James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American musician, singer, and songwriter. Despite a relatively brief mainstream career spanning four years, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest and 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; he was granted an honorable discharge the following year. Soon afterward, he moved to Clarksville, Tennessee, and began playing gigs on the chitlin' circuit, eventually earning a place in the Isley Brothers' backing band and later finding work with Little Richard, with whom he continued to play through mid-1965. He then joined Curtis Knight and the Squires before moving to England in late 1966 after having been discovered by bassist Chas Chandler of the Animals. 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. He headlined the Woodstock Festival in 1969 and the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 as the world's highest-paid performer before dying from barbiturate-related asphyxia on September 18, 1970, at the age of 27.