Blues icon Bobby “Blue” Bland died Sunday (June 23) at the age of 83.  The legendary singer was surrounded by family and friend when he passed away in Memphis, Tenn.

Bobby Blue Bland-Getty
Bobby Blue Bland-Getty

The blues legends son, Rodd told CNN that his father died of natural causes in his home in Germantown, Tennessee.  Rodd said his dad was forced off the stage earlier this year do to failing health.  "He had a hole in his stomach that had become tumorous, and it was emptying into his bloodstream.  Of his dads passing he added, "He was in my arms, but I'm not going to lie. I could have used at least 20 more years."

Booby "Blue" Bland is one of the greatest blues singers to ever live, with one of the longest and most successful careers at that.  He had a distinctive voice and sound.  There was non mistaking a Bobby "Blue" Bland song, that's for sure.

Bland was born in 1930 in Rosemark, Tennessee, just outside of Memphis. Like so many music artists, he began his career singing with a gospel group before joining the blues group the Beale Streeters  Believe it or not, the group included future blues legends B.B. King, Junior Parker and others.

In 1954, Bland signed a deal with Duke Records and, a year later, landed his first hit single, ‘It’s My Life Baby.’

Bobby "Blue" Bland was the man and had several chart-topping songs throughout 50s and 60s, including joints like ‘Farther On Up the Road,’ ‘I’ll Take Care of You,’ ‘I Pity the Fool,’ ‘Don’t Cry No More,’ ‘Turn on Your Love Light’ and ‘That’s the Way Love Is.’

They were all memorable tunes, however it was in 1961 that Bland released what is still considered to be one of the greatest blues albums of all time... 'Two Steps From The Blues.'

Bland’s music has been heavily sampled in hip-hop.  Most notably,  ‘Ain’t No Love in the Heart Of The City’ for Jay-Z‘s classic anthem ‘Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)’ for the Blueprint.  In 1992, Bobby "Blue" Bland was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 1997, received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for his career accomplishments.

He will be deeply missed and to his family and friends we offer our heartfelt condolences.  Funeral arrangements are pending.

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