Leadbelly. Leadbelly was an influential folks and blues musician with a pretty colorful life:
Lead Belly's boastful spirit and penchant for the occasional skirmish sometimes led him into trouble with the law, and in 1918 he was thrown into a Texas jail for the second time, this time after killing a man in a fight. He was released seven years into his twenty year sentence after writing a song appealing to Governor Pat Neff for his freedom. This is how the legend goes but in reality Lead Belly was due for early release due to good behavior.
For many, their introduction to Leadbelly was through Nirvana. In 1993, Nirvana's Kurt Cobain covered Leadbelly's song "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" [YouTube] for MTV Unplugged.