James Douglas Morrison (December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971) was an American singer, poet and songwriter 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 iconic and influential frontmen in rock history. Since his death, his fame has endured as one of popular culture’s most rebellious and oft-displayed icons, representing the generation gap and youth counterculture.
Together with pianist Ray Manzarek, Morrison co-founded the Doors in 1965 in Venice, California. The group spent two years in obscurity until shooting to prominence with their number-one 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. Morrison 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. In 1971, Morrison died unexpectedly in Paris at the age of 27, amid conflicting witness reports. His premature death made him a member of the infamous 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 2011, a Rolling Stone readers’ pick placed Jim Morrison in fifth place of the magazine’s “Best Lead Singers of All Time”. In another Rolling Stone list, entitled “The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time”, he was ranked 47th. He was also ranked number 22 on Classic Rock magazine’s “50 Greatest Singers in Rock”. In 1993, Morrison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Doors. (Source)