June 23 (Reuters) - Bobby “Blue” Bland, a pioneer of the modern soul-blues sound, died on Sunday, according to Memphis media reports. He was 83.
Local television stations cited the Memphis Music Foundation, which could not be reached for comment.
Bland was a member of the Blues Foundation’s Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His hits included “Turn on Your Love Light,” “Further on Up the Road” and “I Pity the Fool.”
Bland, known as “The Lion of The Blues,” was born in 1930 in Rosemark, Tennessee. He moved to Memphis in 1947 where he began mixing sounds from gospel, blues and R&B music, joining the Beale Streeters, a group that included Johnny Ace, B.B. King and Junior Parker, according to Bland’s biography on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website.
“His hallmark was his supple, confidential soul-blues delivery,” the website said.
Bland received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. (Reporting By Brendan O‘Brien; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Stacey Joyce)