Huddie William Ledbetter aka Leadbelly (January 20, 1888 – December 6, 1949) was an iconic American folk and blues musician, and multi-instrumentalist, notable for his strong vocals, his virtuosity on the twelve-string guitar, and the songbook of folk standards he introduced. The topics of Lead Bellys music covered a wide range of subjects, including gospel songs; blues songs about women, liquor and racism; and folk songs about cowboys, prison, work, sailors, cattle herding, and dancing. He also wrote songs concerning the newsmakers of the day, such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Adolf Hitler, Jean Harlow, the Scottsboro Boys, and Howard Hughes.
As Bob Dylan said, Lead Belly was One of the few ex-cons who recorded a popular children’s album.
In 2008, Lead Belly was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.