Legendary Chicago blues guitarist Magic Slim - who followed in the footsteps of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf - died on Thursday aged 75, reports Reuters. His manager Marty Salzman confirmed heavy smoker Magic had suffered from emphysema and heart problems and was forced by illness to cut short a tour with his band The Teardrops in January.

Slim, who gave up piano and took up guitar after losing a finger aged 13, grew up on a farm and made his first trip to the Windy City in 1955, starting out as a bass player. He cut his first record 11 years later and became a regular fixture on the Chicago blues scene, developing his own distinctive style of playing - a slide-style vibrato heavy sound. Credited on over 30 albums, Magic Slim was also known for his encyclopaedic mastery of blues. "There's probably not another bluesman who had quite the repertoire that Slim had," said Salzman. In recent years, the guitarist had spent time with his family in Nebraska, though his manager noted, "Chicago was always like home to him."

Despite his age, Magic Slim remained a virtuoso guitarist and his group won Blues Band of the Year for the sixth time in 2003, subsequently releasing a live performance on DVD, entitled Anything Can Happen.