Name at birth: McKinley Morganfield
Muddy Waters was a Mississipi Delta blues singer and composer who helped create the Chicago blues sound of the 1940s and '50s. Raised on a farm in Mississippi, Waters learned harmonica when he was in his early teens, and by the time he was an adult he'd mastered the slide guitar. He made a name for himself playing in local joints, and in 1941 and 1942 he was recorded for the Library of Congress. That prompted him to become a professional, and in 1943 he moved to Chicago. Waters took the southern blues and electrified them, and, like his contemporary (and rival) Howlin' Wolf, became an influence on 1960s folk and rock. By that time, Waters had recorded a string of modern classics and was a hero to modern musicians such as Cream, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. A multiple Grammy winner, his songs include "I Can't Be Satisfied," "Honey Bee," "Rolling Stone," "Hoochie Coochie Man," "Got My Mojo Workin'" and "Baby Please Don't Go."
Muddy Waters was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987? He appears in the Martin Scorsese film The Last Waltz.
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