Photo Credit: Carsten Wilde/Rocknconcert.com
The world is mourning the loss of the indisputable King of Blues today. B.B. King passed peacefully in his sleep Thursday night at home in Las Vegas. He was 89.
King's soulful voice and hypnotizing nostalgic beats brought blues to a mainstream audience for six decades spanning two different centuries. He was embraced by the Rock n' Roll community in the 1970s and influenced countless musicians from Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix to John Mayer.
The legendary guitarist and singer's songs transcended the years by exploring the spirit of perseverance through suffering and hardship - something he knew a lot about.
B.B. King nee Riley B. King was born to sharecroppers in a small town in Mississippi in 1925 during the Great Depression, and those hard times are captured in his nostalgic lyrics.
King took on the name B.B. from a nickname 'Blues Boy' from his days disc jockeying in Memphis, a few years before he released his first hit single.
One great anecdote that King was known for sharing was how he found the love of his life - his $30 guitar. The blues master was playing a gig in the 1950s when a fire started. He turned to run, but then remembered his guitar that was still in the building. King promptly ran back into the building and rescued it.
During his successful career, King earned 15 Grammy Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award, and a star on Hollywood Boulevard. He was inducted in both the Rock and Roll and Blues Halls of Fame and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006.
King's memory will continue to be honored through the countless musicians he has influenced and will continue to influence, during the decades ahead.