Originally posted May 15, 2015.
The King of the Blues, BB King, passed away last night. The BBC eulogizes King here.
King, known for his hits My Lucille, Sweet Little Angel and Rock Me Baby, died in his sleep in Las Vegas.
Born in Mississippi, King began performing in the 1940s, going on to influence a generation of musicians and work with Eric Clapton and U2.
Once ranked as the third greatest guitarist of all time, he had been suffering ill health in recent months.
He was also inducted into both the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Rolling Stone magazine placed him behind only Jimi Hendrix and Duane Allman in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.
Until recently, King performed in at least 100 concerts a year.
He fused together both jazz and blues on his beloved guitar, a Gibson ES-355 he lovingly dubbed “Lucille”.
In the early part of his career, he played to exclusively black audiences, but his heartfelt vocals and undeniable talent saw him embraced by a much broader fanbase as time went on – touring Europe and topping the charts.
Younger musicians such as Clapton and Steve Miller, who admired his work, introduced him to a new generation of fans in the late ’60s with hits like The Thrill is Gone.