Jimi Hendrix Biography: Songs, Family, Net Worth and More

Last updated on March 15th, 2023 at 10:29 pm

Jimi Hendrix is one of the biggest rock icons of all-time. His guitar playing is legendary and he has influenced generations of musicians.

Even today, Jimi Hendrix songs are covered by a variety of artists, including Gary Clark Jr. and Fiona Apple. Jimi Hendrix albums like Are You Experienced? and Electric Ladyland are considered classics.

It’s not hard, then, to understand why Rolling Stone magazine listed Jimi Hendrix as the greatest guitarist and sixth greatest artist of all-time.

But what’s his story? What are Jimi Hendrix’s best songs and albums? Let’s find out.

Jimi Hendrix birthday

Jimi Hendrix was born on November 27, 1942

Where was Jimi Hendrix born?

This is an interesting question, as he called many places home throughout his life. So where is Jimi Hendrix from? He was born in Seattle, Washington, though he lived in many other places, including Nashville, Tennessee and London, England.

How tall was Jimi Hendrix?

Jimi Hendrix stood 5ft 11in tall. Three inches taller than the average American man in the 1960s.

Jimi Hendrix parents and ancestry

Interestingly, Hendrix’s roots are both African American and Irish. He was born to James Allen Hendrix, called Al, and Lucille Jeter.

Jimi Hendrix real name

Like many entertainers, the “Purple Haze” songwriter wasn’t born with his stage name. Jimi Hendrix was born Johnny Allen Hendrix. In 1946, his parents changed his name to James Marshall Hendrix as a tribute to his father Al’s late brother Leon Marshall.

Was Jimi Hendrix left-handed?

Image courtesy of Wikimedia commons.

Famously, although Jimi Hendrix was born left-handed, his father was not happy about that, so he forced his son to play guitar right-handed. Because of this, he played a right-handed guitar and re-strung it so he could play it left-handed.

Early career

Before becoming a sensation on his own, Hendrix played with some pretty famous musicians. In the early 1960s, while in Clarksville and Nashville, he played with legends The Isley Brothers, Little Richard, and Curtis Knight.

Discovery and initial success

In mid-1966 Linda Keith, girlfriend of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, saw Hendrix in New York and was “mesmerized.” She told her famous boyfriend about him, and he suggest Hendrix to both his producer and his manager, but they incredibly didn’t see his talent and passed on him. Big mistake.

Richards then referred him to Chas Chandler, former bassist for popular rock band the Animals, and he understood his talent and signed him.

Chandler quickly found a band to back him, recruiting bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell to form the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

The newly formed band wasted no time, almost immediately playing shows attended by superstars like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Beatles members John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

The famous Jimi Hendrix Monterey Pop Festival appearance

Hendrix, like The Who and Janis Joplin, got his big break in the United States at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. The not-as-famous precursor to Woodstock, Hendrix made his mark with a scorching set and, yes, by scorching his guitar. It’s at Monterey that the whole “Jimi Hendrix burning guitar” phenomenon began. 

Best Jimi Hendrix songs

Iconic Jimi Hendrix songs like “Purple Haze,” “Hey Joe,” “Foxy Lady” (used famously in Wayne’s World), and his cover of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” are iconic and have stood the test of time.

Many deeper cuts from all three Jimi Hendrix albums are just as good, though, like “Highway Chile,” “Stone Free,” and “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return),” which Hulk Hogan used as entrance music when he was part of the NWO.

Jimi Hendrix albums

Though his legend looms large, there were only three Jimi Hendrix albums released during his lifetime. The first being Are You Experienced? (1967), then Axis: Bold As Love (1967), and lastly, Electric Ladyland (1968).

Jimi Hendrix’s debut album Are You Experienced? is basically like a greatest hits, as it includes his most famous songs, including “Purple Haze,” “Hey Joe,” “Foxey Lady,” “Fire,” and “The Wind Cries Mary.”

Axis: Bold As Love isn’t as packed with popular Jimi Hendrix songs, but it does include classics “Castles Made of Sand” and “Little Wing,” the latter of which was famously covered by Hendrix acolyte Stevie Ray Vaughan.

The final Jimi Hendrix studio album released in his lifetime, Electric Ladyland, is widely considered to be one of the best double albums ever. “Crosstown Traffic,” “Gypsy Eyes,” “Burning of the Midnight Lamp,” and “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)” are just a handful of its classic songs.

