Texan blues musician who found success as the lead vocalist of garage band Big Brother and the Holding Company. With her, Big Brother became one of the Big Five of the San Francisco Sound. Their hit and concert staple Ball and Chain was originally performed by blues musician Big Mama Thornton. She performed with several other backing groups before her death in 1970 at the age of 27 of an overdose of painkillers. Her final song, Mercedes Benz (always written without the hyphen) was recorded only three days before her death. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with no backing group. She got into the blues because no one in her native state seemed to like her, only to be hated just as much when she returned after becoming famous. This led her to get into drugs.