James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American musician, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and cultural icon. A self-taught musician, the left-handed Hendrix played a right-handed Fender Stratocaster guitar turned upside down and re-strung. He is considered one of the most influential and talented electric guitarists in rock music history, and achieved worldwide fame in 1967 before his tragic death in 1970 at the age of twenty-seven.
As a rock guitarist, Hendrix exploited and integrated the sonic tools of feedback and distortion into his music to an extent that previous pioneers (such as The Kinks' Dave Davies, The Yardbirds' Jeff Beck and The Who's Pete Townshend) had never achieved. He built upon the innovations and influence of blues stylists such as B.B. King, Albert King, Buddy Guy, T-Bone Walker, and Muddy Waters, as well as rhythm and blues and soul guitarists like Curtis Mayfield, and the traditions of jazz. Hendrix strived to combine what he called "earth", a blues, jazz, or funk driven rhythm accompaniment, with "space", the high-pitched psychedelic sounds created by his lead guitar improvisations, and incorporated instruments rarely used in rock, such as the harpsichord, recorder, and glockenspiel. He was also inspired by rock pioneer Little Richard, and toured in his back-up band "The Upsetters" before forming his own group in 1966. As a record producer, Hendrix was an innovator in using the recording studio as an extension of his musical ideas: Hendrix was notably one of the first to experiment with stereophonic and phasing effects during the recording process. Hendrix was also an accomplished songwriter whose compositions have been performed by countless artists.
Jimi Hendrix was inducted into the US Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. His star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (at 6627 Hollywood Blvd.) was dedicated in 1994. In 2006, his debut album Are You Experienced was inducted into the United States National Recording Preservation Board's National Recording Registry. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine named Hendrix number one on their list of the "100 greatest guitarists of all time". (Courtesy of Wikipedia)
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