Dallas-born blues-rock guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan was killed early Monday in a helicopter crash in Wisconsin that also claimed four other lives. The Grammy Award winner was 35. Mr. Vaughan, who lived in Dallas, was on his way to Chicago after performing at a concert that included guitarists Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, and Mr. Vaughan's older brother, Jimmie. None of those musicians were aboard the helicopter.
"This is the greatest loss to Texas music since Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson) went down in the '50s,' said Casey Monahan, director of the Texas Music Office, who knew Mr. Vaughan. The two Texas musicians died with Ritchie Valens in a 1959 air crash. "Stevie was a tremendous ambassador of Texas music to the world,' Mr. Monahan said. "He was also an inspiration to anyone who loved the blues and to anyone who was trying to recover from drug and alcohol abuse.' The other victims were identified as helicopter pilot Jeff Brown; Bobby Brooks, Mr. Clapton's agent; Nigel Browne, a Clapton bodyguard and Colin Smythe, an assistant tour manager for Mr. Clapton. "Bobby Brooks, Nigel Browne, Colin Smythe and Stevie Ray Vaughan were my companions, my associates, and my friends,' Mr. Clapton said in a prepared statement. "This is a tragic loss of some very special people. I will miss all of them very much. I want to extend my deepest sympathies to their families.'
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Footage from Stevie Ray Vaughan's funeral...