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Legendary Guitarist Johnny Winter Passes Away at 70

The legendary Johnny Winter, a Texas-bred guitarist who was a standout in the world of blues and rock since the 1960s, passed away on Wednesday at 70.

Winter died in his hotel room in Zurich while on tour in Europe.

According to The L.A. Times, his public relations manager John Lappen said that Winter, who had emphysema, was recently diagnosed with pneumonia.

Known for his high-energy style with a firm grasp on the tenets of the blues, Winter was listed at No. 63 on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.  The music mag helped introduce Winter to the public with a cover story in December 1968, where his photo was captioned “Johnny Winter, Albino Bluesman,” a reference to the melanin production deficiency that left him and his brother, musician Edgar Winter, with little color in their skin, eyes and hair.

Less than a year later, Winter signed a contract with Columbia Records, played at Woodstock and release his first two major-label albums.

Winter had plans to release a new album this year called Step Back that would feature contributions from artists like Eric Clapton and Dr. John, in addition to a slate of 15 tour dates across the United States later this summer.

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