Baldry was admitted to a Vancouver hospital with respiratory problems in April and died of a chest infection Thursday, agent Frank Garcia said on the musician’s Web site.

“The music world has lost an absolute legend,” said close friend Anya Wilson, a Toronto music publicist who worked with Baldry in the 1970s.

“They’ve lost one of the first and most powerful white blues singers – an innovator, an entrepreneur of new music and one of the most wonderful people you could hope to meet.”

Baldry, nicknamed Long John because of his 6-foot-7 height, was born in East Maddon, England, but became a Canadian citizen in 1981.

Credited as one of the main forces in British blues, rock and pop music in the 1960s, he first hit the top of the U.K. singles charts in 1967 with “Let the Heartaches Begin.”

One of his most memorable hits was “Don’t Try to Lay No Boogie-Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll” was co-produced by Stewart and Elton John.

Although Baldry released over 40 albums – that included the songs “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling,” “Come and Get Your Love” and “A Thrill’s a Thrill” – singing was considered his forte.

He was perhaps best known for nurturing the nascent talent of a host of musicians who are now worldwide superstars.

Baldry’s early 1960s stage act featured the likes of Stewart, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, Jimmy Paige and Ginger Baker.