Sad news to report, as blues legend B.B. King has passed away at the age of 89. The all-time guitar great died Thursday night (May 14) in Las Vegas, where he had been in home hospice care after being briefly hospitalized for dehydration related to his Type II diabetes in April. The news was confirmed by his daughter Claudette in a post on Facebook.
Armed with his trusted guitar Lucille, King was a giant in the music world, influencing such artists as Eric Clapton and the late Stevie Ray Vaughan. He won 15 Grammys during the course of his career, with the first coming in 1970 for his signature hit “The Thrill Is Gone.” But his first hit record dated back to 1951, when he spent four months on top of the charts with the tune “Three O’Clock Blues.”
King recorded more than 50 albums during a career that lasted nearly 70 years. He would tour the world relentlessly, sometimes playing 250 shows per year. Among his many albums was a collaboration with Clapton on 2000′s Riding With the King.
Born Riley B. King in Mississippi, the guitarist earned the name B.B. on the streets of Memphis where he was known as the Beale Street Blues Boy, which was shortened to Blues Boy and eventually B.B.
King had been married and divorced twice, and while he did not have any children with his two wives, he admittedly fathered 15 children around the world.
We’d like to send our condolences to King’s family and loved ones during this difficult time, and we’d also like to thank B.B. King for his tremendous contribution to the music world.