Sunnyland Slim, 87, a legendary blues pianist who helped power the raucous Chicago sound, died Friday in Chicago, Alligator Records announced.
Slim, also a singer and composer, was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1988 and was lauded as one of America's great traditional artists.
Born Albert Luandrew in Vance, Miss., he began his career playing piano and organ in church, and went on to record more than 20 albums over seven decades. He got his first job playing in a movie theater in 1924 and later moved north, eventually signing with Chess Records in Chicago.
Along with such greats as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Little Walter, he was behind the electrified offspring of the Delta blues that sprang up in the postwar Midwest.