four: One of His Most Popular Songs Is a Cover
His hit song, “All Along the Watchtower,” was actually written and recorded by Bob Dylan less than one year before Jimi Hendrix covered it. After Hendrix died, Dylan began playing the song the same way Hendrix did as a tribute to him.
Number Three: He May Have Had Two Children
Hendrix definitely has one son – James Sundquist. However, he may have a daughter as well, Tamika Hendrix. However, there has never been DNA testing to prove that Tamika is Hendrix’s daughter.
Number Two: He Loved Comic Books
Hendrix would often reference comic book characters when talking with friends. In addition to Spider-Man, Hendrix was also a fan of Batman.
Number One: He Wrote a Screenplay
It’s true! This man truly was a genius. His screenplay, written entirely by himself, was called Moon Dust. The main character, named The Powerful Sound King, was based on his own personality. Other characters in the screenplay were based off of Spider-Man characters.
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