By:
17-05-2015

King Of The Blues - RIP

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Riley B. King, who was better known throughout the world by the stage name of B.B. King, was an American blues singer, successful songwriter, acclaimed guitarist and music icon who was born on 16 September 1925 and who died peacefully at his home in Las Vegas on 14 May, 2015 aged 89 years.
Born on a cotton plantation near Itta Bena in the US state of Mississippi, from the age of four years B. B. King was raised by his maternal grandmother in the town of Kilmichael in Montgomery County, Mississippi. While he was still very young he sang in a gospel choir at Kilmichael's Elkhorn Baptist Church and when he was approximately 12 years old his interest in the guitar commenced.King of the Blues - RIP In his late teens, King left Kalmichael and went on to play the guitar with the St. John's Quartet of Inverness, Mississippi, where he performed at local churches and on WGRM, an American radio station which served the area of Greenwood in Mississippi. In the late 1940's he started to record songs under contract with RPM records.
B.B. King's particular style of guitar playing and, indeed, his style of singing was certainly an inspiration to many musicians throughout the world and tributes from many famous musical stars have been pouring in following the news of his death.
As well as winning 15 Grammy Awards, including a lifetime achievement award, he was given a 'Star' on Hollywood Boulevard in 1991. King was also inducted in the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. In 1995 he was among the recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors and in 2006 he was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
In 2006 King went on a farewell tour, although he was still active in the last years of his life, which included UK, the Swiss Montreux Jazz Festival and Zürich's Live at Sunset. In June of that year, he attended a memorial of his first radio broadcast at the Three Deuces Building in Greenwood, Mississippi and in September 2008 the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center opened.
In 2007, B. B. king played at Eric Clapton's second Crossroads Guitar Festival and in the summer of 2008 he played at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee and was given a key to the city.
Internationally renowned, King performed at the Mawazine festival in Rabat, Morocco, in May 2010, at the Glastonbury Music Festival in the UK in 2011 and recorded a concert video at London's famous Royal Albert Hall. 2012 saw King amongst the performers at "In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues" and in 2012 he performed at a concert at the Byblos International Festival in Lebanon as well as appearing at the New Orleans Jazz Festival in 2013.
Appearing as a guest in many television shows, King also had cameo roles in the films "Spies Like Us" and "Heart and Souls".
An exceptionally talented, well-loved performer and dedicated musician, King was known for his many hit songs including My Lucille, The Thrill is Gone, Sweet Little Angel and Rock Me Baby.
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