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Bobby Rush (born in Homer, Louisiana c. 1933) is an American blues musician, composer, and singer. His style incorporates elements of blues, rap, and funk. Rush has won twelve Blues Music Awards and in 2017, at the age of 83, he won his first Grammy Award for the album Porcupine Meat. He is inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame, and Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame.
2x GRAMMY winning legend, Blues Hall of Famer, six-time Grammy nominee, and 13-time Blues Music Award winner, with cameo in the Netflix original Dolemite Is My Name starring Eddie Murphy, and autobiography on its way Bobby Rush has been making records for nearly 70 years and has more than 400 recordings, 75 career releases, and now 27 studio albums to his name. He’s finally telling his story in his autobiography I Ain’t Studdin’ Ya: My American Blues Story currently available for pre-order and due out June 22 via Hachette Books who have published Keith Richards, Buddy Guy, and Tina Fey to name a few.
After earning a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album and a Blues Music Award for Album of the Year for his studio recording Porcupine Meat in 2017, he spent a year writing his follow-up. In 2019, at age 85, he released Sitting on Top of the Blues with 11 originals, earning him another Blues Music Award and Grammy Award nomination. Rush is one of the last Black bluesmen from the class to emerge out of and triumph in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s. He has recorded for more than 20 labels, from Checker/Chess and ABC to Philly Int’l and Rounder/Concord. To cap off 2019 he had a cameo in the Golden Globe-nominated Netflix original film Dolemite Is My Name, the Rudy Ray Moore biopic featuring Eddie Murphy as Moore. Rush kicked off 2020 with the release of “Dolemite Kid,” a single inspired by his nine years on tour with Moore, his day working with Murphy, and the hit film itself.
But Rush, who turned 87 in November, is not done yet. With the release of his 2020 album Rawer Than Raw, an all-acoustic effort that pays tribute to the rich blues history of Mississippi, Rush has cemented his reputation as one of the preeminent bluesmen in the world, one of the last living links to the music’s glorious past, and an inspiration for its future stars. The album just won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album, his second Grammy Award and sixth nomination.
Partly inspired by the popular series of intimate solo concerts Rush has made a mainstay of his concert calendar in the years since his first all-acoustic album (titled Raw), Rawer Than Raw casts a spotlight on five Mississippi Blues Hall of Famers: early acoustic blues greats Skip James and Robert Johnson, and Rush’s contemporaries on the music scene of the ’50s and ’60s, Howlin’ Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson II, and Muddy Waters. One song “Dust My Broom” was written by Robert Johnson, but caught Rush’s attention after it was recorded by Elmore James. The record features a half dozen covers of some of their best-known songs rendered in Rush’s own inimitable, acoustic style, characterized by wailing harmonica and a stomping foot to keep the rhythm.