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American singer and guitarist Muddy Waters may have been born in Mississippi, but he defined Chicago blues with songs like "I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man."
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After the English tour, Waters's fan base expanded and began to catch the attention of the rock 'n' roll community. His performance at the 1960 Newport Jazz Festival was a particularly pivotal point in his career, as it caught the attention of a new fan base. Waters was able to adapt to the changing times, and his electric blues sound fit in well with the "love generation."
Waters continued to record with rock musicians throughout the 1960s and '70s,
and won his first Grammy Award in 1971 for the album They Call me Muddy Waters. After his 30-year run with Chess Records, he went his separate way in 1975, suing the record company for royalties after his final release with them: Muddy Waters Woodstock Album. Waters signed on with Blue Sky Label after the split. He then captivated audiences with his appearance in The Band's farewell performance, known as "The Last Waltz," an exceptionally star-studded affair that was released as a film by Martin Scorsese in 1978.
By the end of his lifetime, Muddy Waters had garnered six Grammys as well as countless other honors. He died after suffering a heart attack on April 30, 1983, in Downers Grove, Illinois.
Since his death, Waters's contribution to the music world has continued to gain recognition. In 1997, Waters was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Five years later, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences awarded the musician a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award. Additionally, some of the most recognizable names in music have named Muddy Waters as their single-greatest influence, including Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Johnny Winter.
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