Cornell Dupree, a prolific session guitarist in jazz, R&B and funk, died at 69 in Fort Worth, Tex. on Sunday (May 8). According to Variety, Dupree had recently been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The Texas-born musician was originally discovered by King Curtis, who brought him to New York to serve as guitarist in the King Curtis Band in 1962. Dupree began backing greats like Sam Cooke, Roberta Flack and Fats Domino, and can be heard playing guitar on Aretha Franklin's "Respect" and on Brook Benton's "Rainy Night in Georgia."
Dupree eventually served as the guitarist in Franklin's touring band from 1967 to 1976, and formed the instrumental funk band Stuff in the mid-70s. Starting with 1974's "Teasin'," Dupree released 10 solo albums, including the Grammy-nominated "Coast to Coast" in 1988.
Dupree, whose nicknames included "Uncle Funky" and "Mr. 2500," is survived by his wife, Erma.