MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -Mike Ledbetter, a gifted singer from the Elgin Illinois Chicago area, was set to perform in Memphis this week as part of the International Blues Challenge.
Sadly, as announced by his record label on social media, Mike suddenly passed away early Tuesday morning.
He was 33.
He was nominated for a number of Blues Music Awards (to be held this May in Memphis) with his act Mike Ledbetter and Monster Mike Welch, or The Welch Ledbetter Connection.
His nominations include Album of the year, Traditional Blues Album, and Band of the Year.
He was also nominated as a solo performer in the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year category and Contemporary Blues Male Artist and instrumentalist for vocals.
A number of artists took to social media to share their condolences including Memphis based singer/songwriter Marcella Simien.
Ledbetter sang opera in the Elgin O.P.E.R.A., Chicago Opera Theater and other smaller organizations in his teen years before switching gears to Blues music.
He approached a vocalist in a band he went to hear one night and was brought up on stage by that singer Andy Duncanson of the Kilborn Alley Blues Band and he sang several songs.
Little did he know the show was attended by the wife of musician Nick Moss just as he was forming a new band and would end up including Ledbetter as the singer.
The cause of death is unknown.