May 14, 2015, the day we mourn for the death of the “King of the Blues”. Riley B. King, or most popularly known as B.B. King, died peacefully at age 89 in his sleep in Las Vegas according to his attorney.
The singer/guitarist, who brought the blues to mainstream, was diagnosed with diabetes 30 years ago and was hospitalized last April due to dehydration. On May 1, he posted a message at his site, thanking the fans for their well wishes and prayers for his recovery. He was feeling better then and back at his residence in Las Vegas for home hospice care until this sad news spread.
B.B. has made a legacy, never slowed down and continued to go on tour even after cementing his name as an icon. His career spanned for more than six decades, has done collaborations from different artists, incorporating his style of music to their genre. He became so big that even non-blues fans recognize him. Name them a blues artist and they will say B.B. King! As what Eric Clapton told in his 2008 biography, he is the most important artist the blues has ever produced.
Here’s a heart-warming message from Clapton that he posted on his Facebook page via The Telegraph.
As a guitarist myself, B.B. is one of my major influences. When I was learning to play, I was first introduced into those fast, shredding licks so I was into that thing for a while but after I discovered the blues after just a couple of weeks of playing, there’s no turning back. It was like love at first sight. I knew I found my voice and his style has caught my fancy. He’s got a sweet vibrato sound, has a very distinct tone that once you hear the notes played, even if you don’t see, you know it’s him playing. Also I learned from him that less is more. He can kill all these shredder/virtuosos with just one note! I may not be in a blues band, but that style has embedded in my heart and soul. Definitely, B.B. is one of those guitar players I’ll thank.
He will sorely be missed, and as what the local DJ here said during closing of his then blues radio program, May the Blues be with you!
The thrill may be gone but his music lives on.
Let the good times roll!!!