Description Big Bill Broonzy was a prolific American blues singer, songwriter and guitarist. His career began in the 1920s when he played country blues. Through the 30s and 40s he transitioned in style to a more urban blues sound. In the 1950s a return to his traditional folk-blues roots made him an international star. Broonzy was one of the key figures in the development of blues music in the 20th century.