The barefoot diva from Cape Verde, Cesária Évora. I saw one of her last performances, then met her after the show.
I saw Anson Funderburg & The Rockets featuring Sam Myers many times, including Sam’s final tour. Sam chain smoked from grade school on, battled cancer, but kept on smoking and singing to the end.
I saw and hung out with Koko Taylor during her final tour. Same with Pinetop Perkins. I shared a quart of vanilla ice cream with Pinetop (long story).
Saw Link Wray play amazing surf guitar shortly before he passed.
I met Son Seals, saw him perform, and escorted him to his hotel afterwards just a year before he died. He was touring because he was broke, had lost a leg to diabetes, and was basically playing for insulin. He had lost a bunch of siblings and had a few house fires where he lost all his treasured possessions. Representing the blues.
BB King was another great one I saw throughout his career, including toward the end when he could barely walk.
Johnny Winters. Helped him travel the fifty or so yards from his tour bus to the stage at the Pittsburgh Blues Festival back when it was held at Iron City Brewing. I carried a folding chair and Mr Winters sat down to catch his breath every ten yards or so.