Koko Taylor, popularly known as the "Queen Of Blues" has died at the age of eighty in a hospital in Chicago. She had recently undergone surgery for a gastrointestinal bleed.
The singer, born Cora Walton, earned the nickname of Koko because of her love of chocolate. She was born in Tennessee, but moved to Chicago in 1952 with her truck-driver husband Robert Taylor, and began singing in blues clubs in the city. In the sixties, she was signed by Chess Records, and achieved a hit with the Willie Dixon penned track 'Wang Dang Doodle', which sold a million copies and reached number four in the r&b chart, becoming her signature song.
Her subsequent career saw her release a plethora of albums and receive a host of awards, including a 1985 Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album, and a lifetime achievement honour from The Blues Foundation. She was a prolific live performer, playing as many as 200 gigs per year up until 2003, when she suffered a heart attack and was forced to cut back her commitments; even so, she continued to perform at a rate of around 90 shows per year until her death. She gave her last performance on 7 May at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis.
Taylor is survived by her husband Hays Harris and her daughter, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Source: Unlimited Media www.unlimitedmedia.co.uk