Chicago bluesman Eddy Clearwater, lauded for his guitar playing and flamboyant showmanship, has died of heart failure.
Alligator Records announced Clearwater, 83, died Friday (June 1) in Skokie, Illinois.
Known as “The Chief,” Clearwater was born Edward Harrington in Macon, Mississippi. A self-taught guitarist, he began his career in Birmingham, performing with gospel music groups, including the Five Blind Boys of Alabama. After moving to Chicago in 1950, Clearwater drifted into the blues, making a name for himself as Guitar Eddy.
According to Alligator Records, after Clearwater added a rock and roll element to his guitar playing, his then manager came up with the name Clear Waters as a play on blues legend Muddy Waters. The name eventually evolved into Eddy Clearwater.
His 2003 album, Rock ‘N’ Roll City, was nominated for a Grammy Award as best traditional blues album.
Clearwater is survived by his wife, Renee, and six children.
— Alligator Records (@alligator1971) June 1, 2018