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Blues Legend Koko Taylor Dies At 80

CHICAGO (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Koko Taylor, the Queen of the Blues died on June 3rd at the age of 80. Taylor had been at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, recovering from surgery to address ongoing gastrointestinal issues but developed an infection that lead to her passing.

Born a sharecropper's daughter in Shelby County, Tennessee, Koko boarded a bus to Chicago in 1954 where she worked as a housecleaner until she was discovered by blues legend Willie Dixon while Taylor was sitting in with a band at a local nightclub. She had an R&B hit with Dixon's Wang Dang Doodle in 1966 and was one of the first Chicago blues artists to work the white clubs on the city's North Side.

She signed with Alligator in 1975 and received Grammy noms for eight of her nine albums on the label (she won a Grammy in 1984 for the live multi-artist album Blues Explosion on Atlantic Records). She also won 29 Blues Music Awards, more than any other artist and in 1999 was inducted into the Blues Foundation's Hall Of Fame.

She maintained an active touring schedule, performing in approximately 200 shows a year until a heart attack in 2003 forced a hiatus from touring. Taylor released what proved to be her final album, "Old School" in 2007. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers