Koko Taylor, Blues Legend, Dead at 80

A Blues icon, Taylor succumbed to complications from a May 19th surgery...

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CNN is reporting that Koko Taylor, Chicago Blues legend, has died at age 80. Born Cora Walton in West Tennessee, Taylor left home at 24 with her future husband to pursue her Blues dreams in Chicago. By day, she worked as a cleaning woman and in the evening hours, she hopped from club to club, sitting in the great acts of the day and establishing herself as a premiere guest artist. After signing with Chess Records--which was later sold to Alligator Records--Taylor's career took off. Over the course of a career that spanned six decades, Taylor worked with the top Blues acts, from BB King to Taj Mahal. Later artists like Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt credit Taylor's vocalizing as having a huge influence on their careers. Taylor's accolades include 29 Blues Music Awards, a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship in 2004, the Blues Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999 and a 1997 induction into the Blues Hall of Fame.