Brilliant bluesman. Guitarists and singer who inspired millions of music lover, passes away due to long battle with diabetes.
B.B. King, the larger-than-life guitarist and singer who helped popularize electric blues and brought it to audiences for more than 60 years, passes away Thursday in Las Vegas. He was 89. King, who was diagnosed with diabetes nearly 27 years ago, was hospitalized last month due to dehydration. Last October, he was forced to cancel eight tour dates for dehydration and exhaustion. His attorney, Brent Bryson, confirmed his death to the Associated Press.
Into his late eighties, King toured the world year-round as the unrivaled and became the ambassador of the blues. His indelible style – a throaty, throttling vocal howl paired with a ringing single-note vibrato sound played on his electric guitar named Lucille – defined the genre which he considered as his soul. He won 15 Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
He was born Riley B. King in Itta Bena, Mississippi, on September 16th, 1925. His young parents divorced when he was five and his mother died when he was nine, leaving him to be raised by his maternal grandmother. King dropped out of school in tenth grade (though he vigorously studied math and languages until late in his life) and earned a living picking cotton for a penny a pound and singing gospel songs on a local street corner, studying music under cousin Bukka White. He married at 17. "I guess I was looking for love, because I never had anybody I believed truly loved me," he told Rolling Stone in 1998. It was the first of two failed marriages. "Since my early childhood, I have had a problem trying to open up. Please open me up. Look inside! 'Cause I can't. I don't know how to."
King was also an avid reader and Internet enthusiast who once schooled a young reporter on how to transfer vinyl to MP3. "Gosh, I don't know how I lived without it!" he once said of the computer.
"I'm slower," he told Rolling Stone in 2013. "As you get older, your fingers sometimes swell. But I've missed 18 days in 65 years. Sometimes guys will just take off; I've never done that. If I'm booked to play, I go and play."
He added, "The crowds treat me like my last name. When I go onstage people usually stand up, I never ask them to, but they do. They stand up and they don't know how much I appreciate it."
He was a king. And he'll always be. mya his soul RIP.