What can groan and sing like the blues? This compelling style of music that often deals with the miseries and flaws of life is at the same time diverse like no other. With greats like B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton and more, blues continues to maintain its popularity today. Read more about the top ten legendary blues artists of all time here.
10. Albert King
Albert King Nelson, known as Albert King, was a great guitarist and singer and had a huge influence on the blues guitar style. His single Born under a bad sign is probably one of his most famous songs. His large size of about two meters and 100 kilos was a special combination with his soft use of voice. It was therefore also called the velvet bulldozer. After his death, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
9. Buddy Guy
As an American blues guitarist and singer, George “Buddy” Guy knows how to give a performance like no other. His music has influenced stars such as Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and more. He has played with Muddy Waters and Junior Wells, among others. His song Stone Crazy is known as one of the best guitar songs of all time.
8. Etta James
Etta James was a beautiful singer who achieved great success despite the troubles in her life. She was best known for her songs such as Somethings got a hold on me, At Last, Tell Mama and many more. It is said that she managed to bridge the gap between Rhythm and Blues and Rock ‘n Roll. Etta James has won six Grammy Awards and seventeen Blues Music Awards. Her music and voice are timeless and still beautiful to listen to today.
7. John Lee Hooker
The great influence that the legendary John Lee Hooker had on the blues should not be forgotten. Born in Mississippi, he has the blues in his blood. He was best known for his own adaptation of the Delta Blues. In addition, he introduced new styles such as Talking Blues and North Mississippi Country Blues and with his own rhythms he made variations on the well-known boogie-woogie styles. Fortunately his albums are still available today, don’t let John Lee Hooker pass you by.
6. Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton is an English guitarist who is seen as one of the best ever . Among other things, he helped to bring styles like Reggae to a wider audience with his version of Bob Marley’s I shot the Sheriff, but he has also taken the Blues to a higher level. Eric Clapton has received eighteen Grammy Awards and the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. Many guitarists are still inspired by him.
5. Howlin ‘Wolf
With Mississippi, the blues fits like no other. Chester Arthur Burnett, known as Howlin ‘Wolf, was a Chicago blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player. His powerful voice and performance were reason enough to shake the whole room at every performance. No one could be as hot as he was. Many of his songs, such as Back Door Man, Spoonful and others have become blues standards. In addition, Howlin ‘Wolf has received many nominations and awards for his work as a great blues artist.
4. Ray Charles
Ray Charles was also called The Genie and for good reason. He was a singer, songwriter, musician and composer. He combined blues with Soul, Gospel and Rhythm and Blues in his own way. He also did much for racial integration in the 1970s. In the music of Ray Charles you can hear influences from Country Blues, Barrelhouse and more. His influence on music is enormous and that is why he definitely belongs in this list.
3. Robert Johnson
Although Robert Leroy Johnson only turned 27 and received little appreciation during his lifetime, he still belongs in this special list. He was an American singer, songwriter and musician who mainly performed on the street, in cafes and at parties. About 25 years after his death, his recordings were reissued and known to a wider audience. He soon got the name of the master of the blues, mainly in the Delta Blues style. Robert Johnson’s early influences have inspired many artists after him.
2. Muddy Waters
Muddy Waters is the stage name of McKinley Morganfield who lived from 1913 to 1983. He is also called the father of the Chicago blues and was a great American blues musician. At the age of seventeen he was already playing guitar at parties with the big dream to be able to perform professionally. His influence on blues and other music styles is enormous. Among other things, his use of amplification and other idiosyncratic interpretations can still be heard in the blues and other styles today.
1. B.B. King
A legendary singer, songwriter and guitarist, that was B.B. King. He could give away solos like no other and introduced a refined style of flowing music with vibrating tones. Many guitarists after him have tried to imitate or have been influenced by his style. He performed an average of more than 200 concerts a year until well into his seventies. B.B. King is also referred to as the king of the blues, which is why he deserves a prominent place in this beautiful list.
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