Musician Bruce Hampton dies after performing at his birthday celebration

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 01:  Col. Bruce Hampton performs at 'Hampton 70: A Celebration Of Col. Bruce Hampton' at The Fox Theatre on May 1, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

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ATLANTA, GA - MAY 01: Col. Bruce Hampton performs at 'Hampton 70: A Celebration Of Col. Bruce Hampton' at The Fox Theatre on May 1, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Music was Col. Bruce Hampton’s lifeblood, and his death came hours after being surrounded by the things he loved most — family, friends, fans and an everlasting beat.

Hampton, affectionately known as the "Granddaddy of the Jam Scene," was performing Monday night at "Hampton 70," a four-hour all-star concert at Atlanta's Fox Theatre, when he collapsed during the encore — Bobby Bland's "Turn on Your Love Light."

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The idiosyncratic singer/guitarist, who turned 70 on April 30, was rushed to Emory University Hospital Midtown, where he died a couple of hours later.

Around 7:40 p.m. Monday, Hampton opened the sold-out concert to celebrate his birthday milestone and appeared locked in a groove with his backing band as he sang with clarity, his eyes closed and his knee bouncing to the beat. His initial appearance onstage prompted a wave of appreciative hoots and whistles from the clearly adoring crowd.

RELATED: Bruce Hampton: A rebel without a chord

The show included musicians honoring Hampton's legacy, like the avant-garde Hampton Grease Band, Aquarium Rescue Unit and the Codetalkers — included Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, of Tedeschi Trucks Band, John Popper, Oliver Wood, Dave Schools, Chuck Leavell, guitar prodigy Brandon Niederauer and many other rock and jam band luminaries.

Just before 3 a.m., Tedeschi Trucks Band posted a notice on its Facebook page from Hampton's family, confirming his death.

Hampton, born in Knoxville, Tennessee, enjoyed a varied career that ranged from his progressive jazz-rock leanings that began with his first band in 1963 to appearing in a 2014 video for “Blockbuster Night, Pt. 1” with rap act Run the Jewels.

One of his more amusing legacies is the album “Music to Eat,” released with the Hampton Grease Band in 1971 on Columbia Records. It was reportedly the second worst-selling album on the label at that time, surpassed only by a yoga album.

Related: Atlantans react on social media to Bruce Hampton’s death

In the ’90s, Hampton was instrumental in shaping the H.O.R.D.E. tours with Popper, who remained a friend and performed at the Monday tribute concert.

Actor Thornton also had good reason to be at the Fox event: Hampton appeared in the 1996 film “Sling Blade” as a poet and band manager.

Hampton was also the subject of a documentary, “Basically Frightened: The Musical Madness of Col. Bruce Hampton, Ret.,” that premiered at the Atlanta Film Festival in March 2012.

A message posted Tuesday on the website of Hampton's record label, Ropeadope, hails Hampton's legacy.

“This is not just the death of a celebrity whose music touched us, this is the departure of a GIFT that we as humans had the choice to recognize and learn from. Col. Bruce Hampton was a child at every age; he was the man who tested whether you were truly paying attention to the truth.”

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