Sad news today in the blues world:
Koko Taylor more than once said she hoped that when she died, it would be on stage, doing the thing she loved most: Singing the blues.
She nearly got her wish. The Chicago musical icon died Wednesday at age 80 of complications from gastrointestinal surgery less than four weeks after her last performance, at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis, Tenn. There she collected her record 29th Blues Music Award, capping an era in which she became the most revered female blues vocalist of her time with signature hits "Wang Dang Doodle," "I'm a Woman" and "Hey Bartender."
Taylor died at Northwestern Memorial Hospital 15 days after her May 19 surgery. She appeared to be recovering until taking a turn for the worst Wednesday morning, and was with friends and family when she died.
Often called the "Queen of the Blues", Taylor was never one to take many breaks, continuing to perform, record and receive awards throughout her fifty-year long career. Enjoy the Willie Dixon-penned song that was a million-seller for Taylor in 1966 (how many artists have their biggest hit at 38, by the way?!), "Wang Dang Doodle".