Riley B. King – better known as B.B King died thursday night after a 2 week long battle with dehydration. The legendary guitarist was responsible for bringing blues from the margins to the mainstream, often ‘reigned as ‘king of the blues’.
B.B King was famous for his vigour, continuing to play fervently long after he had been elevated to the level of a proper American cultural icon. King’s reign lasted over 60 years, making it one of the longest ever enjoyed by a musician. His style influenced many musicians including Eric Clapton and John Mayer among others.
Throughout his career, King shared a stage with many contemporary musicians including The Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck etc. He toured extensively well into his 80’s, slowing down only after being gripped by Type II diabetes. Known for being attached to his 1950’s guitar which he named ‘Lucille’ King even risked his life for it by going back to retrieve it from a locale he was performing at, which had caught fire due to a wild crowd. John Lennon was once found saying that he “wanted to play guitar like B.B King”.