Huddie William Ledbetter, better known as Leadbelly (there
is some debate on his actual birth date – December 6, 1949), was an
American folk and blues musician, notable for his clear and forceful
singing, his virtuosity on the twelve string guitar, and the rich songbook
of folk standards he introduced.
Ledbetter acquired his nickname while he was in prison; his fellow inmates dubbed him "Leadbelly" as a play on his last name and a testament to his physical toughness.
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