AUSTIN, TEXAS -- Stevie Ray Vaughan, 35, who was killed yesterday in a helicopter crash near East Troy, Wis., after performing with rock star Eric Clapton and guitarist Robert Cray, was a Grammy-winning guitarist known for his rocking Texas roadhouse blues style.
Mr. Vaughan, who won two Grammy awards, gained popularity in the mid-1980s with his guitar jamming and blues sound, borrowed from such music legends as B.B. King.
"The loss is a great loss for blues music and all fans of music around the world," King said in a statement. "He was just beginning to be appreciated and develop his potential."
Mr. Vaughan toured this summer with blues singer Joe Cocker and was to release a new record called "Family Style" in September with his older brother Jimmie, another well-known musician who formed The Fabulous Thunderbirds band.
He had a platinum album with Double Trouble in "Couldn't Stand the Weather," released in 1984. That same year, he won a Grammy for best traditional blues recording for the song "Texas Flood." It was on an album featuring several blues artists and entitled "Blues Explosion."
He won a 1990 Grammy in the contemporary blues category for "In Step."
Born Stephen Ray Vaughan on Oct. 3, 1954, in Dallas, he began playing the guitar at age 7, copying brother Jimmie.
In a recent interview, Jimmie Vaughan recalled Stevie's early interest in music: "It was my guitar and my records. When I left, I would say, 'Don't touch my guitar because I'm going to get you. Leave my guitar alone.' And of course, when I would leave, he would go straight in there and play with my guitar and try to learn what I had been playing."
At 13, Stevie Ray Vaughan began playing in Dallas clubs. He quit school before his senior year and moved to Austin in 1972, returning to Dallas in 1986.
Going from club to club and band to band, he had developed a rocking Texas roadhouse blues style. In 1981, he formed the band Double Trouble. The band caught the attention of record producer John Hammond, who helped him find a record label.
Guitar Player magazine cited Vaughan as the best electric blues player in 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1988, finally naming him to its "Gallery of the Greats" in 1989.
Mr. Vaughan sought treatment for a drug problem in 1986, after he collapsed during an engagement in London. In June, he told The Dallas Morning News: "I nearly died, and it got my attention."
In addition to his brother, survivors include his mother.