McKinley Morganfield was born in Mississippi in 1915. He was raised by his grandmother who first nicknamed him Muddy and later added Waters to the legendary name.
In 1943 Muddy Waters moved up to Chicago and started performing in neighborhood bars. Waters eventually settled in with Leonard and Phil Chess, the founders of recording label Chess Records. He first started recording with them in 1947 and is credited with defining Chicago blues with his electric guitar and hit songs like “Hoochie Coochie Man” and “Got My Mojo Working.”
Muddy Waters inspired some of the biggest contemporary acts today. Eric Clapton often referred to him as his father and often took him on tour. The Rolling Stones were known to join Muddy on stage at his much smaller gigs when they were in Chicago. The last time being in 1981 when Jagger, Richards and Ron Wood sat in with Muddy at the Checker Board Lounge on Chicago’s South Side.
Muddy Waters died on April 30th, 1983. He is buried at Restvale Cemetery in Alsip with many of his fellow blues musicians.