Johnny Winter

Johnny Winter, like his younger brother Edgar, was born with Albinism in Texas and went on to become a legendary blues singer and guitarist who influenced generations of artists such as Eric Clapton and John Lennon. He collaborated with many other great blues players including Muddy Waters throughout his career and released a large catalogue of highly regarded albums including 'Step Back', which topped Billboard's Blues Albums Chart in 2014 and won the Grammy Award as Best Blues Album. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in February 2014 and he died in July of that year aged 70 in a hotel near Zurich, Switzerland. His last performance was two days earlier at the Cahors Blues Festival in France. Ranked by 'Rolling Stone' magazine among the top 70 greatest guitar players of all time, he was described by 'The New York Times' as "a mainstay of the blues-rock world" and "a virtuosic, high-energy blues guitarist" whose musicianship had been particularly admired by other musicians throughout his career. Tall and thin with the Albino characteristics of white hair and pink eyes, he played an agile and aggressive form of blues that led him to a lucrative record contract with Columbia and made him one of the favourites at the celebrated Woodstock Festival. He made his first record as a teenager and released his eponymous debut album in 1969. Many other recordings followed over the next four decades and he performed around the world to great acclaim. He had 22 releases on Billboard's Blues Albums Chart with 16 in the top ten and two others that topped the chart besides 'Step Back' - 'The Woodstock Experience' in 2009 and 'Live at the Fillmore East 10/3' in 2010. 'Guitar Singer' (1984) and 'Serious Business' (1985) were nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Recording and 'Hey, Where's Your Brother?' (1993) and 'I'm a Bluesman' (2004) were nominated for Best Contemporary Blues Album. He battled drug addiction amid a colourful career that is documented in a 2010 biography, 'Raisin' Cain: The Wild and Raucous Story of Johnny Winter' by Mary Lou Sullivan. Upon his death, 'Rolling Stone' magazine noted that "a hyperactive, high-octane intensity was his great blues innovation" and that "at his best, there's a beautifully articulated flamboyance to his music".

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