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Remembering Blues Legend B.B. King

May 15, 2015
Riley B. King, better known as blues legend B.B. King, passed away quietly in his sleep on May 14, 2015. He was 89 years old and is survived by his two ex-wives and 11 children.

Born in 1925, on a cotton plantation in rural Mississippi, King started his musical journey playing and singing gospel music before discovering the blues as a young man. He joked in an interview that at first he wanted to stick to his gospel roots, but when he noticed that gospel brought in just praise while blues brought in cash tips, the choice was clear.

In the late 1940s, he worked as a DJ at a Memphis radio station, where he earned the name "Beale Street Blues Boy" (The various blues clubs along Beale Street are hailed as the Mecca of blues music). This title was eventually shortened until it became B.B. King. King was famous for the "heart" that he could put into a single note. As tributes to the legend are pouring in, singer Lenny Kravitz possibly summed it up best when he said "BB, anyone could play a thousand notes and never say what you said in one."
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