Chicago soul and blues singer Otis Clay dead at 73

Sat Jan 9, 2016 4:16pm EST
 
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(Reuters) - Chicago soul, blues and gospel singer Otis Clay, whose career spanned decades and a range of musical influences, died on Friday after suffering a heart attack, according to an online statement posted by his management company, Heart & Soul. He was 73.

No other details about his death were available.

Clay was born in Waxhaw, Mississippi, where he began singing gospel music, and arrived on the Chicago music scene in the mid-1950s, according to a biography and interview with Clay on his website.

His first national rhythm and blues hit, "That's How It is (When You're in Love)," came in 1967, with the following year seeing another single, "She's About a Mover," hitting the charts. In the mid-1970s, Clay launched his own Echo Records.

His album "Walk a Mile in My Shoes" earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional R&B Performance in 2008. In 2013, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis.

A community advocate as well as a performer, Clay was a board member of People For New Direction, a local non-profit with a mission to address socioeconomic issues on the city's West Side. He also served as chairman of the board for Tobacco Road Inc., which helped build a cultural center in Chicago.

(Reporting by Karen Brooks in Fort Worth, Texas; Editing by James Dalgleish)