R&B singer Bobby "Blue" Bland, nicknamed the "Sinatra of the Blues," died Sunday, June 23, in Memphis, Tenn. He was 83.
Rodd Bland, the musician's son, told the Associated Press that his father had passed away due to complications from an ongoing illness. He was surrounded by relatives at the time of his death.
Born and raised in Tennessee, Bland was a founding member of the Beale Streeters, a group that also included blues greats B.B. King and Johnny Ace. He scored his first No. 1 R&B hit with "Further on Up the Road" in 1957, followed by a dozen other hits including "I'll Take Care of You," "Turn on Your Love Light," "Call on Me," and "That's the Way Love Is."
In 1992, Bland was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which described him as "second in stature only to B.B. King as a product of Memphis' Beale Street blues scene." He also received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.