Otis Clay has died aged 73 after suffering a heart attack in Chicago.
The soul singer was born in Mississippi in 1942 and started his musical career with various gospel groups. In the mid-60s he signed with Chicago label One-derful! Records, where he recorded That’s How It Is (When You’re In Love) and A Lasting Love.
In 1971, Clay hooked up with producer Willie Mitchell at Hi Records and recorded his biggest hit Trying To Live My Life Without You.
He was nominated for a Grammy in 2008 in the Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance category for the track Walk A Mile In My Shoes, and was inducted into the Blues Hall Of Fame in 2013.
After learning of Clay’s death, his longtime collaborator Billy Price told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “After the shock of this wore off a little, I was left with a feeling of gratitude to have known him.
“I had the opportunity to sing with him and to learn from one of the true masters of the genre I work in. We first sang together in 1983, and I have so many memories of the great shows we did together over the years.”
Clay and Price were due to perform together at the 37th annual Blues Music Awards in Memphis in May, where they’re nominated in the Soul Blues Album category for 2015 release This Time For Real.