B.B. King, the legendary “king of the blues” passed away last night in Las Vegas, according to his lawyer, Brent Bryson who says that King,
“died peacefully in his sleep”
He was 89. Riley B. King was born in Mississippi — his initials stood for “Blues Boy”, and from a very early age, had passion for performing. King began his rise to stardom in the ’40s and ’50s in Memphis. The blues legend was active for 50+ years, King released nearly 50 records. With influences like Blind Lemon Jefferson and T-Bone Walker, King and his signature Gibson guitar, named “Lucille”, dominated took home 15 Grammys, as well as a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award. He was inducted into both the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Throughout his long career, King seemed to be ageless and timeless, performing around 100 shows a year, even into his eighties. He fell ill during a performance last year at the House of Blues and had to cancel the rest of his tour. He had type 2 diabetes, and after being in the hospital earlier this year, he was said to have entered hospice care. He leaves behind an huge catalogue of music, with hits as The Thrill Is Gone and Every Day I Have the Blues, and many others. His virtuosity is apparent in other greats as Eric Clapton, George Harrison, and John Mayer.
Many of his fellow musicians and celebrities paid tribute to his the legend’s passing on social media, including Snoop Dogg, Ringo Starr, Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora, Brad Paisley and blues guitarist Buddy Guy who often played with him.