One of the most celebrated figures in the world of music, blues master B.B. King, died in Las Vegas on Thursday at the age of 89, according to the Associated Press, citing King’s lawyer. King sold millions of records worldwide and was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. King played a Gibson guitar that he affectionately called Lucille and was not only the undisputed king of the blues but a mentor to scores of guitarists including Eric Clapton. He was awarded his 15th Grammy in 2009 in the traditional blues album category for “One Kind Favor.”
Rolling Stone magazine ranked him at No. 6 on its 2011 list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time (previously ranked No. 3 in the 2003 edition of the same list), and he was ranked No. 17 in Gibson’s “Top 50 Guitarists of All Time”. King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. King was also inducted into 2014 class of the R&B Music Hall of Fame. He is considered one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, earning the nickname “The King of Blues”, and one of the “Three Kings of the Blues Guitar” (along with Albert King and Freddie King). King was also known for performing tirelessly throughout his musical career, appearing at 250–300 concerts per year until his seventies. In 1956 it was noted that he appeared at 342 shows. King continued to appear at 100 shows a year through the end of his career.
Riley B. King aka B.B. King (September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015)