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Blues musician Johnny Winter dies at 70

Johnny Winter performs at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at the Fair Grounds Race Course on April 25, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana
Johnny Winter performs at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at the Fair Grounds Race Course on April 25, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana
Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Legendary blues player Johnny Winter passed away July 16 in a Zurich, Switzerland hotel room. He was 70 years old. The official announcement was made via his Facebook page in the following statement:

“Legendary Johnny Winter Dies at 70
Texas blues icon Johnny Winter has passed away on July 16, 2014 in his hotel room in Zurich, Switzerland.
His wife, family and bandmates are all saddened by the loss of their loved one and one of the world’s finest guitarists.
An official statement with more details shall be issued at the appropriate time.”

At this time, the cause of his death has not been revealed. Though Winter was very active in his career and even toured this year, he struggled with health and substance abuse, which involved alcohol and prescription drugs.

Winter released over 30 albums during his career with his last being “Roots” released in 2011, via Megaforce Records. Earlier this year, a four-disc retrospective box set entitled “True to the Blues: The Johnny Winter Story” was released. His final record, “Step Back,” is expected to come out September 2 and will feature appearances by Billy Gibbons, Joe Perry among others. His debut album “The Progressive Blues Experiment” came out in 1968. Since then, Winter has had a prolific and long career. During the mid-70's he helped produce three Muddy Waters albums that all went on to win Grammys. He also co-produced Rick Derringer's “Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo.” He was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1988. His brother is multi-insturmentalist Edgar Winter. He will be missed.