Friday, May 15, 2015

In Memoriam: BB KING

The King of Blues has passed away. Music icon BB King was recently hospitalized following complications with diabetes, and died last night at the age of 89. A blues pioneer, King is largely recognized as one of the greatest guitar players of all time, and he wrote several major hits over his 70-year career. Eric Clapton was one of the many musicians to post tributes following the news. In a video, Clapton said, “I want to thank him for all the inspiration and encouragement he gave me as a player over the years, and for the friendship that we enjoyed ... He was a beacon for all of us who love this kind of music” .
King's complications from his Type 2 diabetes, which in recent years has caused him to reduce his tour schedule from a record-setting 300+ shows a year to roughly 100 annually – which remains a high achievement for most other musicians. Attorney Brent Bryson informed The Associated Press that King died peacefully in his sleep at 9:40 p.m. PDT Thursday at his home in Las Vegas.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame cornerstone was widely considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time. On his way to 15 Grammys, he influenced a generation of musicians with his earnest vocals and soaring guitar on songs such as “The Thrill Is Gone”. He sold millions of records worldwide and was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame as well as the Rock Hall. But his true value was perhaps as a mentor to scores of high-achieving guitarists, including Eric Clapton.
King’s legendary Gibson guitar, famously named Lucille, was featured in songs like “Every Day I Have the Blues” to “When Love Comes to Town.”

In addition to his incredible guitar abilities, King has always had a guru lean to his persona, as evidenced in a 2009 autobiography and numerous candid interviews throughout his life – up until his last hospitalization in April of this year.