Funkiest Jam: Steve Winwood "Spanish Dancer"
Little Stevie Winwood made his first musical mark as a young teen, providing organ and guitar backing for a veritable who's-who of African-American artists—Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, B.B. King, and the list goes on and on—when they toured the UK. At 14, he became lead singer of the Spencer Davis Group, one of the funkiest bands to emerge during the British Invasion. By the time he was 17, the group has its first UK No. 1 with "Keep On Running," and when he turned 18, their organ-and-bass-driven classic "Gimme Some Lovin'" became a cross-Atlantic Top 10 hit.
Winwood went on to form Traffic and, later, Blind Faith (whose eponymous album cover—NSFW!—is surely an R. Kelly favorite) before launching a successful solo career that saw him collaborate with artists like James Ingram, Chaka Khan and the Memphis Horns. Plus Eric Prydz sampled Winwood's "Valerie" as the vocal motif of his hit dance track "Call On Me." Not bad for a skinny white boy from Birmingham.