What Is the 27 Club? Avicii Among Musicians Who Died Too Young

Swedish DJ Avicii died on Friday, his publicist confirmed. He was 28 years old—barely older than the members of the notorious "27 club," a tragic and famous list of rock & roll stars who have died at 27 years old.

It was the deaths of rockers Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Brian Jones in the 1970s that essentially marked the beginning of the term. All four stars died within two years of one another; drugs played a role in their deaths.

However, it wasn't until Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain's death in 1994—when fans started to connect his age to Morrison, Joplin, Hendrix and Jones—that the 27 Club became a common symbol of tragic rock and roll fame. Cobain was discovered in his Seattle home with a gunshot wound to the head, but the singer and songwriter's history of drug abuse was widely known.

Following Cobain's death at 27, a number of musicians have joined the sad club, including Kristen Pfaff, Jeremy Michael Ward and Amy Winehouse.

Avicii's cause of death was not immediately known Friday. The award-winning producer and remixer suffered from health problems caused by acute pancreatitis, which he reportedly developed from heavy drinking. In 2014, the illness led Avicii to have his appendix and gallbladder removed.

In a statement, Avicii's spokeswoman said his body was discovered in Oman.

"It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii. He was found dead in Muscat, Oman this Friday afternoon local time, April 20th," his publicist Diana Baron said. "The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time. No further statements will be given."