The iconic blues guitarist, and for many, the face of a uniquely American b form of music, Blues Boy King died today in Las Vegas after being admitted to the hospital.
According to his daughter, Claudette King, B.B. King suffered from dehydration related to Type 2 diabetes. He had been receiving hospice case. King was 89.
King suffered from dehydration related to Type 2 diabetes and was admitted to a Las Vegas hospital this month, according to Angela Moore, the family spokesperson.
He was born Riley B. King. He was a singer, songwriter, and producer and began playing in the 1940s. The Mississippi native was considered one of the best to play the Gibson guitar, which he named “Lucille.” Tributes to King have been populating social media. Those who knew and were influenced by King have shared their memories of the star.
The sudden news of King’s death has sparked tributes. Florida A&M University Department of Music assistant Professor Dr. Carlos Vega was saddened to hear of King’s passing.
“I've always enjoyed listening to B.B. King’s music and marveled at the level of beauty and clarity of his artistry as a guitarist and singer,” said Vega.
With over 50 albums released and 15 Grammy awards, King has successfully left his mark on the music scene with his distinctive playing style. Randy Lewis, a music journalist from the Los Angeles Times, expressed King's personality.
“He was one the kindest most humble human beings you ever want to meet. He [King] always gave credit to others. He was admired and never showed any flashes of ego,” Lewis told CNN.
Wayne Westley Jr., a drum major for FAMU marching 100, acknowledged King’s role in his life as a musician.
“King’s music had a huge impact on the style of music I like to listen to as well play while in a musical ensemble,” said Westley.
King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and in 2012 he performed at the White House's Red, White & Blues event. President Barack Obama sang part of “Sweet Home Chicago.” King was also inducted into the R&B Music Hall of Fame in 2014.
The man who inspired a franchise of restaurant-music, the B.B. King house of blues, may have said it best when describing his own style.
King said it best, “When I sing, I play in my mind; the minute I stop singing orally, I start to sing by playing Lucille.”