CHICAGO — Legendary Chicago blues guitarist Otis Rush died on Saturday September 29 at the age of 84.
Masaki Rush, wife of Otis Rush announced that Mr. Rush, one of the most influential Chicago blues artists of all time passed away due to complications from a stroke which he initially suffered in 2003.
Known as a key architect of the Chicago ‘West Side Sound’ Rush exemplified the modernised minor key urban blues style with his slashing, amplified jazz-influenced guitar playing, high-strained passionate vocals and backing by a full horn section. Rush’s first recording in 1956 on Cobra Records ‘I Can’t Quit You Baby’ reached #6 on the Billboard R&B Charts and catapulted him to international acclaim. He went on to record a catalog of music that contains many songs that are now considered blues classics.
The family has requested privacy “at this difficult time and will announce more details at a future date.” Cards and condolences may be sent to the Rush family to the Rush Family c/o Bates Meyer, Inc. , PO Box 2821, Big Bear Lake, California USA 92315
Rush enjoyed international fame in 1956 with his first recording on Cobra Records of “I Can’t Quit You Baby,” which reached No. 6 on the Billboard R&B charts.
“He was one of the last great blues guitar heroes. He was an electric God,” said Gregg Parker, CEO and a founder of the Chicago Blues Museum.
Rush won a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Recording in 1999 for “Any Place I’m Going,” and he was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1984.
In one of his final appearances on stage at the Chicago Blues Festival in 2016, Rush was honoured by the city of Chicago.
He is survived by his wife Masaki Rush, eight children and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren, according to a family statement.