Grammy-winning blues star CLARENCE 'GATEMOUTH' BROWN has died at the age of 81 - just days after losing his home to Hurricane Katrina.

The guitarist had been battling lung cancer and heart disease for some time, but his agent blamed the devastation of the flooding that claimed his house in Slidell, Louisiana for his death.

RICK CADY says, "I'm sure he was heartbroken, both literally and figuratively.

"He evacuated successfully before the hurricane hit, but I'm sure it weighed heavily on his soul."

Brown, who made his name in the 1940s and performed with a number of stars including Eric Clapton and Frank Zappa during a 50 year career, died at his brother's home in Orange, Texas, shortly after being evacuated from Slidell.