Robert Calvin “Bobby” Bland (January 27, 1930 – June 23, 2013), né Brooks, also known professionally as Bobby “Blue” Bland, was an American singer of blues and soul.
Bland developed a sound that mixed gospel with the blues and R&B. He was described as “among the great storytellers of blues and soul music… [who] created tempestuous arias of love, betrayal and resignation, set against roiling, dramatic orchestrations, and left the listener drained but awed.” He was sometimes referred to as the “Lion of the Blues” and as the “Sinatra of the Blues”; his music was also influenced by Nat King Cole.
Bland was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1981, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame described him as “second in stature only to B.B. King as a product of Memphis’s Beale Street blues scene”.