James Douglas “Jim” Morrison (December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971) was an American singer and songwriter best remembered as the lead vocalist of the Doors.
Due to his songwriting, baritone voice, wild personality and performances, he is regarded by critics and fans as one of the most iconic and influential frontmen in rock music history, and, due to the dramatic tinges surrounding his life and death, in the latter part of 20th century he was one of popular culture’s most rebellious and oft-displayed icons, on a par with the likes of Che Guevara, representing generational gap and youth counterculture.
He was also well known for improvising spoken word poetry passages while the band played live. Morrison was ranked number 47 on Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”, and number 22 on Classic Rock Magazine’s “50 Greatest Singers In Rock”. Ray Manzarek said that Morrison “embodied hippiecounterculture rebellion…” Morrison was also known as the self-proclaimed “Lizard King” and “King of Orgasmic Rock”.
Morrison developed an alcohol dependency. He died at the age of 27 in Paris, allegedly of a heroin overdose. No autopsy was performed, and the exact cause of Morrison’s death is still disputed. His grave in Paris is a shrine to him, visited daily by numerous fans.