LAS VEGAS — Blues legend “King of the Blues” Riley B. King, best known as B.B. King died last night in Las Vegas. He was 89.
King had been battling diabetes and was put in hospice care two weeks ago.
Few men have had careers as long and celebrated as the man who was known for his sweet voice and skillful way with a guitar named Lucille.
King started performing in the 1940s and only slowed his touring schedule a few years ago.
Beyond bringing the blues mainstream, inspiring three generations of musicians and doing unexpected collaborations, like the one with U2 on Rattle and Hum, King also opened a chain of restaurants: BB King’s Blues Club.
There were two in Florida, one at CityPlace that recently closed and another in Orlando.
Since his death, fellow musicians have taken to social media to pay tribute to the man.
“BB King was the greatest guy I ever met,” blues guitarist Buddy Guy wrote on Instagram.
SunFest peformer Lenny Kravitz tweeted, “BB, anyone could play a thousand notes and never say what you said in one.”
“B.B.” stood for Blues Boy, the name he used as a Memphis disc jockey. He both brought us the blues and a great deal of joy.
R.I.P. Mr. King.