Janis Joplin was one of the most popular figures in music in the 1960s; for women everywhere she represented a divergent from the norm of society. Not only was she loud, eccentric and colorful, she empowered young people to follow their dreams and be who they want to be.
Born and raised in the small town of Port Albert, Texas, Joplin was labeled as an outcast. Her classmates would taunt her for being different, artistic and called her ugly. It continued into her college years, which led her to leave for California. Being a raw and emotional stage presence is what made Joplin a star; music truly was her first love and it was obvious. Although she had been recording music since the early sixties, she rose to fame through her iconic performance with the group Big Brother and the Holding Company at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. After a few years, she went solo and fronted a group of her own. Although her continuous drinking and partying are what claimed her life, she was an icon and a huge influence on women who related to her as outcasts in a time period that told them they couldn’t be different; a society that told them to hide who they really were.
Here are ten quotes that highlight Janis Joplin’s incredible and influential life.
“Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.” – Janis Joplin
“I always wanted to be an artist, whatever that was, like other chicks wanted to be stewardesses. I read. I painted. I thought.” – Janis Joplin
“I’m one of those regular, weird people.” – Janis Joplin
“We don’t forgive people because they deserve it. We forgive them because they need it. Because we need it. We all need it.” – Janis Joplin
“You can destroy your now by worrying about tomorrow.” – Janis Joplin
“To be true to myself, to be the person that was on the inside of me, to not play games. That’s what I’m trying to do mostly in the whole world is not to bulls**t myself and not bulls**t anybody else.” – Janis Joplin
“You are what you settle for.” – Janis Joplin
“Like most girls I’m always really self-conscious about do I look fat, if my legs are short, if I’m weird shaped, but when I go on stage, man, it never occurs to me. I think I look beautiful.” – Janis Joplin
“Texas is okay if you want to settle down and do your own thing quietly, but it’s not for outrageous people, and I was always outrageous.” – Janis Joplin
“I’m just doing what I wanted to and what feels right and not settling for bulls**t and it worked. How can they be mad at that?” – Janis Joplin
Author: Selena Doner
Selena Doner is a freelance journalist who is passionate about environmental issues, social justice, arts and culture, and travel.