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U.S. Postal Service Issues Janis Joplin Commemorative Stamp

The U.S. Postal Service has added

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The U.S. Postal Service has added legendary singer Janis Joplin to its Music Icons Forever Stamp series.

The Joplin stamp is the fifth in the U.S. Postal Service’s Music Icons series, which also includes Lydia Mendoza, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles and Jimi Hendrix.

U.S. Postal Service/PR NewsFoto
“I am happy for Janis that her image stands strong, representing the power, artistry and independence of women,” said Joplin’s sister, Laura Joplin. “As a rock and roll icon of the turbulent 1960′s era, Janis’s inclusion helps remind us of the positive strength of an era devoted to peace, love and — as Janis said — ‘Be True to Yourself.’”

Joplin was a groundbreaking singer whose powerful, bluesy voice propelled her to the pinnacle of rock stardom. An icon of the 1960s, she was known for her uninhibited and soulful performances.

She broke onto the national music scene at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967, and was known for her rebellious public persona. Her time at the top, however, was brief with the Texas native having died in 1970 at the age of 27.

She recorded three hit albums and performed at Woodstock. The album she was recording at the time of her death, “Pearl,” cemented her reputation as one of the greatest rock singers of all time. “Me and Bobby McGee,” written by Kris Kristofferson, became the second posthumous No. 1 hit in history after Otis Redding‘s no. 1 hit, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay.”

Joplin was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

Joplin’s stamp was issued Friday in ceremonies in San Francisco, with performances by Mary Bridget Davies, from the Broadway play “A Night with Janis Joplin,” and Outside Lands Music and Art Festival performers Kacey Musgraves and Nicki Bluhm.

The artwork for this stamp was designed by Antonio Alcala, of Alexandria, Va., and features a June 1970 portrait of Joplin taken in New York by photographer David Gahr.

The original black-and-white photograph is rendered in shades of blue, with Joplin’s trademark round sunglasses tinted a dark shade of pink. The words “Janis Joplin,” along with the “Forever” denomination and “USA” appear in psychedelic-style script reminiscent of the 1960s, in shades of gold, orange, and pink. Small blue stars pop out from the stamp’s dark blue background.

The stamp pane evokes the appearance of a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve. One side of the pane includes the stamps and the image of a sliver of a record visible at the top. A photograph taken by Bruce Steinberg of Queens, N.Y., in May 1968 at the first International San Jose Pop Festival, and the logo for the Music Icons series appear on the reverse side, along with the words “Janis Joplin Blues, Rock, Country, Soul, Folk.”

The Joplin stamps can be purchased as a pane of 16 at usps.com/stamps; the Postal Store, at (800) 782-6724; and at post offices nationwide.

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