Otis Rush, Seminal Chicago Blues Guitarist, Dies at 84: Cause of Death?

Updated On 01 Oct, 2018 Published On

Otis Rush, a legendary Chicago blues guitarist whose passionate, jazz-tinged music influenced Led Zeppelin, Carlos Santana and Eric Clapton, died on Saturday, September 29. He was 84.

As for the cause of death, his longtime manager Rick Bates confirmed to the Associated Press that he died from the complications from a stroke he suffered in 2003.

The late musician's wife, Masaki Rush, also announced her husband's passing on his website.

A note read,

Known as a key architect of the Chicago ‘West Side Sound’ Rush exemplified the modernized 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 Number 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.

Born on April 29, 1934, in Philadelphia, Mississippi, Otis moved to Chicago and began playing the local clubs, wearing a cowboy hat and carying his guitar.

He rose to fame internationally in 1956 with I Can't Quit You Baby, which was his first recording on Cobra Records. It reached No. 6 on the Billboard R&B charts.

 In 1999, Otis won a Grammy Award for best traditional blues recording for Any Place I'm Going. He was also inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1984.

In addition to his wife Masaki, Otis is survived by his eight children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The arrangements for a memorial service will be announced in the coming days.

Rest In Peace Otis Rush!

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