‘The King of Blues’, BB King, dies aged 89


Legendary blues guitarist and singer, BB King has died aged 89. King was best known for his hits ‘Sweet Little Angel’, ‘My Lucille’ and ‘Rock Me Baby’. He died in his sleep in Las Vegas.

Brent Bryson told the Associated Press that King died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday at his home in Las Vegas. The Clark county coroner, John Fudenberg, confirmed the death.

King was born in Mississippi in 1925 and began performing in the 1940s, known as ‘Blues Boy King’, later shortened to BB King. King went on to inspire a generation of musicians, such as John Mayer, and has worked with Eric Clapton and U2 amongst many others.

King, nicknamed ‘The King of the Blues’, has sold millions of records worldwide and was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2009, he was awarded his 15th Grammy in the traditional blues album category for One Kind Favor.

He continued to perform well into his 80s but King had suffered from diabetes and had been declining in health over the last year.

Fellow musicians paid tribute to King, including Lenny Kravitz who tweeted “BB, anyone could play a thousand notes and never say what you said in one. #RIP #BBKing”

Former Beatle Ringo Starr tweeted: “God bless BB King, peace and love to his family.” And singer Will Young added: “BB King- the most wonderful blues singer and guitarist. I suggest everyone gets one of his records to hear true soul and spirit.”

Rolling Stone magazine placed him behind only Jimi Hendrix and Duane Allman in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time and until recently, King performed in at least 100 concerts a year.


About Author

I’m Megan Downing, an English Literature graduate from University of Southampton. I am the Music, Arts and Culture Editor for The National Student. I am the Membership and Communications Officer for the Student Publication Association, I write about music for 7BitArcade, and contribute regularly to The Culture Trip. I have a passion for live music and this is where I began in student journalism. Reviewing a gig or festival is still where my heart lies four years on. I will be starting at MTV as a News Intern in June 2015. One thing you should know about me is that I have an unhealthy obsession with Kevin Spacey.

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