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Hendrix, Jimi(James Marshall Hendrix), 1942–70, African-American rock guitarist, b. Seattle, Wash. Hendrix, in his short musical career, was known for an innovative and extremely influential guitar style that involved the explosive, yet often sensitively nuanced, use of feedback, distortion, and other electronically manipulated sound effects. His recordings include the albums Are You Experienced? (1967), Axis: Bold as Love (1967), and Electric Ladyland (1968); his biggest hit single was the psychedelic "Purple Haze" (1967). He toured with his bands The Experience (1967–69) and Band of Gypsys (1969–70) and appeared at both the Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock.
See his Starting at Zero: His Own Story (2013), assembled by A. Douglas and P. Neal; biographies by C. R. Cross (2005), S. Lawrence (2005), and S. Roby and B. Schreiber (2010).
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Hendrix, (James Marshall) Jimi(1942–70) musician; born in Seattle, Wash. One of the tragic figures of 1960s popular music, he was a highly innovative blues-rock guitarist, and one of the handful of black musicians to gain wide popularity in rock. Upon discharge as an air force paratrooper in 1961, he appeared as a sideman with Little Richard, Ike & Tina Turner, and the Isley Brothers. In 1965 he formed Jimmy James and the Blue Flames in New York. The following year, he moved to London where he formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience and recorded his first hit album, Are You Experienced? Between 1967 and his death from an overdose of barbiturates, he was a major recording artist and concert attraction.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.