This Day in Black History: April 30, 1983

Muddy Waters, the "father of modern Chicago blues," died in Westmont, Illinois.

Posted: 04/30/2013 07:00 AM EDT
Muddy Waters

On April 30, 1983, legendary blues musician Muddy Waters died in his Westmont, Illinois, home.

Born McKinley Morganfield on April 4, 1915, in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, Muddy Waters is known as the father of Chicago blues. He received his nickname because he liked to play in the puddles along Mississippi River as a child.

In 1943, Waters moved to Chicago and began playing in clubs where his distinct Delta sound was an instant hit. Waters’ use of an electric guitar given to him by an uncle set him apart in Chicago’s blues scene and became a trademark of his sound. He is known for hits like "I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man" and "Rollin' Stone.”

Waters inspired the British blues explosion in the 1960s and is ranked No. 17 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

He died in his sleep from heart failure at age 70.

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(Photo:  Paul Natkin/WireImage)

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