The limited-edition Jimi Hendrix Forever® stamp was unveiled at a first-day-of-issue ceremony at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival in Austin, Texas.
Following the unveiling, a tribute concert to the music icon took place with performances by accomplished guitarists Wayne Kramer (MC5), Slash (Guns N' Roses), Rusty Anderson (Paul McCartney), and Perry Farrell (Jane's Addiction).
Hendrix taught himself to play guitar at age 15, drawing influence from a pantheon of blues and rock greats including B. B. King, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Buddy Holly, and Robert Johnson.
Although he was unable to read or write music, he is widely considered to be the greatest guitarist of all time. In his short four years in the international spotlight, he catapulted to super-stardom and managed to change the face of rock music, inventing new, previously unseen guitar-playing techniques and sounds.
Jimi Hendrix's movement and rhythm is captured by the stamp's vibrant and colorful design, simultaneously paying homage to the psychedelic rock era of the 1960s. The stamp pane, designed to resemble a vintage 45-rpm record sleeve, features a painting of the late singer's face surrounded by colorful swirls and small icons that reference song lyrics or aspects of Hendrix's life.
The various icons include flowers, a guitar, a mermaid and a butterfly. The stamp art shows Hendrix in performance, wearing one of his trademark vintage military jackets and playing one of his signature white Fender Stratocaster guitars.
The U.S. Postal Service has released numerous stamps to celebrate and honor music icons that had a big impact on American culture and the music industry as a whole. The Jimi Hendrix Forever® stamp kicks off the 2014 Music Icons series, which will include Janis Joplin later this year.