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Are Johnny and Edgar Winters twins?

Johnny and Edgar Winters are two of the most renowned blues and rock musicians that emerged in the 1960s and 70s. The two share an uncanny physical resemblance and musical talents, which has led many to wonder – are Johnny and Edgar Winters twins?

Background on Johnny and Edgar Winters

Johnny and Edgar Winter were born in Beaumont, Texas. Johnny, the older brother, was born on February 23, 1944. Edgar followed on December 28, 1946. The two came from a musical family – their father played saxophone and their mother played piano. From a young age, Johnny and Edgar displayed prodigious musical talents and were performing professionally by the time they were teenagers.

Johnny was drawn to the blues and rockabilly. By the late 1960s, he was an acclaimed guitarist playing with the likes of Janis Joplin and John Mayall. He released several popular solo albums including The Progressive Blues Experiment and Johnny Winter. Edgar followed in his brother’s footsteps as an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, adept at keyboards and saxophone. Edgar found success with his band White Trash and later formed the Edgar Winter Group.

The case for being twins

So why do people often mistake Johnny and Edgar for twins? There are several reasons:

  • They were born less than 2 years apart – Johnny at age 23 months when Edgar was born
  • They looked remarkably alike, both with very pale skin and long white hair
  • They played similar genres of blues and rock music
  • They often performed and toured together
  • They had a close relationship and similar upbringing

From a distance, their ages were hard to distinguish. Visually, their appearances were so alike that many assumed they must be identical twins. Musically, their talents complemented one another, whether trading guitar licks or combining keyboards and saxophone. They collaborated frequently and spoke glowingly of each other in interviews. All of these factors created the public perception that Johnny and Edgar Winter were twin brothers.

The case against being twins

However, Johnny and Edgar Winters are not technically twins. Here is the evidence against them being twins:

Factor Explanation
Birthdays Johnny was born on February 23, 1944. Edgar was born on December 28, 1946. Their birthdays are over 23 months apart.
Birth order Johnny was the first born child in the Winters family. Edgar was born second.
Fraternal status The Winter brothers do not share identical DNA. They are not identical or monozygotic twins.
Upbringing While Johnny and Edgar had similar upbringings, Johnny was walking and talking by the time Edgar was born. They did not experience the exact same environment from birth.

Based on their birthdates over 1 year apart, different birth order, lack of identical DNA, and discrepancies in age during upbringing, Johnny and Edgar Winter are conclusively not twins.

Why the misconception developed

If Johnny and Edgar Winters aren’t twins, how did this idea take hold? There are a few likely factors:

  • Physical resemblance – With their pale skin and white hair, Johnny and Edgar looked uncannily alike.
  • Musical similarity – Their complementary musical talents reinforced the perception.
  • Performance history – By frequently performing and touring together, Johnny and Edgar seemed inseparable.
  • Tight bond – The brothers had a visibly close relationship and treated each other much like twins.
  • Inaccurate marketing – Some promoters may have dubbed them the “Winter twins” to sell more tickets.

Fans and promoters found it simpler to think of the brothers as twins given their close career and personal association. The Winter brothers did little to dispel the myth and were known to make jokes playing off of it.


While Johnny and Edgar Winter are two of the most celebrated brother acts in rock history, they are not actually twins. They share an uncanny resemblance and musical gifts, but were born over 23 months apart. However, their physical similarity, musical chemistry, and tight bond gave the impression of twins. This demonstration of brotherly love in harmony has endeared them to generations of fans, whether twin myth is fact or fiction.