Guitarist Mickey Baker has died. He was 87.

The musician passed away at his home near Toulouse, France, last week (27Nov12). His cause of death was heart and kidney failure.

After learning the guitar aged 18, Baker became a session musician for acts including The Drifters and Ray Charles, before founding pop duo Mickey & Sylvia with Sylvia Robinson.

The pair enjoyed huge success in 1957 with single Love Is Strange, which went on to sell a million copies. The track later featured in hit movie Dirty Dancing and was sampled by rapper Pitbull on his Back In Time song earlier this year (12).

Baker later moved to France, where he worked on solo albums, and was awarded the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1999.

He was listed at number 53 on Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time countdown in 2003.