While most of Bonnie Raitt’s songs may fall outside the realm of blues, there is no doubting her commitment to and love for the music and the blues musicians themselves. Heavily influenced by, and sometimes mentored by, older blues veterans when she started out, Raitt not only sang soulfully but played bottleneck guitar in the style of Mississippi Fred McDowell. McDowell was one of many artists whose cause she championed over the years–others included Sippie Wallace, Charles Brown, and Ruth Brown. After she began to tour on the strength of her first albums in the 1970s, she often insisted that blues performers be booked as her opening act, and her manager, Blues Hall of Fame member Dick Waterman, also represented many of the top traditional and Chicago blues acts of the era. Raitt’s highest level of commercial success came in the 1989 with the album Nick of Time and in the 1990s with Luck of the Draw and Longing in Their Hearts. Among her Grammy Awards was one for Best Traditional Blues Recording shared with John Lee Hooker in 1989 for their collaboration on ‘I’m in the Mood.’ Raitt also played or sang on blues albums by B.B. King, A.C. Reed, Sippie Wallace, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Ruth Brown, Charles Brown, Keb’ Mo’ and Joe Louis Walker. Her contributions to the blues have also included assisting artists in royalty recovery as co-founder of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation, helping to fund headstones and memorials, and quietly, sometimes anonymously, donating money to blues singers in need. Bonnie Raitt’s example is one that ought to inspire many other blues-influenced performers from the worlds of rock and pop music.