“Queens of the Blues” Koko Taylor unexpectedly dies at 80

June 4th, 2009 - 1:20 pm ICT by admin  

CHICAGO, Illinois (BNO NEWS) — Grammy Award-winning blues legend Koko Taylor, popularly known as the “Queens of the Blues”, died on Wednesday afternoon, her spokesman said. She was 80-years-old.

Tayler died as a result of complications following a surgery on May 19 to correct a gastrointestinal bleed, Marc Lipkin, her spokesman, told BNO News. Her doctors had earlier anticipated a full recovery. The singer passed away around 3.30 p.m. Chicago time.

Taylor, who was known worldwide as the “Queens of Blues”, won her 29th Blues Music Award on May 7th, making her the recipient of more Blues Music Awards than any other artist. In 2004 she received the NEA National Heritage Fellowship Award, which is among the highest honors given to an American artist. Her most recent CD, 2007’s Old School, was nominated for a Grammy (eight of her nine Alligator albums were Grammy-nominated). She won a Grammy in 1984 for her guest appearance on the compilation album Blues Explosion on Atlantic.

Koko Taylor was one of very few women who found success in the male-dominated blues world. She took her music from the tiny clubs of Chicago’s South Side to concert halls and major festivals all over the world. She shared stages with every major blues star, including Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. King, Junior Wells and Buddy Guy as well as rock icons Robert Plant and Jimmy Page.

Taylor’s final performance was on May 7, 2009 in Memphis at the Blues Music Awards, where she sang “Wang Dang Doodle” after receiving her award for Traditional Blues Female Artist Of The Year.

Survivors include Taylor’s husband Hays Harris, daughter Joyce Threatt, son-in-law Lee Threatt, grandchildren Lee, Jr. and Wendy, and three great-grandchildren.

Marc Lipkin said funeral arrangements will be announced at a later time.

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