January is a busy month for music history.
- Led Zeppelin‘s John Paul Jones celebrated his 77th birthday on January 3.
- R.E.M.‘s Michael Stipe celebrated his 63rd birthday on January 4
- Joy Division and New Order founder Bernard Sumner also celebrated his 67th birthday on January 4
- The 70th anniversary of AC/DC co-founder, rhythm guitarist, songwriter and backing vocalist Malcom Young’s birth was on January 6
- The 76th anniversary of David Bowie‘s brith was on January 8
- The Doors‘ Robby Krieger celebrated his 77th birthday on January 8
- Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page celebrated his 79th birthday on January 9
- Steely Dan co-founder, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Donald Fagen celebrated his 75th birthday on January 10.
- Mary J. Blige, the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul celebrated her 52nd birthday on January 11
- Raekwon celebrated his 52nd birthday on January 12. Raekwon’s work with Wu-Tangand as a solo artist have helped to cement his reputation among the cognoscenti as one of the most gifted and unique emcees in the history of hip-hop.
- Dave Grohl celebrated his 54th birthday on January 14
- Lisa Lisa and The Cult Jam’s frontwoman Lisa “Lisa Lisa” Velez celebrated her 56th birthday on January 15
- The queen of Quiet Storm, Sade celebrated her 64th birthday on January 16
- The Bangles’ co-founder and frontperson Susanna Hoffs celebrated her 64th birthday on January 17
- The Temptations‘ former lead singer David Ruffin was born 82 years ago. He was the lead singer from 1963-1968, which may arguably be the soul act’s most legendary and pioneering period. He also had an impressive solo career — with some equally great songs for a period of time.
Today is an especially auspicious day: Janis Joplin, arguably one of the greatest vocalists ever was born 80 years ago today. Joplin’s work both with Big Brother and the Holding Company and as a solo artist has been covered countless times — a testament to the material’s greatness and to her gift as a vocalist.
Happy birthday, Janis! Happy birthday, wherever you are!