Posted by themusicsover on May 14, 2015
Riley B. King
September 16, 1925 – May 14. 2015
To many, B.B. King was the greatest bluesman who ever walked the planet. During an astonishing career that spanned seven decades, he almost single-handedly brought the blues into the mainstream. Born on a Mississippi cotton plantation to sharecroppers in 1925, King saw extreme poverty first hand. After his mother left home when he was just four years old, King went to live with his grandmother who went on to raise him. He began his life in music by singing in the church choir as a young boy. By the time he was 15, he was playing the guitar. In 1946, he moved to Memphis to launch his professional career, and within three years, he was making his earliest recordings. King went on to record and perform live for the next 65 years. Along the way he made some of the most iconic and influential records known to man. They include “The Thrill Is Gone,” “3 O’Clock Blues,” “Everyday I Have The Blues,” and “When Love Comes To Town,” which he recorded with U2 in 1988. He’s received countless awards and accolades including 15 Grammy Awards. The list of artists who have claimed him as a major influence is staggering. It includes Eric Clapton, John Lennon, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Gary Moore, Jeff Beck, and Keith Richards. In 2006, King kicked off his “farewell” world tour, but thankfully it never ended since he continued to wow audiences right up until October of 2014 when he became too ill to continue. His declining health lead to a couple of hospital stays and ultimately hospice care, which was announced on May 1, 2015. Two weeks later, B.B. King passed away at the age of 89.
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