Monday, May 07, 2012
Michael 'Iron Man' Burks Dies at 54

Michael 'Iron Man' Burks Dies at 54

Musician Michael "Iron Man" Burks has died at age 54 after collapsing Sunday.

Alligator Records announced that the Arkansas native suffered a health crisis at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport after returning from a European tour. He was later pronounced dead at an Atlanta hospital.

A spokesperson from the record label confirmed that Burks died of a heart attack.

Burks broke onto the music scene after he and his father built Bradley Ferry Country Club, a 300-seat arena, in Camden, Arkansas during the 1970s. The juke joint saw performances by R&B and blues performers.

A guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter, Burks was known as "Iron Man" for his passionate performances. His intense work ethic would result in hours of rehearsals and physical performances all in combination with his tough and smoky voice.

The blues musician was well known at the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena-West Helena. Burks was scheduled to appear in Little Rock on June 2. He had just completed his fourth album with Alligator Records, which is due for release at the end of July.
Burks garnered four Blues Music Award nominations and earned 2004's Living Blues magazine Critics' Award for Best Guitarist. Additionally, the musician earned a nomination this year for Blues Music Award for Best Guitarist.

On Twitter Monday fans and music organizations are posting their respects to the late blues musician.

"We are saddened to announce the passing of Alligator Recording artist Michael 'Iron Man' Burks, who played IH twice," wrote Iron Horse. "Gone too soon at 54."

"R.I.P. 'Iron Man,'" wrote Simi.

"Rest in peace Michael Burks," posted Peter. "The angels just inherited another brilliant, incendiary guitar player. You will be missed."

Joe posted, "Michael Burks … RIP to one of the best and the nicest guys around. So sad to hear this tragic news."

"Very sad to hear of the passing of Michael 'Iron Man' Burks," wrote Evan. "Great memories of him; a gentle and kind man and powerful performer. RIP."