CHICAGO (Reuters) – Grammy-winning blues musician Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, who was a longtime sideman for Muddy Waters, died of a stroke on Friday in Chicago at age 75, according to a statement on his website.
Smith’s death comes less than six months after the passing at age 97 of blues master Joe Willie “Pinetop” Perkins, with whom Smith shared a Grammy win this year in the best traditional blues album category for their 2010 release “Joined at the Hip.”
Smith said backstage at the Grammy Awards that he first met Perkins as a boy and was glad to have found success recording with his elder. “To tell you the truth, right now I’m one of the happiest men on earth,” he said at the February event.
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