Over the course of a 70-year career, Bobby Rush has made his mark on America’s legacy of blues music.

He’s been inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame, and Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame. He has won 12 Blues Music Awards and in 2017, at the age of 83, he won his first Grammy Award.

Hailing from Louisiana, Rush got his breakthrough in 1971, when his song Chicken Heads climbed the Billboard R&B chart and was certified gold. He then had two more gold-certified records with Sue in 1981 and Ain’t Studdin’ Ya in 1991.

Rush has toured all over the world, including China, where in 2007 he became the first blues artist to perform in the country, earning him the title “International Dean of the Blues.”

Rush’s late-career renaissance saw him win the Grammy Award for best traditional blues album for Porcupine Meat in 2017. He’s been nominated for a Grammy five other times — including a nomination this year for his latest album, Rawer Than Raw. He also had a cameo appearance in the 2019 film Dolemite is My Name, starring Eddie Murphy.

Bobby Rush joined us in the Gumbo Kitchen from his current home in Jackson, Miss., to tell us more about his life and career.