Otis Rush's legacy precedes him.
Otis Rush, a foundational member of the Chicago Blues scene throughout 20 and 21st Century, has passed away due to complications stemming from a stroke he suffered in 2003. He was 83 at the time of his passing.
Rumors of his death were confirmed by his wife, Masaki Rush, then put to words by his publicist on his official website. The written statement asked that fans please respect the privacy of Rush's immediate family in the moments following his death. The press release reads:
"Known as a key architect of the Chicago 'West Side Sound' Rush exemplified the modernized minor key urban blues style with his slashing, amplified jazz-influenced guitar playing, high-strained passionate vocals, and backing by a full horn section."
Celebrating the work of artists like Otis Rush should be of interest to fans of hip-hop music, in the sense that it helps weave an interesting musical genealogy all the way to the present day functions of the American recording industry. Otis Rush was born in Mississippi in the year 1935, but followed the migration of the blues up the Delta River to Chicago in 1949, cutting his record with Cobra Records in 1956. The song he is most remembered for, "I Can't Quit You Baby," has been covered countless times, by fellow bluesmen and woman, hard rock outfits, and even schmaltzier bands.