King of Blues, B.B. King, dies at 89

B.B. King

Legendary blues singer, Riley B. King known famously as B.B. King, has died at the age of 89.

The 15-time Grammy winner lived with Type II diabetes for decades. His health had been declining over the past year.

Last October, the songwriter and guitarist collapsed during a Chicago concert, later saying it was exhaustion and dehydration. In April, he was hospitalized in Las Vegas for dehydration.

The Mississippi native remained “king of the blues” for more than six decades, performing well into his 80s even after achieving a long list of honors including Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Presidential Medal of Freedom and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. He was also nominated for 30 Grammy’s during his career.

His music influenced generations of rock and blues musicians including Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, John Mayer and Sheryl Crow. His life was also the subject of the documentary “B.B. King: The Life of Riley”, as well as the inspiration for the B.B. King Museum, which opened in 2008.

B.B. King was born on September 16, 1925 on a cotton plantation in what is now Itta Bena, Mississippi. He got his big break in 1948 when he performed on Sonny Boy Williamson’s radio program out of West Memphis.

Daughter, Patty King, said her father died in Las Vegas where he announced only two weeks ago that he was in a hospice after suffering from dehydration.