Texas bluesman Johnny Winter passed away in a Zurich hotel room while on tour in Europe, a representative confirmed Thursday. Winter was 70 years old.
The legendary guitarist known for his awesomely fast guitar licks and impressive long white hair collaborated with everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton to John Lee Hooker and his childhood hero, Muddy Waters. In 2011, Rolling Stone named Winter one of 100 Greatest Guitarists.
Born John Dawson Winter III in Beaumont, Texas, he was one of the most popular blues acts of the 1970s. But his addiction problems with heroin, alcohol, and prescription drugs cast a shadow over his career.
In a statement, Winter’s family and bandmates said they were saddened by the loss of one of the world’s finest guitarists.
“The cause of death is currently unclear and is being clarified. The prosecutor has ordered an autopsy,” police spokeswoman Cornelia Schuoler told BNOnews. “A medical event is suspected. There is currently no evidence of foul play.”