Born: September 28, 1928
Died: June 3, 2009 (Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Best Known as: blues singer
Born in Tennessee, the daughter of a sharecropper, Koko Taylor made her way to Chicago and earned the title "Queen of the Blues" with a combination of talent and relentless touring. Her break came in Chicago in 1962, when blues legend Willie Dixon took a liking to her raw vocals and helped her sign with the Chess label. In 1965, her single "Wang Dang Doodle" reached number four on the R&B chart. Later, she signed with Alligator Records and took to the road—often playing over 100 concerts a year. She was nominated for seven Grammy awards and won once, in 1985. Koko Taylor died on June 3, 2009 at the age of 80.