Australia’s blues legend Dutch Tilders has lost his battle with cancer on Saturday, April 23.
Tilders, who retired from performing in January, was 69-years old.
In a statement, Dutch’s bandmate Martin Cooper announced, “With sadness that I cannot express, I advise that the Great Bluesman and my close friend, Dutch Tilders, passed away peacefully about an hour ago. One of the great Blues voices of our time and loved by so many, Dutch has influenced so many burgeoning musicians and his legacy will be that they and those who follow them, will keep the faith. My deepest sympathies to Sam, Sonny and family.”
Tilders was born in Nijmegen in The Netherlands in 1941 and migrated to Australia with his family in 1955. His first paid gig was at the Collingwood Town Hall in Melbourne at age 15 on a show that included Johnny O’Keefe.
Dutch Tilders was a close friend for decades with B.B. King. When King first heard (but didn’t see) the adopted Australian he thought he was black. They formed a close bond.
Tilders announced he was suffering from lung cancer in May 2010. He passed away at 9.30pm on Saturday night.
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