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James Douglas Morrison (December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971) was an American singer-songwriter and poet who was the lead vocalist of the rock band the Doors. Due to his wild personality, poetic lyrics, distinctive voice, unpredictable and erratic performances, and the dramatic circumstances surrounding his life and early death, Morrison is regarded by music critics and fans as one of the most influential frontmen in rock history. Since his death, Morrison's fame has endured as one of popular culture's top rebellious and oft-displayed icons, representing the generation gap and youth counterculture.
James Douglas Morrison
(1943-12-08)December 8, 1943
Melbourne, Florida, U.S.
|Died||July 3, 1971(1971-07-03) (aged 27)|
|Resting place||Père Lachaise Cemetery|
|Alma mater||University of California, Los Angeles|
Together with pianist Ray Manzarek, Morrison founded the Doors in 1965 in Venice, California. The group spent two years in obscurity until shooting to prominence with their number-one hit single in the United States, "Light My Fire", taken from their self-titled debut album. Morrison recorded a total of six studio albums with the Doors, all of which sold well and received critical acclaim. He was well known for improvising spoken word poetry passages while the band played live. Manzarek said Morrison "embodied hippie counterculture rebellion".
Morrison developed an alcohol dependency throughout the band's career, which at times affected his performances on stage. On July 3, 1971, Morrison died unexpectedly in Paris, France at the age of 27, amid several conflicting witness reports. His premature death is often linked with the 27 Club. Since no autopsy was performed, the cause of Morrison's death remains disputed.
Although the Doors recorded two more albums after Morrison died, his death severely affected the band's fortunes, and they split up two years later. In 1993, Morrison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with the other Doors members. Magazines including Rolling Stone, NME and Classic Rock, have ranked him among the greatest rock singers of all time.