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The Older-Than-27 Club / Nick Ehrhardt

The Older-Than-27 Club

Jani Lane (AP Photo)Warrant frontman Jani Lane missed by two decades the infamous “27 Club” of rock stars (musicians who died at age 27) that includes Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Amy Winehouse.

But Lane, known for writing and singing such pop metal hits as “Heaven,” “Cherry Pie” and “Down Boys,” still died young. He was just 47 at the time of his death on August 11.

Several lesser-known rock musicians, who were too young to die, also left the planet in recent months.

Dena Marie Sparks (Roanoke Times)Dena Marie Sparks, also 47, a resident of Roanoke, Virginia, “sang with local blues and rock bands during the 1990s and her vocal stylings were often compared to Janis Joplin, who happened to be one of her favorites.”


Richard Solis (The Beacon-News)Richard Stephen Solis, of Hammond, Louisiana, was described in his obituary as “a very accomplished Heavy Metal guitarist whose passion for shredding could never be contained.”

He too died at age 47.

Mark Fortin (Foster's Daily Democrat)Mark Christopher Fortin, who was 42 when he died July 25, “played in several rock bands in southern Maine, where he spent many happy hours performing with friends.”


Linda Holler ( Holler, 59, helped people find answers to life’s greatest questions “during counseling sessions, during Tarot card readings, or over coffee at the kitchen table,” her family wrote in the obituary published in the Home News Tribune ( on July 30.

By providing warmth, acceptance, safety, and a listening ear, she became a second mother to many of her children’s friends. This, and the fact that she sang in a rock band, earned Linda a reputation for being the coolest mom in Edison (New Jersey).


This post was contributed by Alana Baranick, a freelance obituary writer who lives in Northeast Ohio. She is director of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers and chief author of Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers.