Blues pioneer EMERY 'DETROIT JUNIOR' WILLIAMS JR died of heart failure. He was 73.

The piano star passed away on Tuesday (09AUG05) at his home in Chicago, Illinois, according to his close friend BRUCE IGLAUER, president of Alligator Records.

During a 50 year career in music, Williams was famed for his wild, humorous persona, and despite having lost a leg to diabetes, he continued performing at blues clubs well into his old age.

Iglauer says, "He was a one-man blues party. He had a smile and a good word for everybody."