Gone But Not Forgotten: Music Stars We Lost in 2011
HUBERT SUMLIN, Dec. 4
The revered blues guitarist, who spent 23-plus years adding gritty leads to Howlin' Wolf's legendary voice and who inspired generations of axemen from Jimi Hendrix to Kenny Wayne Shepherd, died at a New Jersey hospital of heart failure. He was 80.

Rolling Stones leaders Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are offering to front the bill for the funeral of Hubert Sumlin, the Howlin' Wolf guitarist who died Sunday (Dec. 4) of heart failure at the age of 80.

According to the New York Times, Sumin's partner, Toni Ann Mamary, confirmed on Thursday (Dec. 8) that the legendary Stones singer and guitarist have agreed to pay for Sumlin's internment and funeral service. "I just wanted to share with you, Hubert's loving fans, that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have insisted on picking up the full expenses for Hubert's funeral," Mamary wrote. "God Bless the Rolling Stones."

Howlin' Wolf Guitarist Hubert Sumlin Dies

A member of the Blues Hall of Fame, Sumlin's axe work could be heard in Wolf's band from 1953 to 1976, and undoubtedly influenced guitarists like Richards. Rolling Stone recently ranked him as the 43rd greatest guitarist of all time.

"Hubert was an incisive yet delicate blues player," Jagger said in a statement on Thursday. "He had a really distinctive and original tone and was a wonderful foil for Howlin' Wolf's growling vocal style."

A public service will be held on Dec. 12 in Totowa, N.J., while a private service will follow on Dec. 13 in Homewood, Ill.