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B.B. King, King of the Blues, Dies at 89

B.B. King performing in 2009. Photo Credit: Tom Beetz
B.B. King performing in 2009. Photo Credit: Tom Beetz

B.B. King, the King of the Blues, has died at the age of 89.

Riley B. King was born in Berclair, Mississippi on September 16, 1925.

In 2011, Rolling Stone ranked him No. 6 on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President H.W. Bush in 1990 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from George W. Bush in 2006.  He won 15 Grammy Awards during his career – his most recent in 2009 for his album One Kind Favor – and was inducted into both the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He received a Kennedy Center Honor, the international Polar Music Prize, and honorary doctorates from both Yale and Brown.

King‘s playing influenced the likes of Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy and Jimi Hendrix among others. He was a true idol; a master of his craft.

In recent years, King suffered from Type 2 diabetes, a disease that put him in hospital twice in recent weeks. He spent the last week of his life in hospice care in his Las Vegas home.

King died peacefully in his sleep on May 14, 2015.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to B.B.’s children, family and friends.

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