B.B. King Dies At 89
Another music legend has left this earth. B.B. King, a man known for his incredible guitar licks and vocals that came straight from the heart has died. According King's management, B.B. King passed away peacefully at his home in Las Vegas at 11:40pm Lafayette time.
The 15-time Grammy winner had kept up a strenuous performance schedule well into his 80s but recent years declining health had scaled back many of his appearances. King suffered from diabetes and other medical issues. He collapsed on stage last October because of exhaustion and dehydration. When he died last night he was under the care of hospice in his Las Vegas home.
Riley B. King was his given name. He was born in the tiny Mississippi Delta town of Itta Bena. His mother left home when he was four and he was raised by his grandmother. Riley purchased his first guitar at the age of 12. He had his own radio show in Memphis Tennessee at legendary WDIA by the time he was 25.
He was the inspiration and mentor for some of the music industries most well known guitarist. Players like Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards and many others were inspired by King. He recorded more than 50 albums and toured the world several times during his 70 year career.
His most well known companion was a Gibson Guitar affectionately known as Lucille. When B.B. and Lucille got together on stage it was magic. His signature tune, The Thrill is Gone, was a crowd favorite and every time he played it you could feel the electricity in the crowd. King's style of call and response vocals would have him singing a lyric only to have Lucille play it back to him. This was B.B. King's style.
Funeral arrangements were incomplete at the time of this posting but plans are underway.