It is with great sadness to report the passing of legendary guitarist B.B. King aka The King of Blues. He was 89. More inside…..
The music world lost a legend last night. Blues guitarist B.B. King died in Las Vegas at the age of 89, confirmed by his daughter Shirley King. He died peacefully in his sleep at his home, according to attorney Brent Bryson.
His daughter Shirley claims none of his children were allowed to be with him when he died and she found out about his passing from the media. She issued a statement to CBS News that reads:
“I’m just very torn up they wouldn’t let me see my father since he passed. I don’t know what to say. I cant believe they went to fighting and they kept him away from the family so he could go and not have the family say goodbye,” she said.
“I hope that I can get some media investigate what’s going on. Something’s not right about this picture. We should be able to see him in his last moments. I got a call from someone in the news media and that’s how I found out initially.
“I appreciate the great man he was and hill always be a famous icon. Those moments should have never been stolen from me. He was a family man who took care of his whole family. He will always live in my heart. God Bless”
The Missisippi native was born on a cotton plantation and his parents were sharecroppers. He started his career in radio with a gospel quartet, then he hitchiked to Memphis, TN where he continued his career as a disc jockey. He first went by the moniker “Beale Street Blues Boy,” which he later shorten to B.B.
B.B was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1984 after having sold millions of records worldwide. His list of achievements include, receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush, winning a Grammy for best male rhythm ‘n’ blues performance in 1971 for “The Thrill Is Gone,” best ethnic or traditional recording in 1982 for “There Must Be a Better World Somewhere” and best traditional blues recording or album several times. He won his last Grammy in 2009 for best blues album for “One Kind Favor.” He won a total of 15 Grammys.
He also gave a guitar to Pope John Paul II and performed at a 2012 White House concert attended by President Obama. He was known for playing a Gibson guitar that he affectionately named Lucille.
Although he had type 2 diabetes later in life, he still performed at hundreds of concerts over the years and continued to tour well into his late 80s.
Earlier this month (May 1st), B.B. sent a message to his fans via his website informing them he was in hospice care. The message reads,
“I am in home hospice care at my residence in Las Vegas.
Thanks to all for your well wishes and prayers.”
The last message on his site confirmed his passing. It reads:
Mr. King passed peacefully in his sleep at 9:40 pm Pacific time May 14 2015
The legendary guitarist was married twice and had a total of 15 biological and adopted children, leaving behind 11 of them.
We are keeping his family, friends and fans in our prayers.