Blues legend B.B. King passed away today at the age of 89 from a series of mini-strokes. He had fought diabetes for thirty years.
“He is without a doubt the most important artist the blues has ever produced,” wrote Eric Clapton in his 2008 auto-biography. Coming from ‘the God of guitar” that is saying a lot.
B.B. grew up on a rural Mississippi cotton plantation and his early life was that of the very traditional poor cotton-picker hard labor blues singers. Influenced by early blues guitarists Blind Lemon Jefferson and Lonnie Johnson, Riley’s first recording was in 1940 when he was only 15.
His most famous hit was The Thrill is Gone.B.B. in 1969 although he produced an enormous wealth of albums.
B.B. was the hardest working musician, touring constantly, spending more than 65 years on the road. He played more than 300 shows a year until cutting back to around…
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