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Arkansas musician 'Iron Man' Burks dies at 54

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May 7, 2012 11:04 AM EST | AP


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Alligator Records says Arkansas bluesman Michael "Iron Man" Burks has died after collapsing at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. He was 54.

The record label says Burks collapsed Sunday after returning from a European tour. He was pronounced dead at an Atlanta hospital. A spokesman for the record label says Burks died of a heart attack.

Born in Milwaukee in 1957, Burks moved with his family to Camden, Ark., in the early 1970s. He and his father built Camden's Bradley Ferry Country Club, a 300-seat juke joint that hosted blues and R&B performers.

He released three albums with Chicago-based Alligator Records and headlined blues festivals worldwide. Burks was well known at the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena-West Helena.

He was scheduled to play in Little Rock on June 2.