R&B Pioneer Bobby 'Blue' Bland Dead at 83

Check out a video of the rhythm and blues singer -- a contemporary of Ray Charles and B.B. King who was sampled by Jay-Z -- performing with King on Soul Train.

Bobby "Blue" Bland performs in New Orleans in 2011. (Rick Diamond/Getty Images Entertainment)

The New York Times is reporting that Bobby "Blue" Bland -- the soulful balladeer who gave us hits like "Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City" (which Jay-Z sampled on his 2001 album, The Blueprint), "I Pity the Fool" and "That's the Way Love Is" -- has passed away. He was 83.

The blues legend -- a contemporary of Ray Charles and B.B. King -- was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. Watch Bland and King perform together on Soul Train in 1975:

Read more at the New York Times.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.  

The Root encourages respectful debate and dialogue in our commenting community. To improve the commenting experience for all our readers we will be experimenting with some new formats over the next few weeks. During this transition period the comments section will be unavailable to users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued support of The Root.

While we are experimenting, please feel free to leave feedback below about your past experiences commenting at The Root.