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R.I.P "Queen of the Blues" Koko Taylor

Koko Taylor, affectionately known as "Queen of the Blues," died today of complications from gastrointestinal surgery that took place last month.

Taylor was primarily known for her million-selling 1966 hit "Wing Dang Doodle," written by Chess Records legend Willie Dixon. Dixon discovered Taylor singing in a Chicago club and signed her to a record deal in 1965. She was a contemporary of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Little Walter.

Taylor, who was notified by the IRS in 2008 that she owed more than $400,000 in back taxes, was nominated many times for the Grammy Awards. In her lifetime, she won 25 W.C. Handy Blues Awards, more than any other performer. She has been hailed as a major influence by artists like Bonnie Raitt and Shemekia Copeland.

Funeral arrangements are pending in Chicago.

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William Michael Smith