James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American musician, singer and songwriter. Despite a limited mainstream exposure of four years, he is widely considered one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century.
In 1961 Hendrix enlisted in the US Army; he was granted an honorable discharge the following year. In 1963 he moved to Clarksville, Tennessee, where he played numerous gigs on the chitlin' circuit. In 1964 he earned a spot in the Isley Brothers' backing band and later that year he found 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.
In 1967 Hendrix earned three UK top ten hits with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, "Hey Joe", "Purple Haze" and "The Wind Cries Mary". Later that year, he achieved fame in the US after his performance at the Monterey Pop Festival. The world's highest paid performer, he headlined the Woodstock Festival in 1969 and the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 before dying from barbiturate-related asphyxia at the age of 27.
Hendrix was the recipient of several music awards during his lifetime and posthumously; 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 his three non-posthumous studio albums, Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland among the 100 greatest albums of all time. Rolling Stone ranked him as the greatest guitarist of all time and the sixth greatest artist of all time.