BB King, the King of Blues, dies at 89
Blues legend B.B. KING died last night. He was 89, and he’d been hospitalized twice recently for complications from high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes, which he’d had for 20 years.
His most famous song was “The Thrill Is Gone” from 1970, but a lot of people probably know him from “When Love Comes to Town”, his duet with U2 on their “Rattle and Hum” album.
“Rolling Stone” puts him at number six on their list of the 100 greatest guitarists, but basically everyone ahead of him on the list was directly influenced by him.
He was born on a cotton plantation in Mississippi in 1925, and worked as a tractor driver, singer, and disc jockey before becoming famous for playing guitar in the 50’s.
His real first name was Riley . . . the B.B. comes from the nickname “Blues Boy King.” And he always played a trademark Gibson guitar nicknamed ‘Lucille’. Although there were actually more than 12 Lucilles.
The story behind the name is pretty good. He saved the original from a bar fire, after two guys fighting over a woman named Lucille knocked over a kerosene lamp. He was also famous for touring constantly . . . almost 300 shows a year, even into his 70’s.
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, and won 15 Grammys . . . the first one in 1970, and the last one in 2009.
Read more HERE
Photo: Wikimedia Commons