Blues Legend B.B. King Dies at 89

BY Alex HudsonPublished May 15, 2015

The blues world has lost a true legend, as B.B. King has died at the age of 89.

The Mississippi-born singer-guitarist passed away in his sleep on Thursday evening (May 14) at his Las Vegas home, according to the Associated Press. He had been sick as of late with diabetes, and allegations emerged recently that King had been taken to hospital amidst claims of elder abuse. TMZ reported that he had suffered a minor heart attack.

Nevertheless, King had continued to perform into his senior years, and played shows as recently as last year.

King had been playing the blues since the late '40s. He was known for his Gibson guitar nicknamed "Lucille" and he was sometimes referred to as "King of the Blues." Arguably his best-known song was the 1970 hit "The Thrill Is Gone." Over the years, he played with artists like Eric Clapton and U2, performed with Barack Obama, and was honoured by both Bush presidents.

Over the decades, he won more than a dozen Grammys, including a Lifetime Achievement Award. "The Thrill Is Gone" earned a Grammy Hall of Fame Award. He's a member of the Blues Hall of Fame, the Official Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. His name has been used on numerous B.B. King's Blues Clubs.

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