Robert Cray hit a peak with his 1986 album Strong Persuader as it took him from moderate success to a mainstream name. The composition “Smoking Gun” singlehandedly introduced the blues to the MTV generation. Cray became the rare blues artist to have a Top Ten hit and receive an MTV Video Music Award nomination for Best New Artist. “Smoking Gun” approached infidelity with a vivaciousness younger people could understand and a soulful authenticity straight from the roots of the genre. The album was considered one of the best to come out in 1986 and it changed Cray’s career. Barack Obama called him his favorite blues artist. Cray has recorded over 20 studio albums with his most recent being his Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm from 2017.