Jimi Hendrix records released in the immediate aftermath of his death, Rainbow Bridge (1971) and Cry of Love (1971), were controversial, as they contained overdubs by Hendrix drummer Mitch Mitchell and others that were made after his death.

1997’s First Rays of the New Rising Sun successfully simulates the innovative double album Hendrix was working on before his death, being based on his actual notes.

Other collections of unreleased Hendrix material include South Saturn Delta (1997), Valleys of Neptune (2010), and, most recently, Both Sides of the Sky (2018).

Jimi Hendrix Woodstock

The most iconic Jimi Hendrix concert is easily his set at Woodstock, although it certainly isn’t among his best shows. It was at Woodstock that the famous Jimi Hendrix national anthem performance took place, in which he gave something of a middle finger to the establishment by disfiguring it with passionate, distorted guitars.

Jimi Hendrix’s last project: Band of Gypsys

While Woodstock was not Hendrix’s best show, some of his best live material can be found on Band of Gypsys, which was the last album officially released in his lifetime.

The material was recorded live at the Fillmore East with an all-black band consisting of Billy Cox and legendary drummer Buddy Miles.

It’s his funkiest, most expansive live material, and includes Jimi Hendrix songs that weren’t otherwise released in his lifetime. Scorching anti-war track “Machine Gun” is a highlight.

I hate to break the fourth wall, but I’m kinda surprised at how popular “Machine Gun” is. In fact, one of the most searched Hendrix-related search terms is “Jimi Hendrix Machine Gun.”

Best Jimi Hendrix quotes

Here are some of the most famous Jimi Hendrix quotes:

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.

Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.

Music is a safe kind of high.

You have to forget about what other people say, when you’re supposed to die, or when you’re supposed to be loving. You have to forget about all these things. You have to go on and be crazy. Craziness is like heaven.

Jimi Hendrix tattoos

Perhaps surprisingly, Jimi Hendrix didn’t have any tattoos. However, many people have tattoos of him, including Red Hot Chili Peppers’ bassist Flea.

Jimi Hendrix guitars

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

What guitars did Jimi Hendrix play? Well, mostly Fender Stratocasters. Hendrix is best-known for the white Fender Stratocaster that he played at Woodstock. The 1963/64 Fiesta Red Stratocaster that he played and burned on stage at the Monterey Pop Festival is also notable, as is the 1968 Strat with a maple neck that he considered his favorite guitar.

Jimi Hendrix net worth

When he died, Jimi Hendrix’s net worth was $800,000 dollars, which translates today to $5 million. As of 2019, the net worth of the estate of Jimi Hendrix was approximately $175 million.

Jimi Hendrix girlfriend

Did Jimi Hendrix have a girlfriend? Who were Jimi Hendrix’s girlfriends? Well, it might not surprise you, but he had many throughout his life.

Jimi Hendrix’s girlfriends included author Kathy Etchingham, self-proclaimed “Super Groupie” Devon Wilson, and Monika Danneman, his last girlfriend, who found him dead.

Jimi Hendrix son

Are there any Jimi Hendrix children around? Did Jimi Hendrix have a son? We only know of one of his kids, James Daniel Sundquist, who was the son of Hendrix and Eva Sundquist.

When did Jimi Hendrix die?

Jimi Hendrix died on September 18, 1970.

How old was Jimi Hendrix when he died?

Jimi Hendrix was 27 years old when he died, making him a member of the 27 Club.

The group of musicians who died at 27 also includes Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, and several others.

How did Jimi Hendrix die?

What did Jimi Hendrix die of? Jimi Hendrix’s cause of death, according to the forensic pathologist who performed his post-mortem, was “inhalation of vomit due to barbiturate intoxication.” That is, he choked on his vomit.

Jimi Hendrix grave

Where is Jimi Hendrix buried? Jimi Hendrix’s grave is at Greenwood Cemetary in Renton, Washington, which is near Hendrix’s hometown of Seattle.

Written by Erik Ritland

Erik Ritland is a songwriter, musician, journalist, and podcaster based in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s released over a dozen albums since 2002, most recently Old Dog Almost Gone (2021), the first-ever multimedia album, and his latest collection of all original material, A Scientific Search (2020). During his 15+ years as a music journalist, Erik has written hundreds of articles for Music in Minnesota, Something Else Reviews, his own blog Rambling On, and more. In addition to continuing his music career, Erik currently runs The Cosmic American, a music journalism website, and is the editor of Music in Minnesota.


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