Page last updated at 01:01 GMT, Thursday, 4 June 2009 02:01 UK

'Queen of Blues' Koko Taylor dies

Koko Taylor in Washington DC (7 December 2008)
Taylor's biggest hit was Wang Dang Doodle

Award-winning singer Koko Taylor, known in the music world as the "Queen of the Blues", has died in hospital at the age of 80, her record label has announced.

Taylor was one of the few women to find long-term success in the traditionally male dominated blues scene.

She recorded nine albums, won a Grammy, 29 Blues Music Awards and was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts medal for her contribution to American music.

She died in hospital in Chicago from complications following recent surgery.

Taylor, the daughter of a sharecropper, was born Cora Walton in Memphis, Tennessee in 1928 and adopted her stage name because of her love for chocolate.

She made her name in Chicago where she lived from 1952 with her late husband, Robert "Pops" Taylor.

An announcement on Taylor's website said she had received "every award the blues world has to offer" for songs including her best-selling hit, Wang Dang Doodle.

Taylor toured and performed extensively through her career, making her last appearance on 7 May this year at the Blues Music Awards.

"The passion that she brought and the fire and the growl in her voice when she sang was the truth," said blues singer and musician Ronnie Baker Brooks.

"The music will live on, but it's much better because of Koko. It's a huge loss."

Taylor is survived by her daughter as well as three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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