A legendary performer considered one of the best pure rhythm and blues singers of all time has died. The New York Daily News reports that Bobby "Blue" Bland died Sunday in Memphis at 83.
His son Rodd said he died of complications from an ongoing illness.
“Bland was a classic music business survivor, an artist who kept and cared for his skills long enough to be appreciated. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and was presented a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997,” the story reports. “He recorded and sang in parts of eight decades, starting with the embryonic blues and rhythm and blues circuit of the deep South in the late 1940s.”
Bland’s biggest crossover success came in 1961 with "Turn On Your Lovelight." He remains one of the top 25 best-selling R&B artists of the modern era, the piece notes.
His R&B hits included "I Pity the Fool," "I’ll Take Care of You" and "Stormy Monday."
“Like a number of post-war R&B artists, he blended gospel with blues in his singing style. But he also had a strong fondness for pop vocals in the crooner vein, borrowing stylings from both Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra,” the report notes.
Here’s a live performance by Bobby “Blue” Bland of “Ain’t No Sunshine”: