‘Blues can never die’: BB King Passes away but the music stays

BB King TeCake

B.B. King, the legendary king of blues, a singer, songwriter, and guitarist, died Thursday, May 14, 2015 in Las Vegas at the age of 89 years.

His attorney Brent Bryson revealed that King died peacefully in his sleep at 9:40 p.m. at his home, where he had been in hospice care. Bryson added that funeral arrangements were being made as soon as possible to give the last tribute to the legendary singer.

BB. King (born 1925) is one of the most successful artists in the history of the blues. Till date his ability as a blues guitarist has remained unparalleled. So here’s a look at his personal life:

Born on: September 16, 1925

Birthplace: Mississippi Delta cotton plantation between Indianola and now known as Itta Bena, Mississippi

True name: Riley B. King

Marriages: Sue Carol Hall (1958-1966, divorce), Martha Lee Denton (1942-1950, divorce)

Children: Claimed to have fathered 15 children with many different women.

Other lesser known facts:

  • King sang with church choirs as a child.
  • He learned basic guitar chords from his uncle, who was a preacher.
  • King sang and played the blues on the corner of Church and Second in Indianola.
  • Enlisted in the Army during World War II but was released because he drove a tractor, an essential home front occupation.
  • BB stands for Blues Boy, part of the name he used as a Memphis disc jockey, the Beale Street Blues Boy.
  • The first “Lucille” got her name after a fire broke out at a dance in Arkansas and King ran out forgetting his guitar and then risked his life to go back and get it.
  • It was the sound of a “sanctified preacher” playing the guitar that first aroused the interest that would make King an exponent of the infernal blues

“When I’m singing, I don’t want you to just hear the melody. I want you to relive the story, because most of the songs have pretty good storytelling.” BB King used to say. With that, we hope that BB King’s soul may rest in peace and his music continues to shine and pave way to inspiring a whole generation of music lovers.

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