Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Taylor family.
From the Chicago Tribune:
Koko Taylor more than once said she hoped that when she died, it would be on stage, doing the thing she loved most: Singing the blues.
She nearly got her wish. The Chicago musical icon died Wednesday at age 80 of complications from gastrointestinal surgery less than four weeks after her last performance, at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis, Tenn. There she collected her record 29th Blues Music Award, capping an era in which she became the most revered female blues vocalist of her time with signature hits “Wang Dang Doodle,” “I’m a Woman” and “Hey Bartender.”
Taylor died at Northwestern Memorial Hospital 15 days after her May 19 surgery. She appeared to be recovering until taking a turn for the worst Wednesday morning, and was with friends and family when she died.
“Koko Taylor’s life and music brought joy to millions of people all around the world and Chicago is especially honored that she called our city her home for more than 50 years,” Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley said. “The strength of her style was formed in the night clubs of Chicago’s South Side and she carried that spirit with her wherever she went. She was an ambassador for our city and truly was the queen of a kind of music that makes people think of Chicago whenever they hear it.”
Among those with her Wednesday was Bruce Iglauer, owner of Chicago-based Alligator Records, who was her producer, manager and friend since 1974.
He recalled that Taylor had a similar surgery in 2004 and was on a ventilator for nearly a month. “The doctors were very discouraged then about her coming back, and she willed herself back to life,” Iglauer said. “We were hoping she would do the same this time.”